DIARRHEA AFTER SPICY FOOD

DIARRHEA AFTER SPICY FOOD

 

Do you experience diarrhea after spicy food? Why does diarrhea after spicy food happen usually? What are the associated symptoms with diarrhea after spicy food?

Diarrhea is defined as a condition in which a person passes loose or watery stools more than three times in recent 24 hours. Diarrhea is also defined based on the consistency but the frequency and number of times.

Diarrhea can watery or bloody depends on the etiology ranging from benign causes to serious causes. Diarrhea can be associate with other symptoms like nausea, vomiting and cramps, stomach pain and in this case, it is not a worrisome situation usually but, in some cases, it might be associated with other manifestations like blood in stools, chest pain, hypotension and fever.

In such cases immediate medical care should be sought as soon as possible.

What can be causes and risk factors of diarrhea after spicy food? What is the remedy for diarrhea after spicy food?

Contents discussed in the article:

 

Causes of diarrhea after spicy food

Diagnosis

Treatment

Prevention

When to see a doctor?

Takeaway

 

 

Causes of diarrhea after spicy food

Diarrhea can be caused by a number of factors which include allergic reaction to food, food poisoning with the spicy food items. Diarrhea can occur after few hours of having the food or after many hours of food consumption.

These complaints of having diarrhea after spicy food can be attributed to a number of causes ranging from benign to serious. Spicy food causes increased secretion of acid in the stomach resulting in heartburn, indigestion and loose stools. Spicy food has a different chemical composition and can irritate the stomach lining of a non-spicy food eater.

These manifestations can vary ranging from pain that subsidies within minutes to hours, indigestion, and loose stools or diarrhea. Spicy food should be avoided as much as possible if you are irritant to it and should be particularly avoided for dinner. The cause of diarrhea can be attributed to the inflammation of the lining of the gut which results into diarrhea.

Some main causes of diarrhea after spicy food:

 

  1. Inflammation of the gut lining: Spicy food is seen to irritate the lining of stomach and intestines. Spicy foods are with acidic pH than normal foods in the diet. This acidic pH irritates the lining of gut resulting in frequent stools and loose stools. As the spicy food comes down to intestines from stomach, this acidic food has to be neutralized. Thus, in a process to neutralize the acidic food, intestinal cells send water to the lumen to neutralize the spicy and acidic food, which results in loose stools and diarrhea. This water dilutes the acidic pH and results in a near neutral environment inside but in the whole process leading to watery stools. This reaction does not happen in everyone but people with some underlying health or with high sensitivity to spicy food.

 

  1. Food composition of spicy food: Spicy food usually contains a chemical compound known as capsaicin usually found in chili peppers or cayenne peppers. This chemical compound causes the mucosal lining in the mouth to get irritated resulting in burning sensation in mouth and throat. The mouth becomes watery and full of saliva which is secreted in response to the compound found in spicy food. This compound is not broken down as it travels down through the stomach in the process of digestion. Thus, the compound reaches the intestines, irritating the lining of the intestines as well as the lining of the stomach. This irritation leads to a response of water secretion and secretion of other alkaline enzymes. This increases the volume inside the lumen leading to watery stools. These spicy food components travel straight to the anus and rectum thus irritating the distal part of the intestines and resulting in a burning sensation. Usually people having spicy food are seen to encounter such problems.

 

  1. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition also called as “brain in gut”. IBS is a condition in which the there lies a change in intestinal motility, motility and there is hypersensitivity of intestines. There are non-specific symptoms like diarrhea, constipation or both, diffuse pain and bloating. There is a Rome IV criteria to diagnose the condition in which fulfilling the criteria of altered bowel habits for at least 3 months. Lab studies and imaging shows no abnormalities usually. The patient can be relieved of the condition by dietary modifications and symptom-based medications (laxatives, antidiarrheals, antispasmodics). Psychosocial aspects are found to play a role in association with other factors leading to the condition.

Symptoms

  • Cramping
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Reflux
  • Increased urinary frequency
  • Increased urinary urgency

 

  1. Food allergies: Food allergies generally makes a person susceptible to experience diarrhea. These food particles are not well tolerated by the intestinal cells and results in excess secretion of enzymes and other secretions of intestinal cells. This increased secretion leads to overload of volume inside the lumen of intestines, resulting in watery stools or diarrhea. People with sensitivity/ allergy are more prone to intestinal irritation and thus should be more cautious with their diet especially spicy food. These food allergies are usually Ig E mediated and results in pruritis, rash and even to anaphylactic shock.

 

  1. Other disorders: GERD, PUD, indigestion, hyperacidity are some disorders which can result into diarrhea. These disorders individually result into other complications other than diarrhea. GERD or gastro-esophageal reflux disease is a condition in which acid travels back to esophagus and can be treated by a number of dietary and lifestyle modifications as well as some PPIs and antacids.

 PUD or peptic ulcer disease is caused by a number of factors including medicines (NSAIDS) and infections and reflux is a cause as well. Prolonged exposure to medicines and infections and if left untreated can lead to peptic ulcer diseases.

Indigestion can be isolated or may be due to some other GI associated conditions. Indigestion is also known as dyspepsia in medical terms and this condition is marked by discomfort in the abdomen. indigestion can be accompanied by a number of other symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea etc.

Symptoms

  • Burning sensation (from mouth till anus)
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramping

If other symptoms other than these like blood in stools, chest pain, palpitations, fever and when hypotension, these symptoms should be addressed as soon as possible by the medical professional.

 

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is usually made by the history and physical examination and in some cases, imaging might be needed. History includes onset, associated symptoms and history of travel and last meal. A brief physical examination can also help in the process. In case the diarrhea ais associated with some other symptoms suggestive of some underlying disease some lab tests can be run and in some cases colonoscopy an endoscopy may be prescribed by the doctor.

Usually the cause is benign and is diagnosed based on history taking and avoidance and life style modification and other dietary modification can really help the patient get a sigh of relief.

 

Treatment

Treatment usually can be done by the avoidance. Or in certain cases when the spicy food is consumed on occasions, later and during the meal some preventive measures should be taken. In cases where the pain is severe and cannot be managed at home it is better to see a nearby health center. Usually the condition can be treated by medications. But in some cases where the cause of diarrhea in addition to the spicy food is found to be infections as well, appropriate measures should be taken which may involve hospital admission as well.

 

Prevention

Prevention can be made by simple lifestyle and dietary modifications. Even if you want to have the spicy food it is better to have it with dairy products like milk and curd that would neutralize the acidic nature of the spicy food. In addition, eating some amount of sweet food with the spicy food can help in neutralizing the effect of spicy food and thus prevent the irritation of the gut lining.

 

When to see a doctor?

Usually the allergic reaction to the spicy food components is benign and gets away within a day or two with no other symptoms left, unless you don’t have some other underlying condition like IBS or IBD or any other condition. This condition usually does not lead you to a doctor unless the dehydration is severe or the pain is unbearable and in cases where some other alarming symptoms like blood in stools or fever is found along you might need to see a doctor as soon as possible.

 

Takeaway

As discussed already the state of diarrhea caused after eating spicy food is usually benign and does not need any specific intervention expect to avoid the trigger foods and to stay dehydrated in case of some episodes of diarrhea. Preventive measures can be followed following a spicy meal. If the diarrhea and dehydration doesn’t go away within a day or two you might need to a doctor to avoid any further complication.

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Address: 393 University Avenue,Suite 200,Toronto ON MG5 2M2,CANADA

Email: info@MarsoClinic.com

Phone: +1(647)303 0740

All Rights Reserved © By MarsoClinic

Terms of Use