Why Does Venison Upset My Stomach? A Full Guide

Are you a fan of venison but find that it upsets your stomach?

You’re not alone. Many people experience gastrointestinal symptoms after consuming this game meat. From excessive gas to tarry craps, the discomfort can be unpleasant.

But why does this happen? In this article, we’ll explore the science behind why venison may cause digestive issues and what you can do to alleviate them.

So, grab a seat and get ready to learn about the perils of eating venison.

Why Does Venison Upset My Stomach?

Venison is a lean meat that contains high amounts of protein and methionine, an amino acid that is essential for human health. However, the high protein content in venison can be difficult for some people to digest, leading to gastrointestinal symptoms such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

Additionally, venison contains a higher amount of myoglobin than other meats, which can cause the meat to appear darker in color. Myoglobin is a protein found in muscle tissue that helps transport oxygen to the muscles. When consumed in large amounts, myoglobin can cause digestive discomfort.

Another factor that may contribute to digestive issues after consuming venison is the way it is prepared. If the meat is not cooked properly or is contaminated during preparation, it can lead to foodborne illness and digestive symptoms.

What Is Venison?

Venison is a type of meat that comes from antlered animals such as deer, elk, moose, and caribou. The term “venison” originally referred to any kind of edible game, but it is now primarily used to describe the meat of deer or antelope. Venison has a similar texture and appearance to beef, but it is leaner and contains less fat. It is also a good source of protein and essential amino acids.

Venison can be prepared in a variety of ways, including as steaks, roasts, ground meat, and stew meat. It is important to note that venison should be properly prepared and cooked to avoid any risk of foodborne illness. The meat should be drained of blood and allowed to cool before cooking, and it is often aged for several days to enhance its tenderness and flavor.

Venison can have a “wild” or “gamey” flavor depending on what the animal eats. For example, deer that eat acorns or sage may have a stronger flavor than those that are corn-fed. Removing the fat, connective tissue, silver skin, bone, and hair during processing can help lessen any strong flavors.

Nutritional Benefits Of Venison

Despite the potential for digestive discomfort, venison offers numerous nutritional benefits. Venison is a great source of protein, containing all 10 essential amino acids that are necessary for human health. These amino acids play a crucial role in building and repairing body tissues, including muscles, bones, cartilage, and skin.

Compared to other meats, venison is also low in fat and calories, making it a great option for those looking to maintain a healthy weight. A 3-ounce serving of venison contains only 134 calories and 3 grams of fat, while the same amount of beef contains 259 calories and 18 grams of fat.

In addition to being low in fat and calories, venison is also high in essential vitamins and minerals. It is a rich source of iron, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc, as well as vitamins B6 and B12, riboflavin, niacin, and thiamin. These nutrients are important for maintaining overall health and wellbeing.

Furthermore, venison is naturally low in sodium, making it a heart-healthy option for those looking to reduce their sodium intake. Its low sodium content also makes it a great choice for individuals with high blood pressure or other cardiovascular conditions.

Common Gastrointestinal Symptoms After Eating Venison

Some common gastrointestinal symptoms that people may experience after eating venison include excessive gas, diarrhea, and nausea. This is especially true for those who are sensitive to meat or have difficulty digesting high amounts of protein. Venison contains high levels of methionine, which is a central component of smelly and explosive farts. This can result in flatulence that smells like rotten eggs.

While flatulence may not necessarily be a health concern in the short term, it could indicate that your digestive system is not digesting effectively in the long term. It is important to pay attention to your gut health and eating habits to minimize flatulence and other digestive symptoms.

It is also worth noting that eating undercooked or contaminated venison can cause foodborne illness and lead to more severe gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloody diarrhea, fever, chills, and damage to the heart, lungs, and other organs. It is crucial to handle and cook venison properly to avoid these risks.

Causes Of Venison-Related Digestive Issues

There are several causes of venison-related digestive issues that individuals should be aware of. One of the primary causes is the high amount of methionine in venison. Methionine is an amino acid that is essential for human health, but it can be difficult for some people to digest. This can lead to gastrointestinal symptoms such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

Another cause of venison-related digestive issues is the high amount of myoglobin in the meat. Myoglobin is a protein found in muscle tissue that helps transport oxygen to the muscles. When consumed in large amounts, myoglobin can cause digestive discomfort.

Improper preparation and cooking of venison can also lead to digestive issues. If the meat is not cooked to the proper temperature or is contaminated during preparation, it can lead to foodborne illness and digestive symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Lastly, individuals who have been bitten by a Lone Star tick may develop Alpha-gal Syndrome (AGS), which causes allergic reactions to mammal meat such as beef, pork, and venison. This syndrome is caused by an allergic reaction to the alpha-gal sugar molecule found in other mammals. The Lone Star tick is most commonly found in southeastern states and can cause allergic reactions to mammal meat even years after being bitten.

Tips For Alleviating Venison-Induced Stomach Upset

If you experience stomach upset after consuming venison, there are a few tips that may help alleviate your symptoms:

1. Cook the meat thoroughly: Make sure to cook the venison to an internal temperature of at least 160°F to kill any harmful bacteria that may cause foodborne illness.

2. Avoid overeating: Eating too much venison at once can overload your digestive system and cause discomfort. Instead, try eating smaller portions throughout the day.

3. Drink plenty of fluids: Staying hydrated is crucial for proper digestion and can help alleviate symptoms such as bloating and constipation.

4. Try ginger tea: Ginger has been shown to help alleviate stomach pain and nausea. Consider making a fresh ginger tea by cutting up ginger root and letting it soak in a cup of hot water.

5. Stick to low-fiber foods: Similar to crackers, low-fiber foods like white rice or toast can be bland and easy to digest, making them a good choice when experiencing stomach upset.

6. Avoid spicy or fatty foods: Spicy or fatty foods can irritate the digestive tract and exacerbate symptoms of stomach upset. Stick to plain, simple foods until your symptoms improve.

By following these tips, you may be able to alleviate venison-induced stomach upset and enjoy this lean and nutritious meat without discomfort.

When To Seek Medical Attention For Venison-Related Digestive Problems

While most cases of venison-related digestive problems can be managed with over-the-counter remedies and dietary changes, there are times when medical attention may be necessary. If you experience severe or persistent symptoms such as vomiting, bloody diarrhea, fever, or dehydration, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

In some cases, venison-related digestive problems may be a sign of a more serious underlying condition such as inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease. If your symptoms persist despite dietary changes and over-the-counter remedies, your doctor may recommend further testing such as a colonoscopy or endoscopy to diagnose the underlying cause of your symptoms.

It is also important to seek medical attention if you suspect that your symptoms are due to foodborne illness. Symptoms of foodborne illness can range from mild to severe and can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain. If you suspect that you have contracted a foodborne illness from consuming venison, it is important to contact your doctor immediately.