Diarrhea From Eating Foods With Seeds

Developing diarrhea after eating foods that contain seeds, such as sesame, poppy or sunflower seeds, is a symptom that needs to be assessed by a doctor. The most common reason for having diarrhea after eating foods with seeds is a seed allergy. The most common seed that causes an allergic reaction is the sesame seed, according to the Food Allergy Initiative. If you develop any other symptoms aside from diarrhea, call your doctor immediately because you may be developing a severe allergic reaction.

Chinese food with sesame seeds sprinkled on top. (Image: View Stock/View Stock/Getty Images)

Seed Allergy

A seed allergy occurs when your immune system fails to identify the proteins found in the seed as safe for the human body. If it makes the mistake of identifying the proteins as dangerous, the immune system will produce a specific antibody, called immunoglobulin E, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. IgE antibodies are only created from an allergic reaction. Their purpose is to find the allergen and attack it. Part of the reaction from IgE antibodies being released in the body is inflammation and swelling in soft tissues throughout the body. The inflammation from the production of various chemicals leads to most seed allergy symptoms.

Diarrhea Causes

The cause of diarrhea from a seed allergy is inflammation in the small and large intestine. One of the most troubling chemicals released during a seed allergy is histamine. Histamine is naturally found in the human body and typically helps keep the body free from infection. During an allergic reaction to seeds, the body creates large amounts histamine, resulting in swelling. Histamine created in the lining of the soft tissue of the small and large intestines causes inflammation. This will also lead to bloating, gas, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting.

Other Symptoms

If you develop diarrhea as a result of an allergic reaction, you will develop other symptoms aside from gastrointestinal complications. Most food-related allergies affect the lungs, sinuses and skin. You may develop asthma, nasal congestion, sinus pain and pressure and facial tenderness.


A food intolerance may also lead to diarrhea. An intolerance differs from a food allergy because it does not involve the immune system. Most food intolerances cause bloating, gas, abdominal pain and diarrhea because of inability to digest the proteins in the seeds.

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