Will Changing My Diet Cause an Upset Stomach?

Reuben Sandwich - New York Deli, Torrance, CA
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Any number of things can cause an upset stomach. Flu bugs, anxiety, eating spicy food or food that is high in fat, and even food poisoning can cause indigestion. One possible cause of indigestion that sometimes goes unnoticed is changes that may occur to your diet.

One of the ways that changing your diet can cause an upset stomach is through food intolerances. If you change your diet significantly, such as by greatly increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, you may have begun to eat a food that your body just doesn’t tolerate well. While one of the most common food intolerances is lactose intolerance, it is possible for your body to refuse to tolerate just about any kind of food. When changing your diet causes an upset stomach, you should try to identify any specific foods that seem to increase or set off your upset stomach.

Another possible way that changing your diet can cause an upset stomach is if you are switching to a different type of diet altogether. If you are going low-carb, for example, you will be consuming a lot more protein and probably fats than what your body is used to. Both of these, but particularly high-fat foods, can trigger an upset stomach.

If you’ve decided to switch from regular soda pop to diet soda pop, this can cause an upset stomach. The same holds true for switching to other low-calorie foods. This is because, for many people, the artificial sweeteners contained in these foods and beverages may upset your stomach. Not all artificial sweeteners will have the same effect for everyone, however; you might be able to tolerate Splenda, for example, but not Nutrasweet.

If your diet has changed because of travel and you’ve noticed an upset stomach, you should also consider that there may be another issue. Water content and quality will vary greatly from one region of the country to another. While you often hear warnings about drinking water while in other countries, for example, you rarely hear warnings about drinking local water in different parts of your own country, which can have similar effects.

If changes in your diet have caused an upset stomach, you can use a process of elimination to try to weed out the specific foods or drinks that have caused it. If your upset stomach is severe or persistent, or you cannot identify the cause, you might wish to speak with your health care provider. She should be able to help determine if there is some other problem that is causing your upset stomach.