Why do non-digestible foods cause diarrhea?

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Michael Albertson, MD
Gastroenterology
Nowadays we have all kinds of foods available to us, but parts of them may be non-digestible by human beings and can cause diarrhea because of the sugar they contain. For instance, some sugars in certain fruits and vegetables are non-digestible. Stachyose, a type of sugar found in mushrooms, is not digestible. When these sugars pass through your intestinal tract undigested, they get to the colon, which has a trillion bacteria. The bacteria in the colon love sugar; it's like dessert. They metabolize it, ferment it and make gas. Then you bloat up, get diarrhea and don't feel well.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.