One of the most popular questions we hear from people with gut issues is “if I eat something that doesn’t sit well with me, how long after eating before I feel sick?”

The answer isn’t as straight-forward as you might think! The timing of your reactions depend on how and why food is making you sick. 

Tamara Duker Freeman MS RD CDN does an excellent job answering this question over at FODMAP Everyday:

“…many people who suffer from a chronic digestive problem are pretty good at identifying which food(s) seem to trigger their symptoms. But what they’re less likely to get right is the reason why these foods provoke their symptoms – and how the timing of digestive symptoms can be part of diagnosing the root cause.”

And

“The onset of intestinal gas (especially foul-smelling gas), gas pain, bloating and/or loose stools—especially lighter colored, malodorous or ‘acidic feeling’ stools – in the 2-to-8 hour window following a meal is more likely to be malabsorptive in nature.”

I wish my reactions to food were consistent and repeatable, but they rarely are. Sometimes I react within minutes; sometimes within hours; sometimes not at all. These inconsistent and unpredictable results hinder my ability to identify safe foods and trigger foods. This article helps explain some of what’s occuring in these situations.


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