Stomach Cramps After Eating Turkey

Stomach cramps from eating turkey may be caused by different conditions.

Stomach cramps after eating turkey may sound like an odd occurrence, but if you are allergic to meat, have meat intolerance or are experiencing food poisoning, stomach cramping is the first sign of a reaction. If you notice that you repeatedly develop stomach cramps after eating turkey, you most likely are allergic or intolerant to the turkey itself or an ingredient used with the turkey. If the stomach cramping is an isolated instance, you may have food poisoning. Your doctor is best medical professional to help you determine the cause of your pain.

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Turkey Allergy

Although it may seem odd, you may be allergic to turkey. Most food allergies are caused by a hypersensitivity to the proteins found in the food. If you're allergic to turkey, the reaction is most likely related to a hypersensitivity to the carbohydrates in the meat, according to ABC News. When you eat turkey, your immune system identifies the carbohydrates as a harmful substance, even though they are safe for consumption. This reaction triggers other chemicals to respond in the body, leading to common symptoms such as stomach cramps, abdominal pain and diarrhea.


Food Intolerance

You can be intolerant to any food, including turkey. If you're intolerant to turkey, your digestive system has a difficult time digesting the proteins found in the meat. Almost everything you eat and drink requires certain enzymes to break the sugars and proteins down to be absorbed by the body. If you lack the necessary enzyme to digest the proteins in turkey, inflammation and swelling can develop, causing stomach pain, gas, bloating, cramping, nausea and diarrhea.

Food Poisoning

An isolated instance where you develop stomach cramps four to 36 hours after eating turkey may be related to food poisoning. Food poisoning occurs when you eat food that is contaminated with an infectious organism, such as a parasite, bacteria, virus or toxin. Undercooked turkey, mishandled turkey or turkey left at room temperature for too long can cause the growth of infectious organisms. If you develop food poisoning, your symptoms will progress into vomiting, diarrhea, severe stomach pain and cramping for one to 10 days.



Take into consideration the other foods, condiments and spices used to make the turkey dish. You may be experiencing a reaction to another component of the turkey dish. Common food allergens include wheat, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts and dairy. If the turkey is processed, it may contain MSG, a food additive that could cause adverse reactions in some people.


Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911. If you think you may have COVID-19, use the CDC’s Coronavirus Self-Checker.