Why Do I Get Diarrhea After Eating Ham? Uncovering the Potential Causes

As a food blogger and ham enthusiast, I occasionally indulge in some delicious ham sandwiches, salads topped with ham, and other tasty ham creations However, I’ve noticed that ham sometimes gives me diarrhea and other digestive upset This prompted me to dig into the potential reasons why ham can cause these unpleasant symptoms.

Based on my research, there are a few key factors that help explain why you may get diarrhea after eating ham Keep reading to learn more!

Food Poisoning is a Common Culprit

One of the most frequent causes of ham-induced diarrhea is food poisoning from contamination during processing or storage.

Hams can become colonized with dangerous bacteria like Listeria, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli. When you eat contaminated ham, these bacteria can multiply and release toxins, causing food poisoning within hours or days.

Symptoms include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and watery diarrhea, potentially leading to dehydration. Seek medical treatment if symptoms are severe.

Food Intolerances to Ham’s Ingredients

Ham contains various food additives like preservatives, flavorings, and colorings that some people can’t tolerate well. Common additives like sodium nitrite, sodium erythorbate, and MSG can provoke diarrhea in those with sensitivities.

If you experience digestive issues every time you eat ham, you may have an intolerance to one of its many processed ingredients. Try eliminating ham for 2-4 weeks to see if symptoms improve. Then reintroduce it to assess your tolerance.

Allergic Reactions to Ham/Pork

Some individuals are allergic to pork and may experience diarrhea along with symptoms like hives, itching, swelling, and respiratory distress after eating ham.

Ham can also contain other allergenic ingredients like soy or wheat. If you have a known food allergy, avoid ham and talk to your allergist about safe alternatives. Epinephrine is key for treating severe allergic reactions.

Existing GI Conditions Like IBS

For those with gastrointestinal conditions like IBS, Crohn’s, or colitis, the high fat and salt content in ham can further irritate the digestive tract and trigger diarrhea episodes. The added spices, seasonings and preservatives may also exacerbate symptoms.

If you have a sensitive GI system, be cautious with processed meats like ham and opt for leaner, more natural options when possible. Work with your doctor to pinpoint problematic foods.

How Soon After Eating Bad Ham Do Symptoms Start?

If you consume contaminated ham harboring dangerous bacteria, symptoms like diarrhea, nausea and cramps generally begin within 12-36 hours.

However, the incubation period can be anywhere from a few hours to several days, depending on the pathogen, amount ingested, and your individual resistance.

Monitor yourself closely for fever, vomiting, severe diarrhea or dehydration in the days following questionable ham consumption. Seek medical care promptly if illness seems serious or persists over 3 days.

Tips to Prevent Diarrhea From Ham

Here are some tips to enjoy ham more safely and avoid the unpleasant side effect of diarrhea:

  • Cook ham thoroughly to at least 145°F internal temperature to kill potentially harmful bacteria

  • Avoid cross-contamination by using separate cutting boards for raw and cooked ham

  • Store ham properly refrigerated at 40°F or below and discard after 3-5 days (or freeze for longer storage)

  • When dining out, ensure ham is served promptly after cooking and has been held properly

  • Check ingredient labels and avoid hams with additives you are sensitive to

  • Consume only fully cooked ham if immunocompromised or pregnant

  • Drink plenty of fluids if you do get diarrhea to prevent dehydration

While ham can occasionally cause some digestive troubles, paying attention to food safety, ingredients, and your body’s signals can help you continue enjoying it without misery. But if extremely bothersome symptoms happen repeatedly, it may be best to avoid ham altogether and choose less-processed pork options instead.

The one thing that you are eating that could be causing diarrhea || Main Cause of Diarrhea


Why does ham upset my stomach?

Smoked meats such as ham and bacon are high in histamines, naturally occurring compounds that can trigger an onslaught of allergy-like symptoms in people whose bodies can’t properly process them. That might mean headaches, a stuffy nose, stomach discomfort, and skin woes.

Why do I get diarrhea after eating pork?

If you have nausea, diarrhea or stomach pain in the days after eating some type of wild game or some types of pork, contact your healthcare provider. If you do have some type of food poisoning or trichinosis infection, it’s best to be diagnosed and treated early.

What food causes explosive diarrhea after eating?

Here are some of the food groups and drinks that can trigger or worsen diarrhea for some people1: Fried, greasy, and fatty foods – Foods that are high in saturated and trans fats can cause diarrhea or make symptoms worse.

Is ham bad for IBS?

The types of foods and beverages that are better tolerated include water; rice; plain pasta or noodles; baked or broiled potatoes; white breads; plain fish, chicken, turkey, or ham; eggs; dry cereals; soy or rice based products; peas; applesauce; cantaloupe; watermelon; fruit cocktail; margarine; jams; jellies; and …

Can Ham cause diarrhea?

One of the most common causes is food poisoning. Ham can become contaminated with harmful bacteria during processing, such as Listeria and Staph. These bacteria can cause symptoms like fever, chills, muscle aches, nausea, and diarrhea. Another reason why ham can cause diarrhea is due to food intolerance.

What causes diarrhea after eating?

Several conditions, such as lactose intolerance, food poisoning, IBS, and celiac disease, can cause diarrhea after eating. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause. Diarrhea that happens after eating is known as postprandial diarrhea (PD). This type of diarrhea is often unexpected, and the feeling to use the restroom can be quite urgent.

Does eating a meal cause diarrhea?

Some people may experience diarrhea shortly after consuming a meal, while others may not notice a direct correlation between their diet and diarrhea. The frequency and severity of diarrhea also fluctuate depending on the extent of inflammation and disease activity in the gastrointestinal tract.

Can eating cause diarrhea in people with dumping syndrome?

Eating can trigger diarrhea in people with dumping syndrome, especially when snacks or meals have a lot of sugar in them. Chronic diarrhea is not typically a sign of colon cancer; constipation is more likely. With that said, it is not uncommon to have intermittent bouts of constipation followed by an episode of explosive diarrhea.

Leave a Comment