Bloating, diarrhea, cramping, gas and stomach pain after eating pasta may be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome, also called IBS for short. Many digestive conditions can cause similar symptoms as IBS, which needs to be diagnosed by a medical professional. Common conditions that could cause similar symptoms after eating pasta include food allergies and food intolerances. Pasta contains various ingredients that are considered highly allergic ingredients, such as wheat, soy and eggs.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS is a common digestive condition that affects about 20 percent of the adult American population, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. IBS causes chronic diarrhea or constipation along with stomach pain, cramping and bloating. Symptoms are commonly triggered by stress or eating certain foods. If you have IBS, eating foods that contain gluten may make your symptoms worse. The cause of IBS is not fully understood and does not cause any harm to your digestive system. Most medical professionals believe that IBS is caused by a breakdown in communication between the brain and the nerves in the muscles of the colon.
Pasta products may contain dairy, wheat, soy and eggs, which can all trigger symptoms of IBS. Some pastas are served with a cream sauce that contains milk, fish or nuts. It could be difficult to tell whether your symptoms are the result of IBS or a food allergy without proper testing. An allergy test can determine whether or not you have a food allergy. If you’ve been diagnosed with IBS and you notice that pasta triggers your symptoms, stop eating pasta and see if your symptoms improve.
The primary treatment for IBS is to eliminate foods that cause your symptoms to get worse and reduce stress. Your doctor may recommend an elimination diet to see if your symptoms subside by removing pasta and other foods that contain wheat or gluten. IBS may be treated with medications, such as fiber supplements, over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medications and over-the-counter laxatives. Talk with your doctor before using any medication. Eating at regular times and living a low-stress lifestyle may help improve your symptoms.
Food allergies and intolerances may play a role in your symptoms associated with IBS. Food allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to the proteins in certain foods that trigger a chemical reaction in the body. Food intolerances are the inability of the digestive system to fully digest certain sugars and proteins, leading to similar symptoms as IBS.