The stomach pain that occurs after eating spinach might be an indication of a serious health condition or linked to food poisoning. Spinach as a common vegetable utilized in various salads, casseroles and as a side dish.
If the stomach pain is consistent every time spinach is eaten by the individual, it might be a condition known as histamine intolerance. The consumption of spinach can also increase the intake of dietary fiber that can momentarily cause stomach cramps along with other digestive symptoms. A doctor should be consulted so that further assessment can be carried out as well as come up with a proper diagnosis.
What is histamine intolerance?
Histamine is the chemical compound that is produced in the body to protect against disease and infection. The chemical is responsible for triggering most of the allergy symptoms since it is produced in large amounts once an allergen is detected by the body.
Histamine is also present in some foods such as spinach. If the individual is intolerant to histamine, consuming spinach can instigate allergy-like symptoms such as stomach pain, nasal congestion and even skin irritation. The only treatment for histamine intolerance is avoidance of foods and beverages that contain the substance.
Increased intake of fiber
Spinach is considered as a high-fiber vegetable that can cause stomach pain, diarrhea and bloating if taken in large amounts. Always bear in mind that the body could not digest fiber since it helps maintain regular bowel movements as well as providing its bulk.
An increase in the intake of fiber eaten can trigger stomach pain for the first few days. Most of the symptoms subside once the digestive tract gets used to the amount of fiber intake taken in. If the symptoms persist, a doctor should be consulted.
Stomach pain from food poisoning
Food poisoning can occur after eating any food. If the individual ate spinach and starts experiencing minor to moderate stomach pain or cramps that continue to increase and result to diarrhea and vomiting, a doctor should be consulted.
Remember that food poisoning can occur after eating spinach that has been contaminated by infectious organisms such as bacteria, parasites or toxins. Spinach might be contaminated during harvesting, processing or preparation. The treatment usually includes a modified diet, increased intake of fluid and adequate rest. In most cases, the symptoms can last for 1-10 days.
When to seek further care
A doctor should be consulted if the individual notices blood in the vomit or stool, fever or if the symptoms become worse for more than 3 days. In case the stomach pain becomes a common symptom after eating spinach, the individual might have a more serious condition such as irritable bowel syndrome.