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How long does it take to digest food


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#1 jakester2000

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 04:58 PM

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Having suffered my worst IBS-D epiosdoes in 2001-2, (my uni years), I have found that generally I can live with what must be mild IBS. I can drink alcohol and am usually fine and eat unhealthy foods (sometimes).I have been on a health kick since the New Year started since I want to lose a stone and a half. I fell off the wagon on Saturday when I went to a Beefeater restaurant for my nephews birthday. I pigged out royally on a 3 course meal with a rack of ribs as my main. Think I packed away around 4000 calories. Naughty me but I didn't think of an IBS attack since I had been naughty over Xmas and had gotten away with it. Anyway, I ate all this between 6.30 and 9.00 on Saturday night.Sunday was fine - ate healthily to make up for my trangressions - 1 brown pitta for lunch with a Sainsbury's Be Good to Yourself houmous. and the same again for mid afternoon snack. For dinner 2 smoked mackerel fillets with a baguette.Anyway 4-5am on Monday morning, I awoke with that familiar and hated abdominal pain and what followed was one of the worst episodes Ive had in a few years. Repeated toilet visits and the stomach pain didn;t completely subside but became a dull ache. Also worryingly the last few visit were decidedly "red/pink" which prompted a visit to A&E to ensure nothing was amiss. They didn't seem to think so, so that's ok.Anyway, surely this attach must be linked to Saturday's banquet? How long does it take for food to get through the system? Is this just a colon thing - rushing food through at the end of the process?Must admit, although I feel better today, the noises Im mow hearing through my tummy from my left side are getting me worried Im about to have this over again!


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#2 Kathleen M.

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 05:04 PM

Every meal you eat puts the colon into high gear. Often a BM right after a meal isn't the food you just ate, it is from a previous meal.Large, heavy, fatty, greasy meals, or if you wait way to long to eat will trigger a bigger "move it along" signal than small light frequent meals do.Sometimes the reaction to a large or fatty meal can happen during the meal so it can be that fast, or it may take up to an hour or so.Now as for how long can it take to get out the other end? Usually it takes from 16 to 72 hours for a meal to make it's exit. Sometimes food causes a problem on the way out, but often the problem is right away.Now Monday mornings can be a problem for a lot of reasons. If you sleep in during the weekend then have to get up early on Monday that schedule change can be enough to set things off. Food is only one of many triggers, so just because you have an IBS flare up doesn't mean it had to be from something you ate.Additionally, if you get a bout of food poisoning from a meal that can take 24-48 hours to show up, that isn't always immediate. A bad flare up can irritated hemorrhoids or other anal irritations so you can get a little blood just from a few bouts of diarrhea.
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#3 crstar

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 06:15 PM

that is a good question.............i use to wonder the same thing myself, when i was really bad off.............& most things u read say that the meal u eat now, can take 48-72hrs to get all the way thru.........but for those of us who have alot of D, it doesn't take that long at all..........which is why u can end up with diseases from malnutrition............believe it or not..........in this day & age, malnutrition........the food is suppose to take many hrs to go thru, so that the intestines can absorb all the nutrients from the food u eat...when u suffer from ibs-d, & it is a fairly big problem, the food goes thru way too fast & causes all kinds of trouble.........u r literally eating the food & getting little nutrition from it........what this means, is that the very nutrients u need to heal & make ur self healthy, can't get into the bloodstream & do just that........it can take a long time to show just what problems u might end up with..........now the better u digest the food u eat, turning it into a slurry of chime, the better ur body can absorb those nutritious things u need..........the ability of ur digestive system to do what it's suppose to, depends on the amounts of gastrin, histamine & hydrochloric acid (HCl) ur body does or doesn't secrete..........not enough HCl & u get too much gastrin & or histamine..........this in & of itself can cause D........too much gastrin can make lots of gurgling, gas & bloating & if u burp it up, it will burn ur throat & mouth........not to mention the tissues between ur stomach & mouth.........the very minerals u need to keep the LES closed when it's suppose to b, to stop the stuff from coming back up, cannot b kept in good condition...........this is only one part of it all.........so u have asked a loaded question & there is much more to it..........u might want to read the other posts i've posted here...........it's way too long for here & i am tired...........but i will tell u, the slower ur digestive processes & muscles of the stomach can cause way too much of those things to b secreted & cause all sorts of problems..........so too slow is no good, too fast & u can end up with systemic candida over-growth, from leaky gut..........

#4 jakester2000

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 05:17 PM

Thanks for the help guys. Ive been eating very healthily the last 2 days till I get back on track. Seems this question isn't straight forward but certainly there is a possibility that food from Saturday could cause a problem as late as Monday morning! Or it could be something else as you mention (wish IBS triggers were easier to pin down!)Must admit although Im waiting for my BM to properly start again following the Immodium I took on Monday, Ive never passed red/purple mucous until now :(Hopefully, that is just some internal tear or something which is healing. Kinda been freakin me out a bit though! Guess if its still there after BM's start I should head to the docs!





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