children stomach pain

Can pistachio nuts cause diarrhea?

Fact Checked

Pistachio nuts are not known to cause diarrhea but if an episode occurs after ingestion, it indicates an allergy. Millions of individuals all over the world suffer from tree nut allergy.

Always bear in mind that pistachio nuts are categorized as tree nuts that are capable of causing the usual digestive symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Once an individual is suspected to have an allergy to pistachio nuts, a doctor should be consulted. It is essential to stop the consumption of pistachio nuts until properly assessed by a doctor.

Overview on pistachio nuts

When it comes to pistachio nuts, they are categorized as tree nuts along with almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts. If the individual is allergic to one tree nut, he/she is at high risk for experiencing an allergic reaction after consumption of other tree nuts.

Tree nut allergy is one of the most common food allergies affecting adults that can be a life-long condition.

What is the exact cause for diarrhea?

During an allergic reaction to pistachio nuts, the immune system malfunctions and wrongly identifies the proteins in the nut as a threat. The immune system establishes a defense system against the proteins by releasing specific antibodies called immunoglobulin E antibodies (IgE) that causes the mast cells to release histamine.

The digestive symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gas, stomach cramps and pain.

The histamine helps the body fight off infection but if present in substantial amounts, it leads to inflammation. Always bear in mind that the inflammation and swelling in the intestines can result to diarrhea and other digestive issues.

What are the symptoms?

The digestive symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gas, stomach cramps and pain. If the individual is sensitive to pistachio nuts, he/she can end up with other symptoms along with diarrhea. The other symptoms that will manifest include the following:

  • Tingling sensation in the face, lips or mouth
  • Skin rashes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Wheezing
  • Sinus pressure
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing


The treatment starts with proper diagnosis of the condition. An allergist should be consulted regarding proper testing to confirm an allergy to pistachio nuts.

Once diagnosed, the individual must avoid eating any tree nuts. All food manufacturers are required by law to disclose the presence of tree nuts on the packaging. It is vital to carefully read the ingredients and ask the server regarding dishes ordered when eating outside.

Considerations to bear in mind

Diarrhea can lead to weight loss, malnourishment and even dehydration. It is vital to increase the intake of fluids, get plenty of rest, avoid spicy foods and eat bland foods such as rice, bananas or toast. In addition, electrolyte sports drinks are recommended to maintain proper hydration until a doctor is consulted.

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