Foods that cause diarrhea – VnExpress

Spicy, high-fat foods and some artificial sweeteners can cause diarrhea.

Diarrhea is usually caused by an intestinal infection. In the summer, the hot and sunny temperature is a favorable environment for bacteria, cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes, molds… to grow quickly. They become pathogens that spread gastrointestinal diseases through food and water, leading to abdominal pain and diarrhea. In addition, certain foods can also cause diarrhea and related symptoms. When eating foods that are difficult to digest, the amount of water in the intestine increases rapidly, causing irritation to the lining of the digestive system. These factors can cause or worsen diarrhea. Food-borne diarrhea can also be related to lactose or gluten intolerance.

Sugar and artificial sweeteners

Fructose is a component of table sugar and is found in fruit. At one time of day, the body can only digest a certain amount of fructose. If the body consumes more fructose than necessary, it will cause diarrhea. Some fruits contain a lot of fructose such as apples, grapes… Common sweeteners such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol and erythritol can cause diarrhea when the body does not absorb it well or when a person consumes too much.


Drinks and foods that contain caffeine can cause diarrhea in some people. Caffeine is a stimulant and speeds up the rate at which food moves through the intestines. Common dietary sources of caffeine include chocolate, coffee, soft drinks, tea, etc.

Foods high in fat. Image: Freepik

High-fat foods

Fatty foods are difficult to digest. When you eat a lot, the digestive system has difficulty breaking down food. Dietary fat also promotes bile production and increases water in the small intestine. The combination of these factors can lead to digestive dysfunction and diarrhea.

Spicy food

Spicy foods containing chili peppers are another cause of diarrhea. Capsaicin is the compound that makes chili peppers spicy, which can irritate the lining of the stomach and intestines. You should avoid foods high in capsaicin to reduce your risk of diarrhea symptoms and frequency.

Lactose sugar

People who are lactose intolerant may experience diarrhea after consuming dairy products. Lactose intolerance and malabsorption are common symptoms. Some people who are lactose intolerant may tolerate small amounts of dairy products or less lactose, such as yogurt, kefir, and hard cheeses.


Foods that are high in FODMAPs (short-chain carbohydrates) are difficult for the body to digest and can cause diarrhea. Patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with diarrhea found that following a low-FODMAP diet improved diarrhea symptoms and increased quality of life. Some foods contain high amounts of FODMAPs such as artichokes, beans, garlic, and onions.


Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Many people experience gluten intolerance to varying degrees. Some people even experience severe reactions when consuming gluten-containing foods that damage the small intestine, leading to diarrhea. People with diarrhea lasting more than 48 hours or bloody diarrhea, accompanied by severe stomach pain, fatigue should contact a doctor. This helps avoid dehydration and reduces the risk of complications such as increased heart rate, dizziness, and confusion.

To assess which foods cause diarrhea, people can keep a diary of the food and symptoms that occur after eating it. It can help identify links between certain foods and diarrhea symptoms.

When you have diarrhea caused by food, you should keep enough water for your body, drink more water than usual to maintain hydration, do not use tea, caffeine, diluted fruit juice… You should also supplement Added probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in the gut. While foods rich in insoluble fiber can aggravate diarrhea, foods containing soluble fiber help promote stool formation, reducing diarrhea.

Mr. Chi (Follow Medical News Today)


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