Dates & Stomach Pain

Dates are a high-fiber fruit that is commonly sold whole or chopped. Dates are considered a common natural treatment for constipation. If you notice that stomach pain follows the consumption of dates, you may need to talk with your doctor to determine the cause. The most common reasons for stomach pain from consuming dates are the fiber content, sulfite sensitivity or food allergies or intolerance. Keep a written record of any other symptoms that develop from consuming dates and talk with your doctor.

Date fruit in a bowl on a wooden table. (Image: tashka2000/iStock/Getty Images)

Fiber Intake

Fiber is an essential part of your diet that may reduce heart disease, prevent type 2 diabetes and maintain regularity, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Fibers are the carbohydrates found in plant-based foods that do not digest in the human body. The undigested carbohydrates help to soften your stool and keep your bowels regular. While fiber is needed in your diet, eating too many dates can overwhelm the bacteria in your large intestine and lead to gas, bloating and stomach pain. According to the Fruit Pages website, dates contain 7.5 grams of fiber per 100 grams of edible fruit. Eating too much fiber too quickly could cause digestive complications, according to Medline Plus.

Sulfite Sensitivity

Sulfites are chemical compounds that are commonly added to dried fruit to help preserve the color and texture of the fruit. Sulfites also inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, providing a longer shelf life for fruit, including dates. If you have a sensitivity to sulfites, consuming dates may trigger adverse reactions, such as stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating, gas, asthma, skin rashes and nausea. Sulfites were banned for use in fresh fruits and vegetables in 1986 by the Food and Drug Administration, but they are still permitted in dried fruits, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Food Allergy and Intolerance

Dates are not considered a common source of food allergies or intolerance. Food allergies are more severe than intolerances because they affect your immune system and entire body. Both conditions will cause stomach pain, but food intolerance will only affect your digestive system. Your doctor may recommend allergy testing to rule out a food allergy if dates are causing you stomach pain. If diagnosed with either a food allergy or intolerance, you will need to eliminate dates from your diet.

Warnings

If eating dates causes constant stomach pain that increases and causes vomiting and excessive diarrhea, you may have food poisoning. Food poisoning occurs when you eat dates that contain infectious organisms. Call your doctor if you develop blood in your vomit or stools.

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