Can Coconut Milk Cause Diarrhea? – 5 Reasons It Can!

Wouldn't it be awful if coconut milk caused diarrhea? Well the truth is that it can!

People often switch over to non-dairy milk alternatives to avoid feeling bloated, cramping, and having diarrhea. Of course there are other reasons, such as if you are a vegan. But if you are, or already have, switched over to coconut milk to avoid diarrhea, it might not be the greatest choice.

Coconut milk is actually considered by some as a high FODMAP product, which means that it has compounds likely to trigger irritable bowel syndrome.

Now you don't have to have irritable bowel syndrome to have diarrhea, but the fact that it is considered a product that might trigger such a problem definitely isn't a good sign.

Types of Coconut Milk

There are different variations of coconut milk, such as that of thick and thin.

Thick coconut milk is made by simply squeezing coconut pulp through a cheesecloth. The process is very simple and rudimentary, which natural health enthusiasts should be a fan of.

Thin coconut milk is made by taking the pulp that has already been squeezed, soaking it in water and then repeating the process.

The difference is that thick coconut milk has a lot more actual coconut milk it it. It is more concentrated and higher in nutrients while thin coconut milk is a more watered down version.

You will hear all sorts of terms being used on the market. "Lite" refers to a thin version of the milk, "whole fat" refers to a thick version, and so on.

One of the main reasons that some people opt for the thinner versions is because they are much lower in fat. Thick coconut milk can range from around a 20-22% fat content while thin ranges between 5-7% generally, with a thick cup of milk proving a whopping 57g of fat.

5 Reasons It Might Cause Diarrhea

#1. Fructose Digestion Problems

As you may know, fructose is a type of sugar, and unfortunately this type of sugar gives many people digestive problems. It is also a cause for diarrhea in fruits like strawberries and grapes.

Fructose malabsorption is a condition, which many people don't even know they have, where fructose isn't easily absorbed by the body, which creates digestive issues. This has to do with how it is metabolized, which is completely different from glucose.

Even people without fructose malabsorption shouldn't eat more than 20-25g of this sugar per sitting.

And unfortunately you can't escape fructose in coconut milk. Even the unsweetened kinds still have a little.

#2. Guar Gum

Guar gum comes from guar beans and is known to cause GI problems in some people, including diarrhea. This is used in some coconut milk products.

It's not dangerous or anything to be concerned about, but some people do have problems digesting it, resulting in frequent trips to the toilet.

If you do think this could possibly be the problem you could always try out a different brand of milk that doesn't have this ingredient.

#3. High In Fat

As mentioned earlier, coconut milk is very high in fat. One cup of raw milk will provide you with about 57g, and of this about 50g is saturated fat (Source: SelfNutritionData).

Diets that are too high in fat are another common cause of diarrhea. This is why people who jump on the keto diet (high in fat) often experience it first-hand.

Fat that isn't absorbed properly goes into the colon and small intestine where it causes more water to be drawn in, resulting in loose and watery stool.

Diets that are too high in fat can also disrupt the healthy balance of bacteria living in your gut, which can lead to diarrhea and other issues.

This is probably something most people don't have to worry about, but if your diet is already extremely high in fats it could tip the scales a bit too much.

#4. Too Much Fiber?

One cup of raw coconut milk has about 5.3 g of dietary fiber, which is about 21% of the daily value you need if on a 2,000 calorie per day diet.

Dairy milk has no fiber at all, so if you substitute coconut milk in for dairy this might make your fiber intake a bit too much for your body to handle that way the rest of your diet is.

Too much fiber like this can cause too much water to be brought into the colon, resulting in watery stool.

#5. Allergies

Having a coconut allergy would be extremely rare. There have been very few cases ever reported so this probably is not the problem.

That said, an allergic reaction could cause symptoms such as upset stomach, bloating and diarrhea. If this is the case you would likely get irritated around the mouth as well and reactions would be noticeable almost instantly.

How To Be Sure Coconut Milk Is The Problem

If you are experiencing diarrhea and suspect coconut milk to be the culprit then the easiest way to go about determining whether or not it really is would be to do an elimination diet.

Basically what you will do here is take the foods/beverages out of your diet that you think might be causing problems, see if the problems go away, and then reintroduce the foods back into your diet one by one to pinpoint the cause. You can find more information about doing this the right way here.

If you find out that the milk is definitely the culprit then you may want to look at the ingredients and see if there are healthier alternatives. Are there any that are lower in sugars, fats, and don't have gum guar? Maybe give those a try.

A Good or Bad Alternative?

There are lots of different milk varieties out there. The whole vegan and animal-rights movement brought on a lot of this, which is a good thing. However, not all alternatives are equal and everything has at least some downsides.

Most people will more than likely be able to enjoy their daily glass of coconut milk without any problems, but there are always going to be those that aren't so lucky. This could be due to other areas of one's diet and the addition of coconut milk providing too much of certain nutrients, or it could be due to some problem like fructose malabsorption where your body just isn't performing up to par in some areas.

Overall coconut milk isn't a bad choice. It might not be as healthy a choice as one would hope, but not too shabby either. Even the most popular alternative to dairy milk, almond milk, can give some people diarrhea.

Often the problem has to do with additives. So give the most raw and natural coconut milk you can find a go and see how that works out.

Nettle Tea and Diarrhea – What to Know

Nettle tea has been used to treat GI tract issues such as diarrhea but it also could potentially cause them as well.

Nettle, Urtica dioica, has a rich history and has been used for thousands of years, both as a medicine and as a source of fiber to make fabrics.

It originates from somewhere in Europe most likely, but has since spread to just about everywhere on earth.

It has been for years, and still is, used for many things such as...

  • For diuretic effects
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Decreasing oxidative stress
  • Treating hay fever
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Balancing cholesterol
  • Lowering blood sugar

... as well as digestive issues like...

  • Dysentery
  • Diarrhea
  • Hemorrhoids

Why It Could Help Treat Diarrhea

Much of the information able to be found on nettle's health benefits comes from medicinal use for thousands of years, rather than from scientific findings.

There is no doubt that a lack of proof exists when it comes it its many claimed benefits.

Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant properties

As a good source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, nettle may be somewhat effective in treating GI problems such as diarrhea, constipation and IBS.

It is also said to be good for gut bacteria and killing harmful parasites or worms in the gut.

But... There Is a Lack of Proof

Of course a lack of hard scientific proof doesn't meant that it doesn't work... It could just mean that it is understudied. 

Side Effects

Nettle is generally considered safe, and even more so when it is brewed into a tea. So you should have nothing to worry about, generally speaking.

That said, there is some information out there that suggests rare side effects like upset stomach, sweating and diarrhea could occur, although very unlikely.

How Much Should You Drink?

Nettle has diuretic effects. What this means is that it helps your body rid itself of sodium and along with this goes water. This is why it is a common natural remedy for kidney health and for simulating proper urination.

Sodium pulls water out of the blood and this can reduce blood pressure, but of course you don't want too much water to leave your system.

You can drink 3-4 cups a day or more, just make sure you are drinking enough water in addition to the tea.

Tea Making Guide

1) Finding Leaves

Most people are probably going to just buy dried nettle leaves online, which is completely fine. 

But if you are able to go out and pick some yourself, make sure to wear gloves and you might also want to pick the stems too, which add flavor and essential oils.

2) Preparing The Leaves

You can make the tea with dried leaves or fresh leaves. So if you've just picked some fresh leaves you are good to go. Or, if you have a bunch of leaves and want to store them for later you can let them dry and store them in a jar.

3) Brewing

It's simple. Boil a cup of water and start out by adding about a tablespoon of nettle leaves. Let that steep for at least 3 minutes and see how you like the strength. More can be added as desired.

Is It Worth Trying?

As already mentioned, there really isn't much hard proof at all that nettle will be effective in the fight against diarrhea. However, you can choose what you want to believe. It has been traditionally used for thousands of years as a medicinal herb to treat many different problems, one of which includes GI issues like diarrhea.

The good thing is that you don't have to worry about any nasty side effects and it is extremely cheap. So it could be worth the try.

And if it doesn't work out as planned, at least you are going to benefit from it in other ways. Nettle is a good source of certain vitamins, calcium, iron and even has a fair amount of protein (Source: NutritionValue.org). Now of course you won't get the full benefit if you are just drinking tea, but you will get some!

And since you are into natural remedies to treat diarrhea, we also suggest taking a look at this list of common foods you can eat that might do the trick.

Sugar-Free Gummy Bears and Diarrhea – Prepare The Toilet!

Have you ever heard stories about sugar-free gummy bears and diarrhea? Or maybe you have even experienced volcanic diarrhea for yourself after eating some…?

Is it just a coincidence that people get diarrhea after eating or is there some truth to this potential wive's tale?

Some say that the growling noise your stomach makes after eating a handful of these delicious little bears are their spirits growling inside you. However, this claim doesn't seem to hold much truth, as you can imagine.... And we just made that up.

Why They Cause Volcanic Diarrhea

No, it has nothing to do with gummy bear spirits or anything like that. It actually has to do with something called Lycasin, which the famous Haribo company (popular candy company that makes gummy bears) uses as a sugar substitute.

What is Lycasin?

It is a trademarked name for what is called maltitol, which is a sugar alcohol that is often found in sugar-free candies, gum and so on.

The Problem With It

Maltitol isn't quite as sweet as sugar, but it is very sweet and is much lower in calories. 

While maltitol has been shown to be relatively safe, it definitely doesn't produce comfortable results when consumed in too high amounts. It goes through the digestive system pretty much untouched because the body does not really know what to do with this foreign and strange looking substance, and this is what causes the problems.

However, this is also the reason substances like this are used as sweeteners for diabetics.... Because the digestion takes longer and isn't as much, which means they won't suddenly spike blood sugar levels.

Studies:

One small scale study tested the effects of 69.5g of maltitol on two health individuals. Both were given this dose orally on an empty stomach and within 3.5 hours both were suffering from diarrhea.

Another larger study took groups of volunteers and gave them different amounts of maltitol for 3 days in a row. Groups that consumed 50 or 60 g of this substance had diarrhea at a rate of 30%

Both of these studies are mentioned on the Toxicology Data Network's website.

Other Sugar Alcohols You Might Want to Avoid

But besides maltitol there are also a bunch of other sugar alcohols that can potentially have the same negative side effects, some of which include…

  • sorbitol
  • isomalt
  • lactitol
  • mannitol
  • xylitol

You may want to avoid these sugar alcohols unless you are severely constipated and looking for the relief of diarrhea.

Sugar alcohols are not all bad though. In fact, some are found naturally in fruits and vegetables. But some are made synthetically and some might be better avoiding.

Diarrhea Seems to Pretty Much Be a Guarantee... If You Read Reviews About It

You can find a fair amount of reviews on Amazon for these sugar-free treats. And you may get a good laugh out of them if you aren't struggling from diarrhea yourself at the moment.

Some rather humorous comments that have been left from customers include things like…

"Were these bears forged in the fires of hell?"

"gastrointestinal trauma is insufficient to keep me from consuming this sweet little bastards"

"About 30 minutes into eating these bears, my thinking went from, "Oh these are just farts, I can hold them," to "Oh dear God not here." I have been a Christian my whole life and this is the test. If there is a God, please help me leave this plane with my dignity intact."

"I ate half of a 6 oz bag I picked up at CVS. They changed the color of the bag. I didn't know. I spent 24 hours in the fetal position on my bathroom floor repeating "please God, why?" I still don't have an answer."

"Bought these after reading the reviews and decided to prank my cousin. It worked like a charm, after eating handfuls he was on the toilet for days. He continued to eat them not knowing they were the cause of his explosive diarrhea. Only when he finished the bag did I decide to reveal my secret."

Based on the reviews it may seem that just about everyone who consumes these candies is bound to get diarrhea. However, there are some people that can enjoy the delicious sweetness without such side effects much better than others.

It's All About Moderation

It all depends on how much you eat. 

If you eat sugar-free gummy bears for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then you more than likely are going to be experiencing explosive diarrhea pretty much continuously throughout the day. But if you just have a small amount of bears here and there, you could very well go about unscathed.

As a rule of thumb some people say that you shouldn't have more than 15 of these gummy bears at a time, but this is just a very general statement. It depends on many things, such as the rest of your diet, how big of a person you are and so on.

Conclusion - To Eat or Not To Eat?

Sugar-free gummy bears like this are becoming more difficult to find, largely because the negative side effects are becoming more and more well known. However it is still possible to buy some. And if you do, just be sure to start off slowly and see how much your body can take. Don't go down the whole bag all at once. You might really regret it and you might have to buy new toilet afterwards.

But on a positive not, on the Cargill foods index sugar alcohols like that found in sugar-free sweeteners is listed as something that can promote growth of good bacteria in the gut, which can improve overall health. This is different from non-nutritive "zero calorie" sweeteners like Splenda and even stevia, which can hurt the balance of gut bacteria. 

Sugar-free sweeteners also don't rot your teeth!

Can Ketosis Cause Diarrhea? – No, But Kinda [Explained]

Is it true that ketosis can cause diarrhea? Well... It is somewhat true but not entirely. While the state of ketosis itself will not cause diarrhea, a ketogenic diet can.

Keto diets are so well known for causing diarrhea that people have even coined the term "keto diarrhea" to refer to it. So if you are on a ketogenic diet and having frequent volcanic eruptions in the toilet, don't worry, you are not alone.

Ketosis Explained:

Ketosis is a metabolic state where the body, instead of using glucose for energy as it normally would, uses ketone bodies in the blood which come from the breakdown of fats.

This state can be achieved by a keto diet, which is extremely low in carbs and high in fat. Essentially what you are doing is starving your body of carbs and forcing it to burn fat, which is said to provide a more steady and smooth form of energy along with other benefits.

Why Keto Diets Can Lead to Diarrhea

Keto diarrhea has nothing to do with ketosis and your body burning fat for energy, but instead comes from the diet that brings about this process.

There are many reasons such a diet could bring about frequent trips to the toilet, some of the more common reasons include...

Reason #1 - Low In Fiber

Too much fiber can cause diarrhea but not enough fiber can also be the cause. As with anything, you want a healthy balance.

Soluble fiber absorbs excess water and helps thicken loose stool. It turns into a gel-like substance and makes bowel movements much more healthy and normal.

Unfortunately fiber is a carbohydrate (although no nutritional value) and with a keto diet you are much less likely to get adequate amounts of fiber, depending on how you formulate your diet of course. 

*Too much or too little fiber is by far one of the most common causes of diarrhea.

Reason #2 - High In Fat

The big fat intake that keto dieters have could also be the problem. Changing your diet from "normal" to keto and increasing your fat intake like this can take some time for your body to adjust to.

Enzymes that digest fat might not be able to handle it all and this can cause extra fat to be in your stool, which makes it looser. When fat goes un-absorbed and passes into the small intestines and colon, it causes more water to be pulled in.

The GI tract may be able to adjust to the higher level of fats passing throughout your body, but for some people this side effect may never go away.

Reason #3 - Sugar Alcohols Could Be to Blame

Keto diets can be hard to stick to, and some may find comfort consuming sugar-free beverages and candies. But these may not be good choices.

Sugar-free food and drinks often contain sugar alcohols like xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol and lactitol which give off a sweet flavor, but unfortunately can upset the GI tract.

Sorbitol is the most well known to cause side effects like gas, bloating and diarrhea. According to a 2006 study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, the main reason for diarrhea after consuming too much sorbitol is malabsorbance of the substance.

Reason #4 - Too Much Protein

We know you might want to lose weight and build big muscles at the same time, but having too high of a protein intake can lead to such an unwanted side effect such as diarrhea.

Some sources say that you should keep your protein intake about about 10-20% of your daily energy need. You want to keep it at moderate levels.

Eating high amounts of protein from dairy sources, fried foods and protein shakes are sources you might want to try to avoid because these are well known to cause diarrhea in many individuals.

A high protein diet coupled with the fact that you are eating very low fiber from carbs can really increase the risk.

Constipation Is Another Common Side Effect

Believe it or not, constipation is also another common side effect of a keto diet. It may seem strange that you could have side effects on both sides of the spectrum, but it is possible.

The low fiber intake that commonly comes with a keto diet would be a common culprit if you are experiencing such.

But if you do things the right way you can have a well "balanced" keto diet without these problems.

"Well-Formulated" Keto Diets Do Not Cause Diarrhea

Getting Fiber:

The main problem that people have is with fiber. They don't get enough of it and this is because getting enough can be tricky. 

Of course the whole point of this diet is to get into ketosis, and in order for you to do this you have to eat very little carbs.

The solution: Get your fiber from nuts, seeds, leafy greens, broccoli, etc. These are good sources of fiber but don't have massive amounts of carbs.

Dairy Might Be Worth Avoiding:

As you already know, diary is a common cause of diarrhea. You may want to try removing some of the cheese you eat and see if that makes a difference, even if you are not lactose intolerant.

Ease Into It:

Another good piece of advice is to slowly get into a keto diet. Slowly add fat and take away carbs. This way your body can get used to it and build up tolerance if it needs to.

What Works for One Person Might Not Work for You

We are all different and just because one person's keto diet might work perfectly for them, it might cause you to have volcanic diarrhea.

You have to find what works best for your body. Maybe you need more fiber, or maybe not so much. Maybe you can't handle all that protein. Who knows...

So find what works. And if you can't find anything that works and still have diarrhea then it is probably time to quit and go back to a diet that does work for you.

Maybe having diarrhea helps you reach your goal of losing weight, but it is not a healthy way to go about it and achieving ketosis is definitely not worth it if you have this problem constantly. Diarrhea leads to a loss of hydration and nutrition which can impact your health in every way imaginable.

It Also Might Not Be The Keto Diet That Is To Blame

Even if you just switched to a keto diet and just started experiencing diarrhea, it might not be the keto diet's fault. 

Switching diets like this more than likely means that you added new foods to what you eat and/or more of certain foods. It is possible that you have an allergy or intolerance which could be causing the problem. If this is possible, you are going to want to try an elimination diet to narrow down the cause, or see a doctor if it is rather serious.

Is It True That Splenda Kills Gut Bacteria? – What You Should Know

While it might not be completely true that Splenda kills gut bacteria, consuming such on a regular basis will lead to less "good" bacteria residing in the gut which can have negative consequences, which is the reason we listed it as a "food to avoid" in our Foods for Gut Flora post.

It's a cheap alternative to sugar, many times sweeter, and often called a "no calorie" sweetener (although not completely true), but the downsides to ingesting such may make it not worth mixing in with your morning cup of coffee in the first place.

*Natural 0 cal sweeteners like Stevia might also not be such a good choice.

Artificial sweeteners have been getting a really bad rap lately. With the trend in healthy, organic eating, synthetic food products and sweeteners like Splenda, Equal, Sweet N Low, etc. have been taking a hit.

The truth is out and it makes complete sense. Splenda and other similar sweeteners confuse the body and throw things out of wack. Humans have evolved without any sort of Splenda-like substance for millions of years so it's no wonder that consumption of such comes with some negatives, such as gut bacteria being altered in a way that is not good.

What Exactly Is Splenda?

Splenda is not a type of artificial sweetener, but rather a brand name for a sucralose-based artificial sweetener manufactured by the Tate & Lyle company. 

The Tate & Lyle company along with researchers at two different universities in England discovered the sucralose substance in 1976.

Sucralose Explained:

It's zero calorie sweetener that our bodies don't recognize and therefore it passes through our systems without being absorbed.

*Note: Splenda also contains dextrose and maltodextrin, which do contain a small amount of calories.

The process of making sucralose actually starts with table sugar. Regular old sugar is then is restructured on a molecular level, the three hydrogen-oxygen groups being replaced with three chlorine groups. The result = a stable sweetener that is around 600x sweeter! and less healthy!

Yes... It CAN Affect Your Gut Bacteria

Processed foods are known to cause gut problems, often from a result of being unhealthy to your gut bacteria, and Splenda is about as processed as it gets.

"Processed" is a loosely used term to describe foods that have been everything from canned or frozen, to being altered on a molecular level like Splenda.

Proof:

A 2018 study found that many non-nutritive sweeteners alter gut bacteria by having a bacteriostatic effect, inhibiting growth. Now this could be seen as a good thing when it comes to harmful bacteria like E. coli, but not so good with "good" bacteria that reside in your gut and are important during digestion.

Another study that was done in 2008 and published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health found that consumption of Splenda lead to both a reduction in good fecal bacteria and an increased fecal pH, both of which are adverse side effects.

And apparently a pretty small amount can have a measurable effect. According to an article on CNBC, bacteria found in the digestive system can become toxic after being exposed to only 1 mg per milliliter of sucralose and other artificial sweeteners. 

It might not "kill" the gut bacteria, but if not that it can at least inhibit growth, which leads to lower amounts in the end anyhow.

Why This Is a Problem

Gut health is incredibly important and unfortunately something that is often overlooked. It plays a big role in things like...

  • Digestion
  • Food fermentation
  • Immune cell development 
  • Enteric nervous system regulation

... and an unhealthy gut can lead to unwanted side effects such as...

  • Weight gain
  • Acne, eczema and other skin issues
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Gas and bloating
  • Food allergies and sensitivities
  • and more...

Got a problem with acne? I bet you never thought about your gut health.

Depressed? Yes, believe it or not this could be due to an unhealthy gut.

Do your knees hurt? This could also be a gut problem too.

The gut is important and unfortunately Splenda isn't a friend of it. The gut doesn't really know how to react to this foreign substance and it leads to confusion.

Other Potential Side Effects of Splenda

  • It Could Cause Liver Damage
    • Regular ingestion has shown to lead to toxic effects on the liver in rats.
  • Increases Chances of Type 2 Diabetes
    • Using sucralose as a sugar substitute may not be such a good idea if trying to avoid type 2 diabetes. Consumption has been shown to alter glucose, insulin, and glucagon-like peptide-1 levels and responses, which raise the risk of such a disease.
  • More Inflammation
    • Sucralose consumption has also been shown to increase inflammation on a cellular level.

Is It Really Worth The "0" Calorie Benefit?

Who reading this actually likes the taste of Splenda? Probably no one. 

Most people who use this sugar substitute do so because they are looking for a zero calorie alternative. And (although not zero calories) Splenda happens to be one of those cheap and "safe" alternatives.

*Note: Splenda was approved by the FDA with very little evidence of its safety for human consumption. For those consuming it on a daily basis for years, there is no telling what side effects it may lead to.

It Might Cause Weight Gain

Using Splenda because it is a "no calorie" sweetener? 

You might want to stop. The alterations it can lead to in your gut bacteria can just defeat the purpose and lead to weight gain, among other unhealthy side effects of course.

It Might Increase Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Using this because you have type 2 diabetes or are at risk of developing such?

We discussed above how Splenda can actually increase the risk.

So What's The Point?

Of course there are downsides to anything, including raw/natural sugar, but it seems that a synthetic alternative like Splenda might be the worse choice.

Humans have been eating sugar for millions of years, in which fruits have high amounts of. While the bananas, grapes, oranges and so on weren't always as rich and nutritious (and high in sugar) as they are today, they have always had sugar and the human body has learned to deal it. In fact, very little sugar even makes it to the end of the digestive tract, where the gut bacteria live, unlike Splenda that makes it's way through without the body knowing what to do with it.

High amounts of sugar have also been shown to have negative effects however. So moderation is key.

Can Jalapenos Cause Diarrhea? – Don’t Eat Before Reading!

It is true that jalapenos can cause diarrhea, and it is all due to one particular substance that they contain.

Maybe you have experienced volcanic diarrhea for yourself after the consumption of some jalapeno-containing salsa or maybe you have just heard stories about people experiencing explosive poops after eating them.

They are a tasty treat and us humans love our spicy foods, but unfortunately they do have some side effects, which include things like...

  • Burning sensation in mouth and stomach
  • Bloating
  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea

The jalapeno is a species of the Capsicum annuum family and is a type of chilli pepper. It ranges in "spiciness" from 3,500 - 8,000 Scoville heat units and this varies a lot depending on how ripe it is when consumed. Most commonly jalapenos are eaten when green, but can also be eaten when more fully ripened in a red, orange or yellow state.

They have a rich history of cultivation and have been used by the Aztecs prior to the Spanish conquest, dating back thousands of years.

* Fun fact: Did you know that humans are the only species that eat spicy foods like jalapenos because they like to? The spice that these peppers possess are supposed to deter consumption.

They Can Cause Diarrhea and Here Is Why...

If you are a big fan of spicy food then you probably know darn well that eating too much spice can send you running to the bathroom at abnormally frequent rates.

There are different types of spices that foods have, but the most common comes from capsaicin, which is the spicy substance that is in peppers like jalapenos. This substance burns the body inside and out, and besides being consumed for pleasure it is also used in self defense sprays like mace and pepper stray for its ability to inflict stinging pain.

This same capsaicin substance is also contained in other peppers of the Capsicum family, at varying levels. Others that have this same substance include...

  • Habanero peppers
  • Banana peppers
  • Serrano peppers
  • And more

*Bell peppers are the only member of this family that don't produce the substance.

Why It Causes Diarrhea..

Capsaicin binds to TRPV1 receptors and activates them. These receptors then give off the signal of pain to the brain, so that you then experience the pain that comes with the spiciness, which might be a good or bad thing depending on if you just ate a delicious chip dipped in salsa or just got sprayed by police officers with pepper spray.

These receptors are all throughout your body and in the intestines they can make your GI system cramp up, leading immediate pooping and volcanic diarrhea.

Any Other Possible Reasons for Diarrhea?

Other than jalapenos containing the spicy capsaisin substance there really isn't much other reason for them to cause diarrhea.

One cup of sliced jalapenos only contains 2.5g of fiber according to the USDA and high amounts of fiber are a common cause of diarrhea. But this amount is pretty low so it rules that out.

They aren't high in fat, high in fructose or other common causes either. 

So really the capsaisin is by far the main cause and there are not any other likely reasons to get diarrhea from consumption other than from the effects caused by this substance.

You Are 92% More Likely To Have Diarrhea If You Eat Spicy Foods

A 2013 study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology found that people who eat spicy foods 10 times or more per week are 92% more likely to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, which include diarrhea.

In this study they looked into the IBS causing ability of peppers, curry, ginger, cinnamon and turmeric.

While this doesn't mean you are 92% more likely to get diarrhea if you eat jalapenos more than 10 times a week in particular and while this study wasn't of the best quality, it goes to show that spicy foods have a profound impact on diarrhea.

Why Diarrhea Caused by Jalapenos Can Be The Worst..

There are lots of causes of diarrhea out there. That caused by the spicy capsaisin substance that jalapenos possess is just one of many.

Fiber is another very common cause, as mentioned earlier. Eating too much fiber can cause your colon to bring in too much water, leading to frequent runny/loose stools, which would probably be the case if you experience diarrhea after eating something like celery.

But jalapeno caused diarrhea can be the worst...

Why?

Well... Because the capsaisin can burn anywhere in your body, including your anus. So not only may you be experience frequent watery poops after eating jalapenos, but they also may burn as they exit your body, which wouldn't happen if it were just diarrhea caused by too much fiber.

How to Eat Jalapenos and NOT Get Diarrhea

It's a pretty well known hack that drinking milk while eating spicy peppers can decrease the spiciness.

This is true and the reason is because, on a chemical level, their are molecules contained in mild that neutralize the capsaicin molecules.

Milk and products derived from milk contain what is called casein protein. These nonpolar molecules are able to surround the capsaicin molecules and wash them away, "in the same way that soap washes away grease" (source: acs.org).

Now the effectiveness of this is questionable. While it does definitely have some proven benefit, you aren't going to be able to eat peppers endlessly without effect.

Just be smart about it. If you have a business presentation to give after lunch then it may not be the best idea to down a bag of torilla chips with some spicy jalapeno salsa, unless you know you can handle it.

Does Stevia Affect Gut Bacteria? – What You Need to Know

Yes, it is true that Stevia does indeed affect gut bacteria. But the real question is how does it affect it and how much?

Does this mean you should stop mixing in Stevia with your coffee or tea in the morning? Should you throw out your Stevia and go pick up some raw sugar from the supermarket instead?

In this article we're going to take a better look at the real effect Stevia has on gut bacteria.

Stevia is made from the Stevia rebaudiana plant, which is native to South America and has been used for more than 1,500 years (says some sources). It is natural source of extreme sweetness and 0 calories, which sounds pretty awesome right?

I mean, who doesn't want a natural 0 calorie sweetener? That sounds like the holy grail, to be able to sweeten food and beverages without adding any calories. It's like you get all the sweet goodness without all of the bad side effects, or so you would think. And it is around 200-400 times sweeter than table sugar!

However, Stevia isn't all rainbows and unicorns. The effect it has on gut bacteria makes it not the healthy choice that everyone believes this.

Studies Show It Kills Good Bacteria

2014 study published in Letters of Applied Microbiology tested the sweetening compounds contained in stevia against 6 different strains of Lactobacillus reuteri and found that they inhibited the growth of all of them.

Now this is just one type of bacteria, but it also is one of the most notable good bacteria in your gut and has many benefits, which is why you often see it in probiotics and why it is found in high concentrations in breast milk.

Lactobacillus reuteri strains have been shown to inhibit pathogenic microbes and also help reduce inflammation, making them protectors of the immune system and overall health.

So this study showing that these particular strains of bacteria have been inhibited by Stevia is nothing to be taken lightly.

A more recent study published in 2018 in the PLOS One journal found that non-nutritive sweeteners, such as stevia, alter the microbiota in the gut by having a bacteriostatic effect. What this means is that they inhibit bacterial growth.

This study showed that they had this type of effect on intestinal baceria, E. coli, and gut bacteria from the phyla Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. So not only can inhibit the growth of good bacteria, but also harmful bacteria like E. coli.

Other Side Effects

If you have ever consumed Stevia you may have noticed symptoms such as…

  • Bloating 
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea

Not everyone experiences such symptoms, but Stevia has been known to irritate the stomach and cause such unwanted side effects.

It can also potentially lead to a "leaky gut", which often comes from overly-processed foods that the body doesn't really see as being food. What happens here is the Stevia doesn't get digested properly and irritates the gut, which can eventually lead to a weakened lining and some of the food particles leaking into the bloodstream.

Stevia... It Might Not Be The Healthiest Choice

Stevia it is often marketed as being a healthy natural alternative to sugar, but as you can see it is probably not as healthy as you have thought.

100% Natural? Not Really...

With Stevia being sold under brand names like Stevia In The Raw, it sounds like some raw natural sweetener. However, this name is misleading to say the least.

Normal Stevia products that you buy at the local superstore are not "raw". The leaves of the Stevia plant are processed using ethanol and the 2 compounds responsible for the intense sweetness that Stevia provides,  stevioside and rebaudioside A,  are extracted.

So no... it is not 100% natural nor is it raw. The compounds that are responsible for the sweet taste are natural, but calling it all 100% natural is misleading.

Is Getting 0 Calories Really Worth It?

One study found that people who substitute sugary drinks for drinks sweetened with stevia are more likely to eat more sugar at other points in the day.

In other words, if you consume Stevia to avoid eating sugar, at some point in the day you are probably going to consume more sugar to make up for the deficit brought on by your consumption of Stevia. Now of course if you are disciplined and well aware of the food you are eating, you can avoid this, but most people sweetening their foods/beverages with Stevia for health reasons probably don't pay that close attention.

Interesting right? Many of those using this 0 calories sweetener to avoid the calories just end up eating more calories from some other source of sugar.

And if this is the case then what is the point of it in the first place?

I mean let's be honest here, Stevia does not taste that great and although it is a powerful sweetener, it leaves a strange taste that not too many people are fond of.

Should You Stop Using Stevia?

Look, every food out there has upsides and downsides. The bottom line here is that, while Stevia does appear to have more downsides than people originally thought, there is much more research needed to really come to a concrete answer on this.

The studies done on this particular subject are limited.

So don't go throwing out all your Stevia in the cup board, just maybe use it a little less.

*If looking to improve your gut flora and overall health, here is a great article on foods good for gut flora.

Do Chia Seeds Make You Poop Excessively? – Why They Can!

Is it true that Chia seeds make you poop? And if so, do they make you poop too much...will you be running to the bathroom every 10 minutes and spending an excessive amount of time on the toilet?

The truth is that, yes, they can make you poop. However, this is best seen as a good thing. It is possible that they can cause diarrhea, which nobody wants to have to deal with, but generally speaking they will be good for digestion and help lead to healthy bowel movements.

And that is probably a relief to hear, right?

We all love our Chia seeds. You can mix them in with yogurt, put them in your smoothies, or even eat Chia seed- filled bread. They are a great addition to many meals and very easy to incorporate into one's diet.

The Chia seed comes from the plant salvia hispanica and have a rich history of consumption. These little guys have supposedly been used by the Mayans and Aztecs of ancient Central America to conjure up supernatural powers, dating back to at least 3500 BC.

Although you probably shouldn't expect to get superpowers after eating them, they can do a great deal for your health, due to being…

  • Packed with nutrients and are low in calories
  • Lots of antioxidants
  • Good source of fiber and protein
  • High in omega-3 fatty acids
  • And more

But yes... They can make you poop. And this is a good thing if you suffer from constipation, but a bad thing if you end up pooping too much.

Let's discuss why they may have such an effect…

4 Reasons They Can Make You Poop

1. High in fiber

Fiber, we all need it for healthy bowel movements, but having too much of it can cause problems.

There are 2 types of fibers out there, insoluble fiber and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is great and all, but this is what can cause diarrhea when consumed in too high amounts.

Chia seeds have about 10g of fiber per 1oz (28.4g). About 83% of their entire carbohydrate content is fiber, and the majority of this fiber is insoluble.

This is absolutely great if you have constipation, but could cause unwanted runny stools for some. The fiber can help bring more water into the intestines and, at times, too darn much of it. In addition to bringing in more water, it also adds bulk to your stool.

We all want fiber but we all want the "right amount" of it. How much should you be getting? This all depends on the total amount of food you eat and what types of food you're eating. It is going to depend and will vary per person.

A very general rule of thumb is to try to get around 14 g of fiber per every 1000 cal of food that you eat.

2. A Good Source of Healthy Fats

According to Healthline, about 75% of the fat in chia seeds is of the omega-3 variety and about 20% is omega-6 fat. Chia seeds happen to be the best source of omega-3 fatty acids that the plant kingdom has to offer.

This is heart healthy fat that is good for you, but if you take in too much of this then diarrhea may be a potential outcome.

Oil supplements such as fish oil and Krill oil are often consumed for their extremely high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are even higher than that of Chia seeds. And guess what…? Fish oil and Krill oil supplements are also known to cause diarrhea.

3. High In Magnesium

The USDA lists them as having 95mg per 1oz. That is a pretty hefty amount. And unfortunately magnesium is known to have a laxative effect when taken in high doses.

Magnesium helps to neutralize stomach acid and move stool faster throughout the intestines.

Now this is something that "probably" won't cause diarrhea for most people, but if your diet is already extremely high in magnesium, consuming Chia seeds could potentially tip the scales a little too much.

4. Allergies

And then of course allergies are also a potential reason for diarrhea after consuming Chia seeds. If this is the case, you will start to notice symptoms pretty much immediately after consumption. These are extremely rare but have still been documented.

Symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and itching around the mouth can occur.

The reason for such a reaction would be due to the proteins contained in Chia seeds, which are actually from protein families that are known to be allergens.

Basically what happens in such a situation is your body's immune system mistakes the foreign proteins as invaders and mounts an attack, although they are harmless.

How Much Should You Eat?

We know that there are some Chia seed fanatics out there that mix this stuff in with just about every meal, but you really don't need much.

About 2 to 3 tablespoons per day is what you should probably limit yourself at.

But again, this is just a very general statement. It depends on the person and what the rest of your diet is looking like.

For reference: 1 ounce is about 2 heaping tablespoons of Chia seeds.

And.. Why They Can Help Diarrhea Too... Yes That's Right

Although consuming Chia seeds "can" cause you to poop a little bit too much, they also can actually help with diarrhea as well.

As mentioned earlier, they contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. While most of the fiber that they contain is insoluble, the soluble fiber is still there… At about a 7:1 ratio. According to some sources this is still enough to allow them to absorb up to 27 times their weight in water (source: WebMD).

The soluble fiber soaks up water and forms a gel-like substance. And as you can imagine, soaking up excess water is good for reducing diarrhea and normalizing bowel movements.

If you are pooping too much then you may want to try eating dry Chia seeds or powder if possible. Some people say that this is the way to do it, and it does make some sense since you want it to absorb as much water as possible in your digestive system.

What to Make of This Information..

So they can make you poop too much, they can help with diarrhea and make you poop less?? Which is it?

There is a lot of talk about what it "can" do, BUT what is it really going to do?

Well... Unfortunately there is no good answer to this question. As already stated above, it will depend on the person and the rest of that person's diet.

Fiber imbalance is by far one of the most common causes of diarrhea. If you are already consuming a diet extremely high in fiber, adding Chia seeds into it may make your fiber intake too much and may cause loose stools. But if you are slightly constipated this can be a good thing. And if you are eating a well-balanced diet you probably won't have any problem adding Chia seeds to the mix.

Although they "can" cause excessive pooping, they probably won't. 

So go out and buy a bag! Add them to your diet. Mix them in with your yogurts and smoothies.

They or a great source of many nutrients, even the micronutrients such as…

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Niacin
  • Thiamine
  • Copper

Can Celery Cause Diarrhea? – Absolutely, Here Is Why

It's healthy, extremely low in calories and great for weight loss, but can celery cause diarrhea?

Celery is a popular health-food. Some people will consume stalks of celery while others will guzzle celery juice for a variety of different reasons. But one thing is for sure, if you are consuming celery you are probably doing it for your health.

It's incredibly low in calories, containing only about 10.2 cal per large stalk and 16.2 per cup when chopped up. This is part of the reason it is so commonly consumed by people trying to lose weight, and of course because it helps fill you up to stop you from eating other high calorie foods.

That's great and all, but doesn't make you poop? Is it going to send you running to the bathroom more frequently than normal?

The answer is… Well… It "can", and the most likely culprit for this is its fiber content.

It's the Fiber That Is Mostly to Blame

Fiber, it provides no nutrition but we all need it in our diets, and unfortunately most of us don't get enough. According to the University of California San Francisco we should be getting 25 - 30 grams per day, but most adults only get about 15 grams.

Eating celery will provide you with both soluble and insoluble fiber. Fiber consists of carbohydrates that cannot be broken down by the digestive system. It provides no real nutritional value, but can be very helpful in digestion.

The fact that celery is low in calories and provides a decent source of fiber is another reason that it is a great choice for weight loss.

The reason fiber is helpful and the reason everyone needs fiber is because it helps keep the digestive process running along smoothly. It helps the colon absorb water and also adds bulk to the stool, which leads to softer and easier-to-pass bowel movements. Not only does this mean much less stressful trips to the bathroom, but it is also much healthier for your body and allows for better nutrient absorption of the food you eat.

HOWEVER... Of course everything you want in moderation, including fiber. Getting too much of this often leads to loose and watery stools, aka diarrhea. And... If you are eating celery like a madman or madwoman, you might be getting too much.

How Much Fiber is in Celery?

Self Nutrition Data lists a medium sized celery stalk (7.5 - 8" long) at 0.6 g of fiber, which is about 3% of the daily value.

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Now that really isn't too much, but of course it all depends on how much you are eating. That is just one medium-sized stalk and if you are getting a lot of fiber elsewhere in your diet could tip the scales a little bit too far.

Couple this fiber content with the fact that there really isn't much else to this food and it is more likely to cause loose stools.

As mentioned, the amount of fiber you can take greatly depends on how much food you are eating total. If you are a sumo wrestler consuming a massive diet, then you will be able to have a very high fiber intake and still maintain healthy bowel movements; yet if you are a marathon runner who doesn't eat all that much, you are not going to be able to consume as much fiber without getting diarrhea.

And then of course you have to account for the fact that everyone is different. Some people's bodies are much more sensitive than others.

To combat this potential cause you can counteract a diet that is too high in fiber with low fiber foods from this list.

Other Potential Reasons for Diarrhea

Overall it definitely seems that if you're getting diarrhea from celery, it is more than likely coming from an intake of fiber that is a little bit too high.

However, there are a couple other things that could be the cause as well, or at least could help perpetuate the condition.

High in water

Celery also has a very high water content, with about 95% of its weight being water. Now there are a few other vegetables and fruits out there, such as cucumbers, that have even higher water content, but overall that is pretty darn high.

Diarrhea happens when you have loose and watery stool… See you can imagine how this could help cause such an effect.

Helps detox

Celery it is also known to help purge the liver, which means that it helps rid the liver of toxins from your body. This will increase the release of urine and can also cause more loose stools as toxins are being excreted.

Consuming celery juice as a way to detox is pretty popular and there have also been reports of diarrhea from people doing such. 

So is it from the high fiber content, the high amount of water, or the detoxing going on that you might get diarrhea?? It's hard to say for sure, but it could be a combination of all 3.

But... Overall It's Good for You

Yes, celery does possess the capability to cause diarrhea, but is it really going to cause it?

For most people the answer is probably not.

Overall celery is a very healthy food and can actually be very beneficial to your gut and overall digestive health.

As mentioned earlier, it provides both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is soluble in water and is broken down by colon bacteria, which results in the production of some energy as well as fatty acids. One of the fatty acids produced is butyrate, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. This is good for IBD which has the side effect of diarrhea among others and overall great for anyone.

The fiber content provided can also help support healthy blood sugar levels.

And besides all of that, celery is also great because it is…

  • Rich in vitamins
  • Has over a dozen antioxidants
  • Lots of anti-inflammatory compounds
  • Good for high cholesterol and high blood pressure
  • Helps cleanse the liver (It's considered a diuretic)

To Eat or Not To Eat?

Or I guess I should also say to drink or not to drink?… Because a lot of people reading this are probably wondering if consuming celery juice is going to lead to diarrhea.

For most people the answer is "to eat" or "to drink". Keep eating pr drinking celery because it is going to be much more beneficial than harmful.

However, if you are one of the few that are getting diarrhea from it, and you are really certain that it is the celery that is to blame, then I would first suggest running an elimination diet just to really make sure that this is the cause. Basically what you would do here is eliminate certain foods from your diet and then reintroduce them back into your diet, all the while observing the symptoms you are trying to eliminate. You can read more about how to go about an elimination diet here.

Diarrhea is not healthy and if you are experiencing extreme cases of such, you should stop eating celery altogether and it might even be a good idea to consult with a doctor.

Red Wine and Diarrhea – A Cause of This Nasty Condition?

Is it true that red wine can cause diarrhea?

Maybe this is a conclusion you have come to on your own after having a few glasses and experiencing such or maybe it is just something you heard from someone else.... it doesn't really matter. 

What does matter is whether or not red wine and diarrhea are linked. 

I bet you are reading this saying PLEASE.... LET THE ANSWER BE NOOO... because of course you don't want to give up your red wine. Then what would you do?

Well... hopefully the answer isn't as bad as you may think. Red wine can indeed cause diarrhea but recent studies also show that it can help as well. Confusing.. I know... but you'll see what we mean.

Let's face it... diarrhea is a big pain that no on wants to deal with.

  • Bloating
  • Upset stomach
  • Time wasted on the toilet
  • Day plans messed up from all the bathroom visits

... if you have diarrhea it is likely being accompanied by downsides like these.

And... as mentioned... there are a number of ways that red wine can lead to all of this.

8 Ways Wine Can Cause Diarrhea

When you drink wine it starts getting absorbed as soon as you drink it. It doesn't have to go through the whole digestion process. Some is absorbed right in the stomach and then it makes it's way to the bloodstream, which is why you can feel effects so fast, depending on how empty your stomach is or course.

The alcohol then moves on to the small intestine and what isn't absorbed there moves to the large intestine.

Through this process there are a number of ways that diarrhea can result... here are 8...

*Note: Some of these are not specific to wine but rather alcohol in general, while other are specific to wine.

  1. Too Much Water - The large intestine pulls water out of the stool before the waste exits your body. With alcohol consumption, your large intestine might not function at full efficiency and this could lead to loose and watery bowel movements.
  2. Inflammation - Excessive alcohol consumption can also cause inflammation, in the digestive tract as well as throughout the whole body. The increased inflammation in the digestive tract is likely due to increased acid production in the stomach that can be the result of drinking. 
  3. Irritation - By means of inflammation and other ways, alcohol can irritate the intestines and impair their function. This can speed up digestion which means your foods aren't being processed properly and can lead to diarrhea.
  4. Gut Bacteria - You've probably heard that pouring alcohol on an open wound can stop infection. This is true and ethanol (the alcohol in wine, vodka, etc) is actually used in medical wipes, hand sanitizers, etc. The problem is that it can disrupt your gut bacteria balance and this plays a big role in proper digestion.
  5. Lots of Tannins - Diarrhea could also be caused by the tannins in wine. These are the bitter-tasting substances that gives it that dry taste, and are also known to have the potential to cause an upset stomach. They are abundant in the skins of grapes in which most wine is made from.
  6. Histamine Intolerance - Histamine is important for many bodily functions, and plays an important role in the communication of your brain to your digestive system. But... you can have too much of it. An intolerance to this means that you have developed too much histamine and this can cause stomach issues and diarrhea. Red wine is particularly high in histamine and can lead to such complications.
  7. Sulfite Allergies - Sulfites occur naturally in the process of wine-making and are important for preservation. However, they can cause allergic-like reactions that cause rashes, hives, nausea, vomiting and of course diarrhea.
  8. Fructose Content - While this isn't likely to cause diarrhea because wine generally has very low amounts, it is worth mentioning. Fructose is difficult to digest and large amounts of this sugar can cause issues, like that of you running to the toilet more frequently than normal. Sweeter wines contain more fructose and those that suffer from fructose malabsorption should avoid them.

Often times people likely experience diarrhea after drinking wine due to a combination of those listed above.

But... Wine Might Actually Be Good for Your Gut!

That's right!

This is what you have been wanting to hear... wine is actually good as well.

More recent studies have been conducted and show that wine, particularly red wine, has a prebiotic effect. This just means that it promotes the growth of good gut bacteria.

Red wine made from grapes is high in bio-active compounds called polyphenols, which besides promoting good gut bacteria, also lead to increased antimicrobial activity against bad bacteria.

Six separate studies came to this same conclusion... that red wine polyphenols benefit gut bacteria according to a review in the Food Research International journal.

One of the studies that was mentioned in the review came from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In this particular study there were 10 healthy volunteers that consumed red wine on a daily basis. After consumption for 4 weeks there were significant changes in gut microbiota found. Seven different types of bacteria showed large increases and along with this they also fount decreases in blood pressure, triglyceride levels, cholesterol.

Why This Is So Important

Gut bacteria plays a very important role in digestion. Without a healthy gut microbiota your digestion would seriously suffer and diarrhea as well as constipation would be much more frequent.

But besides that... a healthy gut microbiota is important for overall health. It also effects other bodily systems such as the immune system, which in-turn impacts a lot more.

There is "good" gut bacteria that is associated with positive health changes and there is "bad" gut bacteria that is associated with negative health changes. Red wine is shown to increase the "good".

So What Should You Do...Stop Drinking or Drink More?

Our bodies all differ in the way we react to certain substances. Some people may experience mild diarrhea while others have more severe experiences... and most people won't have any negative experiences at all.

If you do believe red wine is causing diarrhea a good way to make sure of this would be to do an elimination diet, which is basically when you eliminate foods/beverages from your diet and reintroduce them back in, all the while keeping a close eye on your symptoms. You can read more about how to do this here.

If you are positive that it is the cause then you are either going to want to discontinue drinking or try other varieties, preferably ones that are less sweet. It may also be beneficial to change other parts of your diet and eat foods that are less likely to cause diarrhea.