Ok, today’s topic goes a little bit off the beaten track, but, believe it or not, it addresses a concern that many of my fellow coffee lovers have. Before I give you my $0.02 on this subject, I feel duty-bound to remind you that this is a coffee blog and not a medical one, so if you have any concerns at all….and I really mean any at all… then get in touch with your GP and get sound, professional advice.
After all, I bet you wouldn’t go to your doctor to get great-tasting coffee so why should you expect me to be an expert in this field? Anyhow, I digress, so let’s take a look at coffee and diarrhea and examine whether the 2 really are related.
We all know that drinking coffee makes us feel awake and focused. What we may not know is that coffee helps us to deal with diarrhea. In fact, coffee has been shown to decrease the amount of time it takes for someone to recover from an attack of diarrhea.
As the name implies, coffee contains caffeine which stimulates the central nervous system. Caffeine works by preventing the release of the hormone serotonin, which slows down the movement of food through the stomach and intestines.
Coffee also contains tannins, which stop diarrhea by forming a coating on the lining of the intestines, slowing the movement of water through the intestine.
It is estimated that nearly one in ten people in the U.S. suffer from chronic diarrhea. This is known as “IBS.” IBS is the most common digestive disorder and it affects women much more often than men.
In fact, it is also estimated that one in five women in the U.S. suffers from this condition at some point in their lives.
What causes IBS?
There are two main causes of IBS.
One is a disorder in the colon or large intestine called “irritable bowel syndrome” (IBS).
Another cause is stress, which has been found to make the condition worse.
Symptoms of IBS include frequent and painful bowel movements, bloating, abdominal pain, and cramps. Other symptoms may include constipation, diarrhea, or an alternating pattern between the two. IBS can be very painful and even cause severe illness.
For some people, the severity of the condition can be so bad that it prevents them from participating in everyday activities.
How does coffee help treat IBS?
If you’re trying to reduce the symptoms of IBS, then drinking coffee is a good start. But you don’t have to stop there. You can take coffee further by adding things to it.
For example, if you drink coffee every day, you may find it helpful to add cinnamon to the coffee.
Cinnamon is an anti-diarrheal spice that has been shown to speed up the recovery process of those who suffer from IBS, primarily because it contains a chemical called eugenol, which stops diarrhea by binding to the nerves that control the muscles in the intestines.
You can also drink black coffee.
The tannins in black coffee bind to proteins in the blood and help to remove these proteins from the body. In addition, black coffee can be combined with milk and sugar to make a “cappuccino.” This mixture helps to slow down the digestion of the protein in the coffee and give you a longer-lasting effect.
The combination of coffee and cinnamon also works well because the chemicals in both coffee and cinnamon inhibit the absorption of cholesterol and sodium in the intestines.
So, can drinking coffee really help with diarrhea? Yes. Drinking coffee will help to relieve the symptoms of IBS and it can even be used to prevent a flare-up.