Why Spicy Foods Can Cause Diarrhea


Whether you're eating Mexican, Indian, or Cajun food, or just enjoying tasty buffalo wings during a big game, spicy food is a popular delicacy for many. But it's no fun at all when, due to spicy food, some of us run to the bathroom a few hours later with diarrhea.

But why does this happen? In this article, we will discuss why you sometimes have diarrhea after eating spicy foods and what you can do to prevent it.

How spicy foods cause diarrhea

Sometimes people think that this unpleasant experience could mean that something is wrong with their digestive tract. However, the body's reaction to spicy food is completely normal. It's just a sign that your body is working hard to protect itself from potential harm.

Foods made with hot spices like cayenne pepper or chili peppers contain a powerful ingredient known as capsaicin . This ingredient can irritate the skin and other tissues. When you eat hot peppers or salsa, capsaicin causes a burning sensation.

Capsaicin and stomach

Capsaicin can irritate the lining of the stomach or intestines. Some people can handle this. But if you have a more sensitive intestine, it often causes diarrhea.

Digestion is a very organized process that begins with the first bite until the moment we go to the bathroom to defecate. Along the way, food passes through the intestines, which are made up of different parts. Each part has important work to do.

When we eat capsaicin, it stimulates a protein known as the vanilloid receptor 1 (also known as TRPV1 or capsaicin receptor). This protein tells our brain that we are burning from the inside out.

The brain tries to figure out what is going on and begins to release its own pain blockers known as endorphins. This is why you feel happy when you eat spicy foods. That's why the sharper you eat, the more you'll want them.

To protect your body from what it perceives as damage, the small intestine rapidly pushes capsaicin through the intestines. When food reaches the colon, digestion generally slows down and the colon absorbs water. But even there, capsaicin activates the same receptors. As a defense, the colon speeds up the entire process and makes us run to the bathroom with diarrhea.

As a parting gift, people sometimes feel like their anus is on fire. This is because there are more of these pain receptors in the anus.


The capsaicin in spicy foods irritates pain receptors in the digestive tract. To protect itself, the intestines speed up to quickly remove capsaicin. This leads to diarrhea.

When to see a doctor

Diarrhea caused by hot or spicy foods usually goes away in a day or two. In most cases, relaxing your intestines and eating non-spicy foods for several days will help you get through the worst.

In other words, you probably don't need to see a doctor. It is also important to maintain a high level of hydration (drink plenty of water) and avoid caffeinated beverages, which can make diarrhea worse.

However, if your symptoms do not improve after a day or two, or if they worsen and / or lead to signs of dehydration, see your doctor.


If you often have diarrhea when you eat hot or spicy foods, learn to recognize and avoid foods that irritate you. But if you still want to enjoy them, here are some tricks you can try:

  • Eat spicy foods with a little dairy. This helps eliminate the spicy sensation.
  • Eat something sweet with spicy foods. This reduces or neutralizes the spice.
  • Get ready for the morning after with some hypoallergenic wipes on hand. They will help you a lot if you have diarrhea.


Some people's intestines are sensitive to spicy foods. Too much spicy food can cause diarrhea. If this applies to you, your digestive system is fine. It's just your body's way of protecting itself from potential harm.

Get the word of drug information

At Super Bowl parties or during competitions, sometimes you just need to eat spicy food. However, there is a reason why your friend can eat these super hot wings without any problem, while you spend the whole day in the bathroom. It all comes down to your TRVP1 receptors in the small and large intestine .

Take steps to prevent diarrhea by recognizing the foods that trigger your trigger, learning how to avoid them, and finding ways to enjoy spicy foods without getting into trouble in the bathroom.

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