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Cashews & Cramps

author image Diane Marks
Diane Marks started her writing career in 2010 and has been in health care administration for more than 30 years. She holds a registered nurse license from Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts in health care education from California University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in health administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Cashews & Cramps
A close-up of a bowl of cashews. Photo Credit: etienne voss/iStock/Getty Images

Knowing what's causing your abdominal cramps after eating cashews can help you treat your symptoms and find relief. Abdominal cramping might be nothing more than trapped gas in your digestive tract. Excessive or severe cramping could be a sign of a more serious medical condition. If the cramps remain for more than a few hours or if they get worse, call your doctor.

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Intestinal Gas

Gas forms almost every time you eat something. For example, if the cashews don't fully digest, the fiber in the nuts ferments in the colon, interacting with bacteria. The result of fermentation is increased amounts of gas. Too much gas that is not expelled places pressure on the intestines, causing sharp pains. Gas pains cause a knotted feeling or a feeling of fullness in your lower abdomen and are alleviated when you have a bowel movement or pass gas.

Tree Nut Allergy

Tree nuts, such as cashews, are among the most common food allergens. If you’re allergic to cashews, your immune system is overly sensitive to the proteins in the nuts. This hypersensitivity causes chemicals to be released throughout the body as soon as you ingest cashews, which can cause inflammation in the lining of your digestive system. The inflammation produces cramping, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. A tree nut allergy causes other symptoms to develop alongside stomach cramps. Other symptoms include nasal congestion, skin rashes, hives, lightheadedness, shortness of breath and chest tightness.

Food Poisoning

Cramping that begins within four hours after eating cashews might be a sign of food poisoning, especially if the cramps continually get worse and more intense. Food poisoning occurs when you eat cashews contaminated with an infectious organism. Contamination can occur at any point of the manufacturing process, such as harvesting, packaging or preparation. Bacteria, toxins, viruses or parasites cause food poisoning. Symptoms include abdominal cramps, fever, vomiting, excessive diarrhea and fatigue.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome could cause stomach pain and cramping after you eat cashews. Cashews might be among your "trigger" foods, leading to IBS flare-ups. IBS is a chronic digestive condition that causes symptoms in the colon and abdomen. Although the condition does not physically damage your digestive system, the symptoms cause embarrassment and potentially restrict you from your normal daily activities.

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