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  #1  
Old 12-14-2006, 09:12 AM
Eonwe Eonwe is offline
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Upset stomach and diarrhea shortly after eating. What's coming out?

I'm sure this has been asked and answered before here, but it's amazing how hard it is to focus a search on diarrhea.

So, let's say I have dinner; something really rich and creamy or otherwise unsettling. A half hour after, maybe, my stomach starts to churn, and I have to head to the bathroom.

Diarrhea ensues. Liquid poop. Now, my question is, what exactly does this represent? Is it the breakfast I had that morning? Is it the guilty dinner? It seems that 1/2 hour is an awfuly short time for food to make it through the digestive track.

What's the straight dope on diarrhea?
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  #2  
Old 12-14-2006, 09:32 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is online now
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Gastrocolic reflex
Quote:
This is the reflex system that tells the colon to empty when food hits the stomach, or even in anticipation of a meal. This is why baby poops every time he nurses. It is also why kids with constipation complain of their belly aches right around mealtime.
It takes anywhere from 10 to 24 hours for food to pass through the entire digestive system.* First the food moves slowly through the small intestine to ensure that all possible nutrients are removed, i.e.digested and absorbed through the cell walls. Then the remaining mass moves slowly through the large intestine to remove all the water, so that the body is properly hydrated and so the feces is firm when it is expelled.

There are a million possible reasons for this process to get disrupted. When the signal to evacuate is sent too early, the undigested material probably has not had time to be properly dehydrated and comes out watery. This mass is likely a mixture of foods from previous meals, not a reliable marker to a particular food eaten or time of meal.

And yes, we've answered this many times before.


*Times are approximate, depend on the individual's physiology, any possible intestinal diseases or syndromes, and the amount, type, and frequency of food eaten. IOW, generalizations are tough.
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  #3  
Old 12-14-2006, 10:04 AM
mlees mlees is offline
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For me, foods rich in oils or saturated fats have the same unpleasant effect on my digestion system.

Actually, it's more like I have a saturated fat tolerance level. If I allow my body to accumulate enough fats too quickly, thar she blows. But if I went on a proper diet, I never reach that point, because my body can handle the level of intake and dispose of the fats at a more normal, and comfortable, rate.

But to answer the OP's question more directly, I think that in my case, there may be a trace of those fats that I just injested coming out 30 minutes later, but the majority of the mess is older meals.
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  #4  
Old 12-14-2006, 10:30 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlees
But to answer the OP's question more directly, I think that in my case, there may be a trace of those fats that I just injested coming out 30 minutes later, but the majority of the mess is older meals.
Since foods normally take at least an hour to get out of the stomach, this is unlikely.
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  #5  
Old 12-14-2006, 10:38 AM
Bippy the Beardless Bippy the Beardless is offline
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Is there any positive effect of this auto pooping after a dodgy meal? As it isn't getting rid of any of the stuff you just ingested and is only getting rid of earlier and most likely safe food?
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  #6  
Old 12-14-2006, 11:07 AM
mlees mlees is offline
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Well, anecdotely, when you eat something that has "gone bad" and get food poisoning, it can happen fairly quickly. (And the stuff comes out both ends, in that case.)

In my case, the fatty foods I ate aren't poison, and they ain't the most benign foods either, but somewhere in between, and my body reacted to the meal I just had.

If I had eaten something about as safe and bland as possible (say, plain bagels), I would not have had my "gut attack".

Quote:
Is there any positive effect of this auto pooping after a dodgy meal? As it isn't getting rid of any of the stuff you just ingested and is only getting rid of earlier and most likely safe food?
There must be, or your body would not have developed that process in the first place.

For example, an urban legend that gets passed around here is that seagulls can't burp. Feed them alca-seltzer, and they die. Assuming that seagulls can't burp, it's because they never needed to develope the ability to do so (at least, until boys with alka-seltzer appeared).

But anyway, if my body has taken the trouble to develope the ability to react in such a manner to food I ate, then I am gonna assume that it serves a purpose vis-a-vis the food I just ate...
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  #7  
Old 12-14-2006, 11:32 AM
Bippy the Beardless Bippy the Beardless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlees
There must be, or your body would not have developed that process in the first place.

For example, an urban legend that gets passed around here is that seagulls can't burp. Feed them alca-seltzer, and they die. Assuming that seagulls can't burp, it's because they never needed to develope the ability to do so (at least, until boys with alka-seltzer appeared).

But anyway, if my body has taken the trouble to develope the ability to react in such a manner to food I ate, then I am gonna assume that it serves a purpose vis-a-vis the food I just ate...
A reasonable assumption, unless the reaction is a legacy from earlier evolution. Maybe a monkey or lemur could evacuate it's entire digestive system in one go, which would be helpful if something detected as potentially bad had been ingested. There may have been insufficient evolutionary pressure to lose this reaction even if it was no longer useful.
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  #8  
Old 12-14-2006, 12:06 PM
Baracus Baracus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
Since foods normally take at least an hour to get out of the stomach, this is unlikely.
Sure, normally it takes at least an hour, but normally most people don't get the runs right after a meal either. Apparently if the digestive tract is irritated, "peristaltic rush" can be triggered and the contents of the entire small intestine emptied into the colon in just a matter of minutes. Presumably, the stomach can move food out faster as well if it "decides" to and since fats are handled further down the pipe an especially fatty meal might cause it to.
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  #9  
Old 12-14-2006, 03:07 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is online now
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Yeah, I can read that first link off of Google too.

However, I need a firm cite to believe that fats are one of the "harmful irritants" that can trigger a "peristaltic rush". Nor is fat something that one is allergic to.

Even if I could believe that fat content of a meal could trigger a "peristaltic rush" that doesn't change the time factor of the stomach. Unless you are drinking pure liquids, food does not move through the stomach quickly enough to arrive at the small intestine, irritate it, trigger a "peristaltic rush" and evacuate the colon within a half-hour. Whatever is coming out is food from previous meals.

I checked PubMed for cites on "peristaltic rush" and came up with nothing usable. If you have a cite on this from a journal I need to see it. Otherwise I see nothing to contradict the standard notions of the etiology of diarrhea.
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  #10  
Old 12-14-2006, 06:56 PM
Baracus Baracus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
Yeah, I can read that first link off of Google too.

However, I need a firm cite to believe that fats are one of the "harmful irritants" that can trigger a "peristaltic rush". Nor is fat something that one is allergic to.

Even if I could believe that fat content of a meal could trigger a "peristaltic rush" that doesn't change the time factor of the stomach. Unless you are drinking pure liquids, food does not move through the stomach quickly enough to arrive at the small intestine, irritate it, trigger a "peristaltic rush" and evacuate the colon within a half-hour. Whatever is coming out is food from previous meals.

I checked PubMed for cites on "peristaltic rush" and came up with nothing usable. If you have a cite on this from a journal I need to see it. Otherwise I see nothing to contradict the standard notions of the etiology of diarrhea.
Yes, food doesn't normally exit the stomach that quickly, but don't you think it is possible that it could? The only thing preventing it is the pyloric sphincter and involuntary muscles do misbehave on occasion.

Since you know how to use google, feel free to try "rapid gastric emptying" . Granted its a disorder, but goes to show that at least one hour in the stomach is not a hard and fast rule.
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  #11  
Old 12-14-2006, 08:27 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is online now
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Since I went through testing for rapid gastric emptying I happen to know a lot about it. And I've spent more than 20 years studying the digestive tract for personal reasons.

That's how I know that finding a one-sentence reference to a term doesn't mean much unless you understand the digestive system and its workings very well. You can quote the Internet to give a short definition of something you already know, but it works very badly to provide the context and understanding of systems.

There are as many reasons for diarrhea as there are stars on the MGM lot, but unless you have a syndrome that gives you constant, chronic, repeatable symptoms or known damage to the physical tract, the waste that comes out of you half an hour after you eat is from old stuff. I can't say it is never something from your current meal, but the odds are tremendously against it.

As I said before, please give me a cite from a medical journal rather than trying to google terms you don't understand.
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  #12  
Old 12-14-2006, 10:04 PM
elelle elelle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase

There are as many reasons for diarrhea as there are stars on the MGM lot,...
Nothing to add to the scintillating discussion, but, wow, Exapno, you sure know how to trot out a phrase!
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  #13  
Old 12-14-2006, 10:39 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is online now
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Aprreciation at last! Thank you, thank you, thank you.
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  #14  
Old 12-14-2006, 11:03 PM
outlierrn outlierrn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elelle
trot out a phrase!


Trot??? snerk!
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  #15  
Old 12-14-2006, 11:07 PM
outlierrn outlierrn is offline
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Anecdotally I can tell you that I've eaten a big plate of sushi that didn't agree with me, and in less than 2 hours had fishy smelling diarrhea. That's with nothing else in my system to account for the smell, and usually I tolerate sushi just fine.
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  #16  
Old 12-15-2006, 08:48 AM
Bridget Burke Bridget Burke is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outlierrn
Anecdotally I can tell you that I've eaten a big plate of sushi that didn't agree with me, and in less than 2 hours had fishy smelling diarrhea. That's with nothing else in my system to account for the smell, and usually I tolerate sushi just fine.
You were lucky. Things can get much worse When Sushi Goes Bad.
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  #17  
Old 05-09-2012, 02:47 AM
hulsey369 hulsey369 is offline
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Upset Stomach

Oh I feel your pain, most foods upset my tummy especially when I have eaten too much greasy food. Japanese food is a killer approx 4 mins after finishing my dinner at the restaurant I am in the toilet with water like diarrhea, or hot wings from kfc they are also a no no for me and this sucks because I love japanese food and hot wings.
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  #18  
Old 05-09-2012, 03:04 AM
kombatminipig kombatminipig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hulsey369 View Post
Oh I feel your pain, most foods upset my tummy especially when I have eaten too much greasy food. Japanese food is a killer approx 4 mins after finishing my dinner at the restaurant I am in the toilet with water like diarrhea, or hot wings from kfc they are also a no no for me and this sucks because I love japanese food and hot wings.
Just curious...whatever brought you to a six year old thread about diarrhea?
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  #19  
Old 05-09-2012, 04:28 AM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is online now
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Exapno Mapcase was wrong, it can take six years to pass through to your colon. Or factually, s/he probably found the thread on Google and joined. Welcome, hulsey. Reopening old threads is sometimes frowned upon, but we seem to be getting laxer on that front, so let's learn about diarrhea?

But Japanese food? That seems like the most innocuous food ever. For me Mexican food does it, but Indian doesn't even though it can be just as hot. A certain spice? I don't know.
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  #20  
Old 05-09-2012, 04:37 AM
running coach running coach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
Exapno Mapcase was wrong, it can take six years to pass through to your colon. Or factually, s/he probably found the thread on Google and joined. Welcome, hulsey. Reopening old threads is sometimes frowned upon, but we seem to be getting laxer on that front, so let's learn about diarrhea?

But Japanese food? That seems like the most innocuous food ever. For me Mexican food does it, but Indian doesn't even though it can be just as hot. A certain spice? I don't know.
It was probably the laxertive that did it.
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  #21  
Old 07-26-2012, 12:56 PM
navienavnav navienavnav is offline
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The toilet said,
Quote:
All your poops are belong to us.
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  #22  
Old 07-26-2012, 01:00 PM
mlees mlees is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navienavnav View Post
The toilet said,
They're welcome to have it.
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  #23  
Old 07-26-2012, 01:15 PM
Dallas Jones Dallas Jones is offline
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Quote:
or even in anticipation of a meal.
Thanks, I have to poop now.

I hope this isn't 'thread shitting'
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  #24  
Old 07-26-2012, 07:24 PM
CatherineZeta CatherineZeta is offline
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This has nothing to do with rotten or spoiled foods, but ever since I became a vegetarian I have to make a run for the bathroom every morning feeling like I have to poop NOW. It's usually after I eat my breakfast (whole wheat toast with coffee). I don't think anything's wrong with the toast because I eat it at other times of the day without a problem. It's very strange! Maybe something to do with more fiber in my diet?
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  #25  
Old 07-26-2012, 07:59 PM
Thylacine Thylacine is offline
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More likely the coffee, my coffee habits were the first thing they checked on before diagnosing my IBS.
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  #26  
Old 07-26-2012, 09:13 PM
John DiFool John DiFool is online now
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You know what's strange about this zombie thread? (A rather ordinary one at that, which only had 16 posts before it was resurrected) It has received 66, 469 views in 6 years. Comparable threads, in terms of replies, from that time period (and from GQ) only typically got 500-5,000 views. I guess a lot of people Googled "diarrhea", found this thread, and read it.
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  #27  
Old 07-26-2012, 10:35 PM
drewtwo99 drewtwo99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navienavnav View Post
The toilet said,
Most pointless bump of all time? Perhaps. But funny!
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  #28  
Old 07-26-2012, 11:33 PM
johnpost johnpost is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John DiFool View Post
You know what's strange about this zombie thread? (A rather ordinary one at that, which only had 16 posts before it was resurrected) It has received 66, 469 views in 6 years. Comparable threads, in terms of replies, from that time period (and from GQ) only typically got 500-5,000 views. I guess a lot of people Googled "diarrhea", found this thread, and read it.
it's a hot topic.
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  #29  
Old 07-27-2012, 12:19 AM
Darth Panda Darth Panda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kombatminipig View Post
Just curious...whatever brought you to a six year old thread about diarrhea?
He was looking for a thread about six year old diarrhea and this was as close as he could get.

eta: insert fecal necromancy joke here

Last edited by Darth Panda; 07-27-2012 at 12:23 AM..
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  #30  
Old 07-27-2012, 01:00 AM
bobot bobot is offline
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OP, your thread title disgusted me. And immediately after that I realized: you know, I've wondered that same thing!
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  #31  
Old 07-27-2012, 10:35 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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I've gotten peristaltic rushes when I smoked a lot of weed.
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  #32  
Old 03-05-2013, 12:56 AM
rachelmy rachelmy is offline
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drip coffee and/or yesterday's greasy dinner

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thylacine View Post
More likely the coffee, my coffee habits were the first thing they checked on before diagnosing my IBS.
I thought after I ate at Denny's that it was the drip coffee!....because I've gotten the diarrhea pains before from drinking drip coffee, but my boyfriend says no. I did eat a homemade pot roast that was very oily last night, but we had pot roast a couple of weeks ago and didn't get diarrhea. So, it's either the drip coffee or the greasy pot roast. I drink white coffee, white chocolate espressos every day, but get no reaction from that though....?
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  #33  
Old 03-05-2013, 10:39 AM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo Bloom View Post
I've gotten peristaltic rushes when I smoked a lot of weed.
Since this the second or third time this got bumped, I see what I said in the pulled quote.

I have no idea what this means, or what I meant.
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  #34  
Old 03-05-2013, 02:19 PM
control-z control-z is offline
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I can get upset stomach and diarrhea reliably after eating certain foods. My triggers are dairy, chicken, and certain sauces. I love Fettuccine Alfredo but it's tough on my stomach. Last night it was chicken salad on toast with potato chips. In both cases I'm in the bathroom within an hour.
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  #35  
Old 03-05-2013, 02:30 PM
Sateryn76 Sateryn76 is online now
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Mine is processed smoked sausage and cheese. I usually mix it with some pasta sauce and rice. Within the hour, I have the "rush" that's described above.

I have no idea what that would be it. Not any other processed meat, not any other cheese or rice or anything. Just that. Occasionally, I get that after a McDouble, but not always. It must be some kind of fat response.

I'm not gonna lie - sometimes when I'm "slow" (my bowels are all messed up) I'll eat it on purpose.
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  #36  
Old 08-08-2013, 08:12 AM
Forsyt22 Forsyt22 is offline
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Celiac

I had bad diarrhea for about 6 years after eating any kind of meal. Turns out I have celiac. Good thing to get checked for. Doctors couldn't diagnose it for five years. I can tell you within a half hour if any type of food has gluten in it. Very painful and shitty. Literally.
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  #37  
Old 08-11-2013, 11:50 PM
WaterFlows WaterFlows is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlees View Post
They're welcome to have it.
There like yummy we are getting fed around here.
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  #38  
Old 08-11-2013, 11:58 PM
WaterFlows WaterFlows is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hulsey369 View Post
Oh I feel your pain, most foods upset my tummy especially when I have eaten too much greasy food. Japanese food is a killer approx 4 mins after finishing my dinner at the restaurant I am in the toilet with water like diarrhea, or hot wings from kfc they are also a no no for me and this sucks because I love japanese food and hot wings.
At least you don't throw up.
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  #39  
Old 08-12-2013, 01:00 AM
Mijin Mijin is offline
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There must be some degree of "flushing the system" that happens.

When I had food poisoning, it got to a stage where I was essentially just pooping water: no opacity, no viscosity, virtually colourless. I don't think that was just ordinary faeces that hadn't been dried out sufficiently.

(No such thing as TMI in this thread)

Last edited by Mijin; 08-12-2013 at 01:01 AM..
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  #40  
Old 08-12-2013, 12:29 PM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sateryn76 View Post
I'm not gonna lie - sometimes when I'm "slow" (my bowels are all messed up) I'll eat it on purpose.
I will occasionally use maltitol based diabetic candy instead of a laxative ... I have determined that my gut likes to over react to both laxatives and umm, antilaxatives. If I use either one, I get about a week of my gut doing whichever the drug is supposed to do in a day. Nothing like a single dose of exlax and the runs for a week. Hell, even the nice reasonably gentle kaopectate and I am constipated for around 3 or 4 days. Immodium, forget crapping for at least a week. Maltitol, the runs for about 4 hours and that is it.
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