Why Do You Get Diarrhea From Food? Causes and Solutions

We may earn a commission on qualified purchases made through one of our links. Learn more

Diarrhea is a pretty unpleasant side effect of eating. It’s not uncommon to get diarrhea after eating something that doesn’t agree with you, but it’s pretty uncommon to get diarrhea from food that you enjoy.

Why does this happen? Well, there are a few reasons. Sometimes it’s the food itself that causes diarrhea, but it can also be the way your body processes the food. Let’s look at both of these reasons.

What is diarrhea

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

Read for free

Why Does Your Stomach Go Haywire After Eating?

Diarrhea after eating can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Food intolerances: Certain foods, such as lactose, can be difficult for some people to digest properly, leading to diarrhea after eating.
  • Postprandial diarrhea: This type of diarrhea occurs within 30 minutes to an hour after eating and is related to changes in the body’s hormone levels and the way the intestines process food.
  • Gastrointestinal conditions: Conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, and irritable bowel syndrome can all cause diarrhea after eating.
  • Infections: Eating food contaminated with bacteria or viruses can cause diarrhea as the body tries to flush out the harmful substances.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as antibiotics, can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut and lead to diarrhea.

How to Stop Diarrhea After Eating

If you’re experiencing diarrhea after eating, there are several things you can do to help stop it:

  • Stay hydrated: Diarrhea can cause you to lose a lot of water, so it’s important to drink plenty of fluids to keep your body hydrated.
  • Avoid certain foods: If you know that certain foods trigger your diarrhea, try to avoid them as much as possible.
  • Eat small, frequent meals: Eating smaller meals throughout the day can help your body better process the food you’re eating.
  • Take probiotics: Probiotics can help support the good bacteria in your gut and improve digestion.
  • See a medical professional: If your diarrhea is severe or persistent, it’s important to see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

The Role of Sugar and Protein in Diarrhea After Eating

Sugar and protein are two common culprits when it comes to diarrhea after eating. Here’s how they can affect your digestive system:

  • Sugar: Eating a lot of sugar can cause your body to pull water into the intestine, which can result in diarrhea. This is commonly found in people who have a sugar intolerance or who eat a lot of sugary foods.
  • Protein: Eating large amounts of protein can be difficult for your body to break down and digest properly, which can lead to diarrhea. This is commonly experienced by young children who consume a lot of protein-rich foods.

When to See a Doctor

While diarrhea after eating is a common condition, it’s important to know when to seek medical attention. Here are some symptoms that may indicate a more serious condition:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Blood in the stool
  • High fever
  • Multiple episodes of diarrhea in a day
  • Diarrhea that lasts for more than a few days

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a medical professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Why Chronic Diarrhea After Eating is a Pain in the Gut

While the specific foods that can trigger chronic diarrhea can vary from person to person, some common culprits include:

  • High-sugar foods: Foods that are high in fructose or other sugars can be difficult for the body to digest, leading to diarrhea.
  • Fatty foods: Foods that are high in fat can also be hard for the body to digest, which can cause diarrhea.
  • Foods low in fiber: Fiber helps to regulate bowel movements, so a lack of fiber in the diet can lead to chronic diarrhea.
  • Certain fruits and vegetables: Some fruits and vegetables, such as apples and broccoli, can be difficult for some people to digest and may cause diarrhea.
  • Rice: While rice is typically easy to digest, some people may experience diarrhea after eating it.
  • Ginger: While ginger is often touted as a natural remedy for digestive issues, some people may find that it actually triggers diarrhea.

How Can Chronic Diarrhea After Eating be Prevented?

Preventing chronic diarrhea after eating may involve making some dietary and lifestyle changes, such as:

  • Eating a diet that is high in fiber and low in fat and sugar.
  • Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Avoiding trigger foods that can cause diarrhea.
  • Taking enzyme supplements, such as lactase, to help the body digest certain types of foods.
  • Eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Getting regular exercise to help regulate bowel movements.

When Should You See a Healthcare Provider?

If you are experiencing chronic diarrhea after eating, it is important to talk to a healthcare provider. They can help determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and recommend appropriate treatment options. Some signs that you should seek medical attention include:

  • Blood in your stools
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea that lasts for more than a few days


So there you have it- diarrhea can be caused by many factors, but eating certain foods can lead to it. 

You should now know that diarrhea can be caused by many factors, but eating certain foods can lead to it. If you’re experiencing diarrhea, don’t panic. Stay hydrated, and talk to your doctor if it doesn’t get better.

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

Read for free

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.