Can peanut butter trigger diarrhea?

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Peanut butter might cause diarrhea if an individual is allergic. A doctor must be consulted if diarrhea or other adverse reactions arise after ingesting the food. In some cases, an allergist should be consulted for testing to confirm or rule out peanut allergy.

Is it an allergy or contamination?

Peanut allergy is one of the prevalent forms of food allergies. The immune system produces antibodies along with chemicals to fight off the allergen. The chemicals specifically histamine defends the body but trigger inflammation in the soft tissues.

Remember that peanut allergy can manifest out of nowhere, but salmonella is another possibility. There have been isolated cases of salmonella after eating peanut butter. If it occurs but an allergy is not suspected or if all family members experiences the same issues, seek medical care right away.

A usual indication of peanut butter allergy is diarrhea.

Dealing with diarrhea

A usual indication of peanut butter allergy is diarrhea. During a reaction, the lining of the small intestines can become inflamed and swollen due to the high levels of histamine.

This results to stomach pain, gas, bloating, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. It is expected to last for a few hours and settles once peanut butter has been eliminated from the body. In case it persists or accompanied by fever, it might be an indication of a serious condition such as salmonellosis.


The treatment for diarrhea triggered by an allergic reaction to peanut butter requires patience. The commonly used medications for diarrhea are not beneficial since the body eliminates the peanut proteins.

It is recommended to drink 2-3 liters of water daily to cleanse the system. Solid foods should be avoided while loose stool is present. Once the loose stool ceases, start with small, basic foods such as rice, applesauce and white bread. Any highly processed foods and greasy products must be avoided as well.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on diarrhea due to peanut butter is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn how it is managed, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.


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