Why Do I Get Diarrhea After Eating Pork? The Key Facts

Are you one of those people who loves bacon, ham, and pork chops but always ends up with stomach cramps or diarrhea after eating them?

You’re not alone. Pork is a popular meat, but it can also cause some unpleasant digestive issues for some people.

In this article, we’ll explore the possible reasons why you might experience diarrhea after eating pork. From food allergies and sensitivities to food poisoning and industry practices, we’ll cover it all.

So, if you’re tired of feeling sick after indulging in your favorite pork dishes, keep reading to find out why.

Why Do I Get Diarrhea After Eating Pork?

There are several reasons why you might experience diarrhea after eating pork. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Food Allergies And Sensitivities To Pork

Food allergies and sensitivities to pork can cause digestive discomfort and other symptoms. While food allergies to meat are rare, it is possible to develop an allergy or sensitivity to pork. The proteins in meat can trigger IgG sensitivities, which can be detected through a food sensitivity test. Symptoms of pork allergy can be similar to those of pork sensitivity, making it difficult to determine which is causing the reaction. It is important to get tested by a doctor or allergy specialist to understand your gut health.

In addition to allergies and sensitivities, there is evidence of a connection between people with cat allergies and pork allergies, known as pork-cat syndrome. This is because the body’s allergic antibodies can cross-react to both cat albumin and pork albumin due to their similar molecular structures. However, this relationship is rare, as most people who are allergic to cats are allergic to a major allergen in cats that isn’t in pork meat.

Moreover, a bite from the Lone Star tick can cause people to develop an allergy to red meat, including beef and pork. This tick is found predominantly in the Southeastern United States, from Texas to Iowa and into New England. A meat allergy can develop at any time in life, and if you are allergic to one type of meat, it is possible you also are allergic to other meats, as well as poultry such as chicken, turkey and duck.

If you experience symptoms such as inflammation of the skin, skin rash, itchy mouth or throat, headaches, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, mild fever, runny or stuffy nose, wheezing and difficulty breathing after eating pork or other meats, it’s important to see a doctor or allergy specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Avoiding pork and other meats that cause allergic reactions is the most effective way to prevent symptoms.

The Role Of Bacteria In Pork-Related Diarrhea

Bacteria play a significant role in causing diarrhea after eating pork. Escherichia coli (E. coli) is one of the most common bacterial agents responsible for post-weaning diarrhea (PWD) in pigs. Pigs are vulnerable to various infections that can come from their environment, nutrition, internal parasites, viruses, and bacterial microbes. PWD is a significant threat to the swine industry worldwide and can cause economic losses due to mortality, decreased growth rate, and cost of medication. Colistin, a cationic antibiotic, is widely used in swine for the treatment of intestinal infections caused by E. coli, and particularly of PWD. However, the effectiveness of this antibiotic has been limited due to the emergence of colistin-resistant E. coli strains in pigs.

Moreover, Yersinia enterocolitica is another bacterial species that can cause human enteric yersiniosis after consuming pork. Pigs are the primary animal reservoir for the few strains of Y. enterocolitica that cause human illness. Other bacterial agents that can cause diarrhea after eating pork include protozoa, nematodes, and viruses.

To control PWD without using in-feed antimicrobial compounds, several feeding strategies have been proposed, including dietary acidification, phage therapy, or the use of probiotics. However, to date, not a single strategy has proved to be entirely effective, and it is likely that the most successful approach will involve a combination of diet modification and other preventive measures. Therefore, it is essential to study microbial diseases in swine to improve livestock health conditions and envision new treatments for human infectious diseases that may arise from pigs.

Common Pork-Related Food Poisoning

Pork is a type of meat that is often associated with food poisoning, specifically a parasitic infection known as trichinosis. Trichinosis is caused by a type of roundworm called Trichinella, which can be found in raw or undercooked pork products that are infested with larvae. When you consume infected meat, the acid and enzymes in your stomach break down the hard outside shell of the larvae, freeing the adult worms. These worms then produce larvae that take up residence in your body tissues, especially muscle.

Symptoms of trichinosis usually start with stomach symptoms within 1 to 2 days of eating infected uncooked or undercooked meat. Other symptoms can take 2 to 8 weeks to show up. Some people might only have mild symptoms while others get very sick. Severe infections can be life-threatening. The symptoms of trichinosis include nausea, headache, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. In severe cases, the infection can cause muscle pain and swelling, fever, and difficulty coordinating movements.

Aside from trichinosis, there are other types of food poisoning that can be caused by contaminated pork. These types of food poisoning usually appear within 24 to 48 hours after eating contaminated food and can include symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Most healthy people recover from food poisoning from pork without needing treatment unless they have a parasitic infection such as trichinosis.

To prevent getting sick from contaminated pork, it is important to ensure that you cook your meat thoroughly to kill any bacteria or parasites that may be present. It is also important to practice good hygiene when handling raw meat and to avoid cross-contamination with other foods.

The Impact Of Pork Industry Practices On Digestive Health

The pork industry has a significant impact on the digestive health of pigs, which in turn can affect the quality and safety of pork products. Proper cooperation between digestive system microbiota and the host is crucial for maintaining proper health conditions in pigs, as well as improving their production indices. Unfortunately, some industry practices can have negative effects on pig digestive health.

One major issue in the pork industry is gastric ulcers, which can cause sudden death in market hogs and result in significant economic losses. Studies have shown that feed particle size is a significant risk factor for gastric epithelial alterations that lead to gastric ulcers. Fine particles in pig feed increase the fluidity of stomach content, which can result in lesions of the pars esophagea. Pigs fed a coarse diet have heavier stomachs than pigs fed a fine diet, meaning coarse diets require more muscular action for processing by the stomach than fine diets. However, deleterious effects of finer particle size in pigs are dependent on grain type. For example, macroscopic keratosis scores were greater for pigs fed 0.30 vs. 0.90 mm corn and hard sorghum but lower for pigs fed 0.30 vs. 0.90 mm soft sorghum.

Another issue is the impact of routine farm practices on piglet microbiome, which is critical for piglet viability and survival. Research investigating the impact of these practices on piglet microbiome is limited, with most research focusing on the microbiome in pigs as a model for humans and in piglets post-weaning. However, given our understanding of the importance of early microbial colonization and GIT health in humans, it is reasonable to suggest that fostering a healthy microbiome may contribute to piglet viability and survival.

Tips For Preventing Pork-Related Diarrhea And Other Digestive Issues

If you want to avoid getting diarrhea after eating pork, there are several precautions you can take. One of the primary causes of pork-related diarrhea is trichinosis, which is caused by eating undercooked pork infected with Trichinella roundworms. To prevent this, make sure to cook your pork at recommended temperatures. A meat thermometer can be helpful in ensuring that the pork is cooked thoroughly.

Another important step is to avoid eating raw or undercooked pork. This means avoiding dishes like pork tartare or rare pork chops. Additionally, it’s important to prevent cross-contamination with other foods. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat and ready-to-eat foods, and keep raw pork away from other foods in your shopping cart and refrigerator.

Washing your hands before and after handling pork is also crucial. Germs can survive in many places around your kitchen, including your hands, utensils, cutting boards, and countertops. Make sure to wash your hands and work surfaces before, during, and after preparing food.

Keeping your refrigerator at 40°F or below is also important. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours of cooking (or within 1 hour if food is exposed to a temperature above 90°F, like in a hot car). This helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that can cause foodborne illness.

If you do experience diarrhea after eating pork, there are several remedies that can help ease the symptoms. Resting your body and avoiding food and drink for a few hours after the onset of symptoms can be helpful. Once you do start eating and drinking again, try gentle and bland foods like crackers and sports drinks. Hydrating with electrolytes can also be beneficial, especially if you are experiencing dehydration.

In addition to these tips, it’s important to consult with a physician if you experience severe or persistent diarrhea. They can help determine the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment. By taking these precautions and seeking medical attention when necessary, you can help prevent pork-related diarrhea and other digestive issues.