Can Turmeric Cause Diarrhea? (6 Possible Reasons)

Can Turmeric Cause Diarrhea? 6 Possible Reasons Why

Judging after my experience – turmeric is the best ingredient for any kind of joint pain: 

  • it’s the strongest anti-inflammatory from all herbs
  • it’s completely natural

That’s why turmeric supplements remain my #1 choice.

However, even this herb has its own downsides:

Allergies and headaches are pretty common things, but can turmeric cause diarrhea?

Is it the real responsible behind your sudden problem? It’s time to find out the truth behind turmeric.

 

 

Yes – Turmeric Can Cause Diarrhea


It’s not something that should happen on a normal basis – but in some cases, turmeric can produce diarrhea.

In fact, this is one of the common side effects of this herb.

The good news is that there are few people who get diarrhea after taking turmeric. So it might be just a coincidence.

But what if it’s not? What if it’s really turmeric causing your problem?

Well, there are 6 possible reasons why turmeric would cause diarrhea. If it’s really turmeric behind your problem, you will surely find yourself on this list.

 

 

1. The Dose You’re Taking Is Too High


In most cases, it’s concentration that makes the difference between a good and a bad supplement:

  • Can Turmeric Cause Diarrhea? 6 Possible Reasons Whythe right dose will treat your pain
  • and it won’t cause any secondary effect

On the other hand – if your supplement contains a dose that is too high, you may have problems.

So if you’re dealing with diarrhea, you’re most likely taking a dose that is too high for your body.

But what exactly does that mean in numbers? What’s the recommended dose of turmeric?

Based on my experience, I would say this:

  • the right dose is around 1000-1500 mg per pill

If it’s lower, you won’t get the same pain control.

On the other hand – if your daily dose is higher than 3000 mg, you might experience several adverse effect, like diarrhea.

So take a look on your supplement’s label. If the dose of turmeric is higher than 1500 mg, it’s probably too strong for your body. So that’s what’s causing your diarrhea.

In this case, go for a product that has between 1000 and 1500 mg and you should see a change very soon.

 

 

2. You Just Started This Treatment


Sometimes our bodies respond to a supplement in a pretty unexpected way.

You may be taking the right dose of turmeric and still experience diarrhea without any reason.

  • Let’s say your doctor recommended you a turmeric supplement
  • You choose a 1200 mg one – which is a very good dose
  • And even so – you’re experiencing diarrhea right after starting the treatment

Why does this happen?

Well, it’s because your body needs some time to get used to it.

That’s a pretty rare situation, but sometimes your body doesn’t tolerate turmeric from the start:

  • It will start to get used to it
  • But it will take a while

So if you’re taking the right dose of turmeric and you’re still getting diarrhea – you might be one of those few people.

Continue the treatment for a week and if that’s the reason behind, your diarrhea should go away.

 

 

3. You’re Taking It On An Empty Stomach


Can Turmeric Cause Diarrhea? 6 Possible Reasons WhyThat’s one of the mistakes I made with many turmeric supplements:

  • Turmeric isn’t a toxic herb
  • But it has a pretty strong effect – compared to others

Taking it on an empty stomach will always cause you nausea and sometimes even diarrhea.

What’s interesting is that a lot of supplements don’t tell you how to take the pills. Some do, but these are quite a few.

I found out about this thing after reading several reviews of turmeric products on the Internet.

Once I started taking the pills after eating, everything changed. And it’s not all about the adverse effects:

  • Turmeric manages the pain much better if it’s taken with food

So if you’re doing  the same mistake as me, remember this. No matter what brand is your supplement, always take it after eating. That will change a lot.

 

 

4. You Associate It With Other Medicines


That’s one of the most common mistake people make.

Though it’s a herbal supplement, turmeric shouldn’t be associated with other drugs – no matter if they’re natural or not. That’s what the theory says.

Practically speaking, some people with chronic diseases take other drugs with their turmeric supplements:

  • It’s either because their doctor recommended it
  • Or it’s because they have no other choice

Sometimes classic therapy doesn’t reduce the pain – so you are forced to try something else besides.

Well, these people are much more likely to experience secondary effects. So if you’re one of them, your diarrhea can be just a result of this association.

But there’s one thing you can do in this case:

  • Make sure you’re not taking the drugs together, at the same hour

 If you have to take the drug 3 times per day and the turmeric pill only once – wait at least an hour between them.

That will help your body absorb them by turn, and your diarrhea might even go away completely.

 

 

5. It’s Not The Best Quality


Not every turmeric brand is the same, that’s for sure. And most of the times – it’s quality what makes the difference:

  • Can Turmeric Cause Diarrhea? 6 Possible Reasons WhyA poor quality turmeric contains more additives
  • While a good quality substance is more pure

A poor quality turmeric will usually lead to secondary effects – because of its additives.

Unfortunately, the human eye can’t tell which turmeric is pure and which isn’t.

So how can you tell which brands have the best turmeric?

Well, you can look for opinions and reviews from real people. I’ve tested out many supplements – and I have a top of the best ones.

Therefore, if your turmeric supplement is causing you diarrhea – it may be because of its low quality:

  • Try something else and you should see an improvement

 

 

6. Your Body Is Sensitive To Turmeric


There are some people that can’t tolerate turmeric at all:

  • No matter how quality it is
  • No matter they take the right dose
  • Their body simply doesn’t get used to it

These are pretty rare situations, but it can happen.

What’s interesting that those people aren’t necessarily allergic to turmeric:

  • They can take the pills without any allergic reaction
  • But they usually experience serious side effects (like diarrhea)

There are small chances, but that can be your case as well.

Let’s say you’re taking the right dose of a really good brand and you’ve started your treatment about 2 weeks ago.

Well, if you’ve been having diarrhea ever since – maybe your body simply can’t tolerate turmeric.

You might want to try another brand, but if the result is the same, you should simply give up turmeric supplements and go for another herbal remedy.

 

 

So Is Turmeric Behind Your Diarrhea?


Short answer: It may be – especially if it started right after the treatment. In this case, there are a few things you can do:

  • If you’re taking more than 3000 mg per day, go for a lower dose
  • Take the pills after eating
  • Try not to associate them with another drugs
  • Also, make sure choose a quality turmeric supplement

In case your diarrhea doesn’t stop after a week – just quit the pills.

You can try another brand, but if you still get this effect, you body might just not like turmeric.

If your diarrhea stops after quitting the pills – it was surely turmeric causing it.

Have you ever hand any similar problems caused by turmeric? Let me know your answer in a comment and I will reach out to you.

Heather Pharm.D.

Heather Tracy Foley is a Pharmacy graduate, Blogger and Author with a vast experience in health sciences. She has a particular interest in joint pain and rheumatology and spent several years studying health problems. You can find her on Pinterest or via email.

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6 Responses

  1. Celia Ha gield says:

    My husband has a sensitivity to turmeric which causes cramps and diarrhea. Even tiny amounts have this effect and I would advise anyone with the same problem to check labels when shopping. Turmeric seems to be everywhere – in many stock cubes, ready meals and of course currys. We have also found it is sometimes used in the batter for fish and chips! It seems to be used for colour as well as flavour.

  2. Heather says:

    Hi Celia. Yeah there is a small number or people who are allergic to turmeric, so any interaction with this substance can be dangerous. Now, I know a lot of people who are sensitive to turmeric but they don’t react so badly as your husband. So he’s probably really allergic to something inside turmeric, maybe even curcumin.

    I know turmeric is used as a natural color in eastern countries, where it’s actually original from. But I never saw it used for this purpose in the US. Why would brands used turmeric when they have much cheaper alternatives for flavors and food coloring? They may use it in curry, but I’m not 100% sure. But when it comes to ready meals, I never really saw it, so I don’t really know.

  3. Leanna says:

    I recently started taking a supplement that contains a small amount of Tumeric (75 mg) along with vitamins. For the first week of taking it I experienced stomach cramps and diarrhea. I quit taking it and after several days the diarrhea stopped. Then I started taking it again and the diarrhea started again. I told this to the practitioner who advised me to take it. She has never had anyone have this problem. I believe I am sensitive to Tumeric. Thanks for the information in your article.

  4. Heather says:

    Hi Leanna. 75 mg is a really really low dose, so I’m surprised to hear you experienced diarrhea from such a low quantity. There are 2 scenarios:

    1. You are indeed sensitive to turmeric – otherwise you shouldn’t have experienced these problems from such a low dose. I know some people who get diarrhea and stomach pain after taking high doses (over 1.500 mg) and I can understand that. But 75 mg is very little, so the only explanation is that your body doesn’t tolerate this herb.

    2. Maybe it was that supplement that caused you these problems, not turmeric alone. I don’t know what vitamins it contains (and what other ingredients), but that could be an option. Did you take that kind of supplement before (without turmeric I mean)? Or do you happen to be sensitive to one of the other ingredients?

    Sorry that I can’t give you a clear answer, but I agree with your practitioner. You’re the first person I know about to get these reactions at such a low dose. So I don’t really know what to say. Anyway, hope this helps. Thanks for reading my blog.

  5. Catherine Wilkinson says:

    Thank you for all the good advice. I do have a “intestinal” reaction to turmeric, and definitely do not want to stop taking it since it is so effective for pain! Instead of taking it every morning with all my other vitamins, I take it mid-day, or even a little later. Another reason I do that is that I found if I take in the early morning, the good effect wear off at night time…I feel pain at night and it keeps me awake. So, changing the timing has worked well…less intestinal problems and more effective for night time.

  6. Heather says:

    Hi Catherine, I know what you’re saying.

    Maybe you could take half of that dose in the morning and the other half in the evening. That could have you covered for the whole day and night. I would normally tell you to increase the dose, but that would probably increase your problems as well. So you can either take it as you do now, or you could follow my advice and see if it can keep your pain under control better.

    Hope this helps.

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