9 Triggering Foods That Cause Diarrhea

Food will be the cure and cause of many diseases. Most diseases occur due to unhealthy eating habits1. If you eat good and healthy food, you ultimately feel fresh and light. But, when you eat junk food and fatty food, your body starts showing its reaction whether in form of acne, or diseases more commonly diarrhea and constipation. Read on to know more about foods that cause Diarrhea.2

The most common problem related to stomach, that people have is diarrhea. And the problem is they don’t know that certain foods are responsible for their cause.


Diarrhea is a very common and more frequently occurring problem. It is related to the digestive system. It is a loose stool or watery stool. Usually, it remains for one or two days and in that case, it is called acute diarrhea3. On the other side, if it lasts for longer days, then it is chronic diarrhea. In this case, you need to concern with your doctor, as it is a sign of serious health conditions.

Mainly it is caused by bacteria, parasites, and viruses in the contaminated food and water. In some people, food intolerance and medicinal sensitivity also cause diarrhea. And also in the case of Crohn’s disease, IBS, or any other disease related to the stomach and small intestine will increase the risk of diarrhea.4


The main symptom of diarrhea5 is a watery stool problem. If you have this kind of issue then there might be a high chance of you having diarrhea. Well, no need to worry it remains for two to three days. But in case it takes a longer time to cure or remain for more than a few days a week, then it is a point of concern.

Some other diarrhea symptoms help you in the identification of diarrhea immediately, so that you can take precautions to treat diarrhea at your lever.

The Other symptoms linked with Diarrhea are:

  • Abdominal pain and bloating
  • Nausea
  • Urgent need to have a bowel movements
  • Dehydration due to watery stools
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Weight loss

In severe cases, it may lead to other serious problems including blood in the stool or mucus in the stool, chronic diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome 6(IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or celiac disease7, and others.

Treatment For Diarrhea

If you find any of these symptoms of diarrhea, then try the following effective ways or remedies to treat diarrhea:

Keep Yourself Hydrated

Dehydration happens due to diarrhea, that’s why it is very important to drink enough water.

Healthy Eating Habits

A healthy diet is always best to keep diseases away. In case of diarrhea, a low fiber diet is best. Low fiber foods are white rice, white bread, yogurt, fresh vegetables, papaya, peaches, and canned vegetables without seeds.

Use of Probiotics

Probiotics are considered to be good for any kind of diarrhea, acute diarrhea, or chronic diarrhea. They are the source of good bacteria for the intestine.

It makes the intestine environment healthy and also protects against any stomach flu or infection or food poisoning.

Avoid Certain Foods That Cause Diarrhea

Avoiding certain foods that cause diarrhea in your diet will see a good result. Spicy foods, soft drinks, french fries, high-fiber fruits, fatty meats, and energy drinks all are responsible for causing diarrhea.

Foods That Cause Diarrhea

Unhealthy food
Image by makidotvn on Unlimphotos

Diarrhea occurs when your digestive system gets affected by any kind of infection. These infections happen because of bacteria, viruses, and parasites. They reach your system through contaminated food and water mostly. That’s why fresh and healthy food is very important to prevent such problems.

Sometimes it may occur due to food itself without any contamination. When diarrhea is happen just after eating a meal, then it is called postprandial diarrhea (PD). Various foods cause diarrhea. People don’t know about them and consume them and have diarrheal issues.

Some foods are intolerant to the digestive system, and as a result, are not digested and absorbed properly. Hence, it is very essential to know about those foods that cause diarrhea.

Check out the complete list of foods that cause diarrhea, so that you avoid these trigger foods to not get diarrhea.

Dairy Foods And Drinks

The main reason to avoid dairy products is the presence of lactose. This is not all for everyone, it is especially for those who have lactose intolerance.

Lactose intolerance or lactose malabsorption 8is a digestive problem in which lactose digestion does not take place properly. Its main reason is the deficiency of the lactase enzyme, that does lactose digestion.

Due to lactose intolerance, people experience diarrhea after eating and drinking milk and dairy products. If you are also lactose intolerant then, you need to eliminate dairy products from your diet.

Fiber-Rich Food

The fiber in the diet is necessary as they have various health benefits. But not all kinds of fiber are needed by our body. During diarrhea, it is important to avoid high-fiber foods.

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Evan Lorne on Shutterstock

The main two categories of fiber are such as Soluble fiber and Insoluble fiber. Just like their names, it is quite understandable that soluble fibers are soluble in water while another one is not soluble in water.

Sugary Products

For sweet lovers, this is going to be disappointing to know that sugar substitutes including artificial sweeteners are not good for the digestive tract. In many people, it has been found that some sugar substitutes cause diarrhea and stomach cramps.

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Cast Of Thousands on Shutterstock

The laxative properties of sugar increase bowel movement. Hence, when you ingest too many sweets or artificial sweeteners, they will interrupt the absorption process of the large intestine. They can draw water into the intestine and cause bloating.

The digestion of excess sugar substitutes has not to be done because bad bacteria use that sugar and cause various digestive disorders including stomach pain, or gas.

Similar symptoms have occurred after consuming sugar alcohol in excess. Although they are good for health but in moderate amounts because they contain half calories of sugar. That’s why they are used in various food products.

Fatty Foods

Other triggering foods that cause diarrhea are fatty foods. Saturated and trans fats containing foods such as fried foods or fast food, develop diarrhea and make the symptoms worse.

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artem evdokimov on Shutterstock

More importantly, these food items have little nutritional value and take more time to digest, hence it is going to be good to remove them from your eating habits.

If you have diarrhea, then first avoid fatty foods.

Cruciferous Vegetables

For the digestive system, it is hard to digest fiber-rich food9. Fiber-rich food slows down the digestive process and also draws water into the intestine. Due to these reasons, high fiber foods or vegetables are needed to avoid.

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Bondar Illia on Shutterstock

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage all have soluble fiber, hence avoid them to prevent chronic conditions related to the digestive tract.

Spicy Foods

Among all the mentioned foods that cause diarrhea, this one is the common cause of diarrhea. Spicy food is the specialty of Indian and Mexican cuisine. Although spicy foods are good in taste and flavor and satisfy your appetite, sometimes it does not make your stomach happy. If you find diarrhea problems when you eat spicy foods that means you need to stop eating spicy food.

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New Africa on Shutterstock

Mostly the spiciness in food is due to the use of capsicum or chili peppers. It irritates the stomach and intestine, as a result, the digestion process is also get affected. Hence, this problem leads to burning diarrhea.

Well, the main spice that irritates your digestive system is capsicum and chili pepper, which is due to the capsaicin chemical. So, try to avoid the use of them in your food to relieve diarrhea.


FODMAP – Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, all are types of sugar or carbohydrates.

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Julia Mikhaylova on Shutterstock

These short-chain sugar substitutes are not properly digested by the intestine. Without their digestion, they are not absorbed by the bloodstream. They reach the large intestine in an undigested state, where gut bacteria consume them and cause gastrointestinal problems like gas, constipation, bloating, and pain. And also the osmotic activity of FODMAPs draws water into the large intestine, which triggers diarrhea.

This happens mostly with those people, who are sensitive to FODMAP foods. Hence, they need to cut off the following high FODMAP foods and drinks:

  • Watermelon
  • Wheat
  • Beans and lentils
  • Fructose and lactose
  • Onion
  • Stone fruits
  • Garlic
  • Apples
  • Soy
  • Canned fruits

For such people, a low FODMAP diet is the best way to deal with diarrhea.

Caffeinated Products

The most common source of caffeine is coffee or tea. Everyone drinks at least one cup of coffee or tea daily. They irritate your digestive system and increases the rate of bowel movement through muscle contraction, which results in loose stools or diarrhea problem.

Caffeine as a diuretic also increases urine formation in the kidney. Hence, it is clear that caffeinated products can cause digestive and kidney diseases. But only when you consume in excess.

If you have an upset stomach then eliminated caffeinated products. Those whose morning never begins without coffee will try decaffeinated coffee.


Do you find loose stool problems on the next day of your alcohol party? Then stop drinking alcohol until this problem is not improved.

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sweet marshmallow on Shutterstock

This is quite surprising that alcohol causes diarrhea, but it’s true. Not all kinds of alcohol do that. Beer and wine increase the risk of diarrhea as compared to whiskey and vodka.

Alcohol causes various changes like inflammation in the stomach, and water absorption in the intestine, increases the digestion process, and also promotes the growth of harmful bacteria instead of good bacteria. These changes are responsible for diarrhea.

Hope this post regarding foods that cause diarrhea will be helpful for you. Now, you get to know which food you need to avoid during diarrhea, so do accordingly. And in severe condition consult your doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Dairy products, fried or high-fat foods, spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners are a few frequent items that might cause diarrhea.

2. How Soon May Eating Produce Diarrhoea?

The time between consuming the problematic food and developing diarrhea might range from a few hours to a few days, depending on the person and the exact food consumed.

3. When I Have Diarrhea, What Should I Eat?

Staying hydrated and eating bland, simple meals like bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast (commonly known as the BRAT diet) are crucial when suffering from diarrhea.

Also read:

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  1. Rodrigues, Paulo Rogério Melo, et al. “Adolescents’ unhealthy eating habits are associated with meal skipping.” Nutrition 42 (2017): 114-120. ↩︎
  2. Schiller, Lawrence R., Darrell S. Pardi, and Joseph H. Sellin. “Chronic diarrhea: diagnosis and management.” Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology 15.2 (2017): 182-193. ↩︎
  3. Farthing, Michael, et al. “Acute diarrhea in adults and children: a global perspective.” Journal of clinical gastroenterology 47.1 (2013): 12-20. ↩︎
  4. Lamberti, Laura M., et al. “Breastfeeding and the risk for diarrhea morbidity and mortality.” BMC public health 11.3 (2011): 1-12. ↩︎
  5. Talley, Nicholas J., et al. “Self-reported diarrhea: what does it mean?.” American Journal of Gastroenterology (Springer Nature) 89.8 (1994). ↩︎
  6. Horwitz, Brenda J., and Robert S. Fisher. “The irritable bowel syndrome.” New England journal of medicine 344.24 (2001): 1846-1850. ↩︎
  7. Fasano, Alessio, and Carlo Catassi. “Celiac disease.” New England Journal of Medicine 367.25 (2012): 2419-2426. ↩︎
  8. Misselwitz, Benjamin, et al. “Lactose malabsorption and intolerance: pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment.” United European gastroenterology journal 1.3 (2013): 151-159. ↩︎
  9. Rao, A. Venketeshwer, et al. “Effect of fiber-rich foods on the composition of intestinal microflora.” Nutrition Research 14.4 (1994): 523-535. ↩︎

Last Updated on by ayeshayusuf


Laveleena Sharma

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