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poofandmook's avatar

Can food pass through you that fast?

Asked by poofandmook (17212 points ) September 15th, 2009

I’m having a debate with someone.

Say you’re eating a meal, and within the hour, you develop “digestive issues” that send you hurtling for the nearest restroom. You haven’t eaten anything since that morning, and it’s now late evening, and the meal you’ve just eaten would normally be questionable anyway.

Is it possible that the food you’ve just eaten, knowing it wasn’t bad (going by sight, smell, and of course taste), could’ve made you ill that fast?

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17 Answers

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Yes, it sure can. My daughters & I go to Long John Silvers a lot. By the time we hit the stores, we’re hitting the bathroom. It’s all the grease, I guess.

deni's avatar

Yeah, if I have a hot dog, i’m immediately sprinting for the bathroom.

teh_kvlt_liberal's avatar

Even mine? ;) I’m sorry I couldn’t resist

sevenfourteen's avatar

It only takes 4 hours for food to make it completely through your system so by 1 hour it’s definately already in your stomache broken down and on its way to your intestines to be absorped. This is enough time for you to get an upset stomach.

Frankie's avatar

Yep, that was me yesterday. About an hour after I ate ANYTHING (and I eat very healthy) I had to run to the bathroom with pretty bad digestive issues. It just happens to me every once in awhile, usually when I travel (I’m visiting home for a few days before I go back to school—usually going home wouldn’t cause that, but I think that because I flew this time it may have really stressed out my system). I have a very sensitive digestive system that does not appreciate change!

filmfann's avatar

There is a Chinese restaurant we love that sometimes has poorly prepared food. About 20 minutes after eating, it’s your basic ass explosion.
When the waiter asks how dinner was, we say “We’ll tell you in 15 minutes”.
I sometimes go there when I am severly constipated.

Desmos's avatar

No. This is your body excreting old food because during/after a meal your body sends more blood and water to your intestines to aid in the digestion and movement of the food already in your bowels. It takes 24–48 hours for a typical meal to digest completly and be excreted.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/digestive-system/an00896

casheroo's avatar

Ugh, I think it can since I have to hear about it from my husband. Sometimes in detail. gross.

wildpotato's avatar

It depends on your body. Gastroenterologists have a test to see how fast food goes through your system, and each individual person must take it to find out. You don’t eat anything except a tiny recording device for 24 hours, and they follow the recorder through you.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@wildpotato make that a video and I’m on board. I coudl see burning the resultant video to DVD and then adding ad-lib comments. Gastrointestinal hilarity would ensue.

wildpotato's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra :oP Actually, I think the recorder was a camera. I’ll check with my friend and get back to ya.

galileogirl's avatar

The process can take from 12 to 24 hours and it takes about 4 hours to clear the stomach. It probably wasn’t the suspicious meat you ate an hour ago but what you ate the night before. The meat will have you on the run tomorrow. If you are really interested in your timing, eat a little can of niblets and you will learn all you need to know about your GI tract.

mattbrowne's avatar

In a healthy human adult the whole digestion process can take between 24 and 72 hours. “Within the hour” most likely means something’s not right. The reason must not necessarily be related to the most recent food or drink. Maybe you touched something and then touched your mouth and licked your lips.

Maybe someone played a trick on you and put a drop of laxative in your drink.

JLeslie's avatar

I think there are certain foods that cause your digestive system to react, but you are not expelling the food you just ate, rather it is causing the system to be irritated or moving and you actually are most likely getting rid of food from the last 24–48 hours. If you have ever done the prep for a colonscopy you would realize that it is amazing how much food is inside of you at all times. Gross.

Inofaith's avatar

I once read it takes about 8 hours for foord too “pass through you”.

But yes it most of the time is possible that very short after a meal you have to go visit the bathroom. But this is older stool. It’s just your body activating the conveyer belt of food again and moving everything along.

Steakshake's avatar

When I ate a big steak, yesterday, I got diarrhea in about an hour. The smell was unmistakably the grilled steak I had just eaten. No one can believe it happened that fast. This happened to me once before, several years ago. I too would like to know how this can happen.

kamakali's avatar

husband ate some organic green superhemp cereal with chia seeds and every time, in like 3 hours, his poop is green with seeds in it. i know for it to leave the stomach it should take 15 to 30 minutes because of its nature, but to be all the way thru to the intestines so quickly seems odd to me. and my husband is diabetic…

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