No matter how much you like almonds, you may have to stop these nuts if you develop abdominal cramping every time you eat them. Cramping from eating almonds is a symptom of an underlying digestive condition, but if you eat a lot of almonds in one sitting, the fiber content may lead to stomach cramping temporarily that should subside within a few hours. Stop eating almonds and talk with you doctor to determine the cause.
A common cause of stomach cramps form eating almonds is a food allergy. Cramping and other digestive symptoms are common with an almond allergy that may trigger nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain. An almond allergy is a concerning medical condition because it can lead to a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This condition can lead to death if not treated. There is no cure for an almond allergy, so you will need to create an elimination diet with your doctor to prevent symptoms from developing.
Food intolerances may trigger similar digestive symptoms as a food allergy, but the two conditions are different in origin. Food allergies are the result of the immune system overreacting to the proteins in the nut, while food intolerances are the result of the digestive system not being able to fully digest the proteins. The undigested portion of the almond enters the colon, where it interacts with various bacteria, leading to gas, diarrhea and abdominal pain. If you’re intolerant to almond proteins, you will need to avoid eating foods that contain the nut, such as almond milk, candy bars and mixed nuts.
One ounce of almonds contains 3.5 grams of dietary fiber. The average American does not consume the recommended 20 to 35 grams of fiber daily, according to MedlinePlus, an online resource of the National Institutes of Health. If you consume a large amount of almonds and your body isn’t accustomed to that amount of fiber, you can develop cramping, bloating and gas for a few days. If you continue to eat the same amount of fiber daily, your digestive system will accommodate the increased amount of fiber and stomach cramping should subside.
Severe stomach pain may be a sign of a more serious condition, such as cancer, ulcers or irritable bowel syndrome. If you develop severe cramping along with a fever, body chills, blood in your stool or vomit, call your doctor immediately.