Picture this: you’re driving home after doing serious damage at an Indian buffet, then it hits you. Your gut rumbles and a bead of sweat rolls down your forehead. A colossal dump is fighting its way out—or worse, a shart attack is coming.
You swerve into a gas station and waddle into their hell hole of a bathroom to unleash a mighty deuce. “Whew,” you say to yourself, “That spicy curry went right through me.”
But what if we told you it’s physically impossible for food to go right through you? Why then, do you always have to poop right after you eat? Turns out there’s a scientific explanation for that.
Why Do You Poop Immediately After Eating?
If you need to make a bee-line to the bathroom after every meal, you may be experiencing the gastrocolic reflex. When food enters your stomach, your body releases hormones that trigger your colon to contract and flush poop out of your digestive system to make more room.
This is a normal bodily reaction that everyone has. However, some people’s gastrocolic reflex is much faster (and more intense) than others. It may also be accompanied by bloating, cramping, or diarrhea.
Is It Normal to Poop After Every Meal?
Everyone’s pooping patterns are different. The size and frequency of your dumps depends on your health, age, sex, and your diet. So should you worry if you have to pass stool as soon as you put your fork down?
The gastrocolic reflex isn’t a digestive disease; it’s a normal bodily function. However, there are a couple of gastrointestinal conditions that can send it into overdrive.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Research shows that IBS can speed up the movement of food through the digestive tract. IBS is a common disorder that affects the large intestine, with symptoms including abdominal pain, cramping, loose stool, and constipation.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): This refers to a collection of disorders including Crohn’s disease (which usually affects the small intestine) and ulcerative colitis (which affects the large intestine and colon).
Trigger foods: Some of the stronger triggers for instant poops include greasy food, spicy food, alcohol, coffee, artificial sweeteners, and fiber (like whole grains and leafy greens). For people with lactose intolerance, dairy products are certain to make you poop on-demand.
Pooping After Eating vs. Fecal Incontinence
The gastrocolic reflex occurs right after food hits your stomach, but if you get the sudden urge to defecate out of nowhere (and can’t control it) that’s a sign of something more serious: fecal incontinence. This is when poop leaks out of your butt with no warning.
Common causes of fecal incontinence are damage to the nerves or muscles in the rectum, chronic diarrhea, and old age. This can be embarrassing, but the sooner you get medical advice, the better.
How to Stop Pooping Right After You Eat
If you want to slow down the transit time of the poop in your gut, here’s our advice:
Start with Dietary Changes
Pay attention to the relationship between your diet and your bowel movements. If you notice certain foods send you straight to the toilet, swap them for something else (at least when you’re in situations where pooping after a meal is frowned upon).
Reduce Your Stress Levels
Stress and anxiety release hormones that can cause spasms in your GI tract, leading to unexpected bowel movements. To get your stress levels under control, start by getting enough exercise and sleep, both of which are essential to keep your body and mind in sync.
Talk to a Healthcare Professional
If self-treatment doesn’t get your bowel movements under control, don’t be shy about seeking professional help. A dietitian or gastroenterologist can help you figure out what’s causing issues with your digestive process, whether it’s food allergies, food intolerance, or a digestive health condition. They may prescribe medications, probiotic supplements, or lifestyle changes to regulate your bowel habits.
Keep Cleanup Material Handy
Post-meal poops aren’t a big deal if you work from home and cook for yourself. But if you’re going back to the office or you’ve got a hot date, you need to be prepared for serious shit-uations. That’s where DUDE Wipes Singles come in: individually wrapped flushable wipes to freshen up your booty anytime, anywhere.