Stomachaches From Eating Pancake Mix

Making pancakes
A bowl of pancake mix with a whisk and eggs. (Image: SStajic/iStock/Getty Images)

Stomachache after eating pancakes from a mix is not normal, and should be evaluated by a doctor. If you experience a stomachache after eating pancakes from a mix, you may have a food allergy, or intolerance to one or more of the ingredients. Avoid eating raw pancake batter before cooking it. Most pancake mixes contain three highly allergic foods, eggs, wheat and milk, and also contains gluten. A food allergy is commonly confused with food intolerance and can only be properly diagnosed by a physician.

Allergy vs. Intolerance

Food intolerance is a malfunction of the digestive system from lack of enzymes or the inability to properly digest a specific food. Intolerance primarily leads to gastrointestinal symptoms, such as cramping, bloating, floating stools, vomiting and diarrhea. A food allergy is a hypersensitivity of the immune system to certain foods that will cause a variation of symptoms, such as nasal congestion, asthma and gastric complications, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Pancake Mix Allergy

An allergic reaction after eating pancake mix is most likely caused by an allergy to eggs, wheat or milk. Each of these highly allergic foods can cause minor to severe reactions in the body. During an allergic reaction, the body mistakes the proteins found in a specific food as a harmful substance and begins to defend the body. The immune system produces IgE antibodies that trigger the creation of histamine in mast cells. Histamine naturally protects the body from infection, but can lead to inflammation when produced in excess.

Pancake Mix Intolerance

If you’re intolerant of milk, eggs or wheat you will experience stomachache 20 to 30 minutes after eating the pancakes. You may feel an urgency to use the bathroom, become bloated and gassy and feel nauseous. The symptoms of a food intolerance will last until the food is expelled from the body. After the pancakes are completely out of your system, the symptoms will subside.

Gluten Sensitivity

Many pancake mixes contain gluten, a protein that occurs naturally in wheat grains. While gluten doesn't cause any adverse effects in most people, those sensitive to gluten can experience stomach upset and other digestive symptoms after consuming gluten-containing foods. If you need to avoid gluten, opt for gluten-free pancakes made with oat flour, or even higher-protein alternatives like almond or coconut flour.

When to Seek Help

If you experience an allergic reaction, you will develop other symptoms common to food allergies. You may develop tingling and swelling in your face, mouth or lips, skin rashes, such as hives or eczema, and asthma symptoms. If you're having trouble breathing, or notice the tissues in your mouth beginning to swell, seek immediate medical attention.

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