Lettuce often gives me diarrhea, and I end up with undigested lettuce in my stool. It's like shitting a salad. Any idea why? Should I just not eat lettuce? It's not the dressing, in case you're thinking that, because I never use dressing.
asked byShawn_5 (1017)
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on June 25, 2012
at 12:45 AM
Lettuce is high in insoluble fibre. So my thinking is that you need to balance it out with soluble fibre, like a starchy carb. This is the basis behind the helpforibs.com website - I don't agree with a lot of the dietary advice on there (i.e it's anti-red meat), but as someone who swings between constipation and diarrhea, I am able to minimize symptoms by eating some soluble fibre (banana, rice, yams, beets, etc) at every meal, along with whatever sources of insoluble fibre in that meal. Soluble means it absorbs water, forming a gelatinous consistency that helps normalize bowel symptoms.
on June 24, 2012
at 10:57 PM
Because humans cannot digest cellulose. Plants need to be cooked to break the cell walls for them to be digestable better. Then why doesn't everyone get this? I guess due to differences in gut health and flora.
on August 16, 2016
at 06:53 PM
It might also be due to it being a GM product because lettuce never used to affect me before, but after I noticed it started lasting longer on supermarket shelves, I realized it might have been GM'd and GM'd vegies pass through my gut like diarrhoea because the GM version is even more plastic ie they have been made for extended shelf-life and that means that their cellular structure or fibre structure or protein structures have been made into 'Frankenstein structures' which our body can no longer break down. This is a sign of GM vegetables and Britain has a lot of it.
on December 27, 2013
at 02:24 AM
Are you eating real lettuce like Romaine or are you eating water; aka Iceberg?
Changes in diet such as adding lots of lettuce/greens to it is known to give you some digestive distress until the flora in your gut adjusts to be accept and digest it. It WILL adjust and the amount of time it takes is different for everyone. For me, it took nearly 9 months for my GI to settle after adding Romaine lettuce to my diet at least 4 times a week. For my SO it took less than a week. Nothing but time helped.
You should pretty much never waste your money on Iceberg lettuce as it has virtually zero nutritional value and is comprised primarily of water and indigestible cellulose.
Romaine on the other hand is high in digestible fibre and very nutritious. Lots of Vit. A, some C, some Iron, some B6 and Magnesium. IMO, Romaine is the only lettuce one should add significant amounts of to one's diet. It's just too tasty, and too nutritious!
on December 26, 2013
at 05:09 PM
I think we should also consider the salad dressing used with the lettuce. For example a new dairy intolerance if using a milk based dressing. My son (16) went gluten free 3 months ago and rarely eats veggies but the last 3 times he ate salad or raw celery with blue cheese dressing he got D, twice waking him in the middle of the night in distress. I'm trying to figure out what it is. He has a history of leaky gut and food intolerances (wheat, soy, and used to be bothered by dairy).
Prior to going gluten free he ate salad frequently, and celery and raw carrots with a dip. This D from salad or raw veggies is a new thing for him. He hates cooked veggies so he's now avoiding all veggies which of course is not ideal.
on December 17, 2013
at 05:54 PM
I havent had my gall bladder removed but lettuce does give me digestive distress (in the form of D) and I can see undigested lettuce in the throne. Reasoning? The insoluble fiber passing through without being digested? Then why doesnt everyone see undigested food?
Looking at what some of the posters here have said, about gall bladder removal and lettuce, I did some research. It seems that lettuce absorbs bile acids. Could it be some people have a lessened flow of bile from their gall bladders and the presence of lettuce in the diet absorbs the already lessened bile, creating a fat malabsorption scenario (as bile helps in the digestion of fats), which translates to a D scenario?
See study here:
Non-scientific study resource:
on August 27, 2013
at 04:53 PM
I had my gall bladder removed and I cannot eat lettuce either.
on August 17, 2013
at 03:38 PM
Aaron, That's what happeded to me. I was just fine eating lettuce before my gallbaldder was taken out, but after was a nightmare. The doctor told me I would have some adjustments to food afterwards but he said Lettuce should not be one of them. I still have not found out why lettuce effects me so badly.
on August 13, 2013
at 07:24 PM
This really happened to me after I had my gall bladder taken out. Coincidence?
on August 10, 2013
at 12:20 PM
I love Olive Garden but it is tough to eat there when the salad causes such immediate reaction of intestinal distress. Last night I could hardly make it home(to the bathroom). Certainly all of these postings and comments should make OG think twice about their products. I, and my friends, can no longer eat there and not fear an "episode"!!!
on June 11, 2013
at 07:41 PM
Many restaurants put preservatives on their salads to keep them "looking" fresh. Many people are allergic or sensitive to this preservative and hence the stomach may get upset. You can also feel dizzy, wanting to throw up, diarrhea and cramps. Some people may have flu like symptoms such as sweaty hot/cold sensation on top of everything else. It’s a reaction that our bodies have for our protection to get the poison, as I call it, OUT of the body. I have heard that food poisoning happens between 18-48 hrs. after eating something bad…NOT TRUE!!! There are different kinds of food poisoning. True, it’s more difficult to place blame legally unless several people have had the same experience at the same place and at the same time with the same food. On the other hand, if one is not use to eating salads, the roughage from the lettuce can act like a cleaning agent with its fiber until your body adjusts to eating such healthy foods, but in my experience, this will not happen in such a short amount of time. But poison to your system, well some bodies react fairly quickly. Think about how fast some medications work when simply digesting it.
on January 22, 2013
at 03:02 PM
You may have an intollerance to Gluten. While that alone won't cause your symptoms, the damage it does to your small intestines will. I had the same issue untill I went on a Gluten Free diet which allows the intestines to begin to reverse the damage. After about a year I noticed my issues with lettuce went away. Hope that helps.
on June 25, 2012
at 03:28 PM
I remember an allergy test I went in for had lettuce as one of things...came back mild for me, though I have never had a problem to my knowledge.
on June 25, 2012
at 02:40 AM
Lettuce = Rodney Dangerfield of vegetable. Gets no respect. Dean pretty much hit the nail on the head but I'll add in some more to consider.
Bacteria from cross contamination. Maybe try different brands?
You're eating to much fiber. Lettuce is pretty much water & fiber. Maybe try to limit your serving size.
on June 25, 2012
at 01:37 AM
I get this too, but only when I don't thoroughly rinse my lettuces/spinach/kale/etc. Even the bagged "pre-washed" varieties. I lived in California during a particularly nasty E. coli spinach outbreak and that was enough to convince me to take the extra step.
That said, cellulose or no, I mow through pounds of greens every week in the spring, can't seem to get enough of the stuff. Very satisfying.