New Considerations for a Common Medical Problem Diarrhea after meals: A possible form of Unrecognized Maldigestion
People often complain of increased bowel movements, which are sometimes urgent or watery, and may occur at the most inconvenient times: when under major stress such as giving a talk, taking an exam, or if concerned about a loved one in the ER. However, diarrhea frequently occurs after eating a specific food or after eating something different and not while under stress at all. Since the cause is not clearly understood, physicians have labeled this condition as “irritable bowel syndrome” or “spastic colon”, particularly when routine tests such as a colonoscopy or standard blood tests are normal. Patients are told “nothing is wrong”, or “you have spastic colon”, further investigation ceases, and patients are given medications to slow down the intestinal motility. These drugs, unfortunately, fall short of helping the patient. In fact, because of the existence of this “well established” diagnosis, most physicians feel that no further testing is necessary at all and encourage the patient to reduce their stress, a most unsatisfactory message for people who are experiencing the problem.