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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 12/10/2007 7:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Question does anyone know how long it takes for someone with crohns to eat and then digest food and go to bathroom.  If you eat something and then have a hard stool or diaherra is that the food you had 12 hours ago or the food you just ate 15 minutes ago.  I journal my food and stuff but trying to figure out what causes me to have these soft stools.  I m not sure if it is something i just ate or something i had the day prior? Any help or information would be apprecited.  Tricia
40mg of humira every other week, 10mg of sol medrol, 6 pentasa a day.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 12/10/2007 7:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Good question!
Well diaherra can happen right after a meal for some, or 1-2hrs after eating dairy foods, but most food I heard is 4-6 hrs till its worked on well, and up to 12hrs to fully digest for some foods.  It varies on what your eating, I forget where I read this, mayb it was here but it's an interesting question.
I recorded my food for weeks and stopped eating certain things to find out what causes pain or D, and well it seems anything I eat can do it.  It's tough to pinpoint one thing unless you eat really nothing at all for weeks on end and switch around the food.. lol
What does anyone else have to say? I'd like to hear a lot of opinions of this one ;)

Male DX with CD May 2006 @ age 22, Colonoscopy and SBT
Taking Prednisone 10mg (tapering), Imuran 75mg (eventually 150mg I was told), Atenolol 25mg for fast heartbeat (thanks Pred!)
Have used Pentasa, Entocort in the past
Have a safe and happy holiday everyone!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4471
   Posted 12/10/2007 8:36 AM (GMT -6)   
It is very hard to figure out. When I'm not in a flare and having formed stool, then it seems to take 12-24 hours, but much faster if I'm having diarrhea. Hope this helps
48 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's Sept-Oct. 2007

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 12/10/2007 8:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Food generally spends a couple of hours in the stomach being mixed with digestive enzymes and broken down into small particles. The average transit time for the small bowel is 3-5 hours, and then the residue can move through the clon in from 4 hours to a matter of days. When things move along more rapidly due to inflammation and D, all that can be cut significantly, but there's really no way for food to go from mouth to rectum almost immediately. So if yiou have D right after a meal, as mamny Crohn's patients do, it's probably yesterday's meal emerging, rather than the one you just ate.
I fixed your 3-5 hours :)

Post Edited By Moderator (stkitt) : 12/29/2007 3:48:24 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 1372
   Posted 12/10/2007 9:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Last week I ate a small bowl of mandrin oranges and within 2 hours I pooped them out undigested. I think it depends on what you are eating and if you are in a flare or not.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1665
   Posted 12/10/2007 11:09 AM (GMT -6)   
MikeB said...
Food generally spends a couple of hours in the stomach being mixed with digestive enzymes and broken down into small particles. The average transit time for the small bowel is 305 hours,
did you mean 305 hours? that seems really long to me! I just finished my transit time marker test and the doc said it takes a few hours for food to get to the colon and anywhere from hours to days and days to come out.

48 y/o woman.  Diagnosed 4/06 after colonscopy, SBFT, CT-scan all showed crohns. 3 months later, after pred and remicade, all tests showed no crohns. In December had adhesions cut through a laparoscopy. Now just taking Glycolax, metamucil and vicidin as needed.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 1986
   Posted 12/10/2007 11:10 AM (GMT -6)   
I think it depends on what you eat. If I eat a roll with sesame seeds, they're out of there in about a half hour.
Crohn's Disease   

Mormor Vicky
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 684
   Posted 12/10/2007 11:27 AM (GMT -6)   
I usually eat blueberries with my breakfast.  I ran out and the store didn't have any for several weeks so I know I was completely cleaned out.  I had my cereal at 5:30am and pooped them out about 10-11am.  That tells me, for me only, that transit time is 4-6 hours.
Vicky / 47 years old
DX'd with Crohn's during a resection August 2006
DX'd with Steriod induced Diabetes November 2006
Considered in Clinical remission but have minor signs of disease activity
Daughter (26) also has Crohn's since she was 12.
Currently on 4000mg of Pentasa only for Crohn's
No longer able to take 6-MP because of Bone-Marrow Suppression
Cymbalta, Metformin, Lipitor

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 12/10/2007 12:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Depends on what I eat and if I am having formed stools or D. I could pass the food rapidly before in about 3 hours. Now on low residue diet I cain't tell what I am eating and don't have the mucus. I chew better too so not so aware of the food because it is broken down. lol gail

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 12/10/2007 12:59 PM (GMT -6)   
That should read 3-5 hours. And those figures are the norm -- obviously faster for CD patients. Still, it does take some time for food to make the whole route.

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 12/28/2007 12:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Transit time can be extremely fast during a flare. I've passed food straight through in 15 minutes. Raw vegetables (which I rarely eat) seem to be one of the worse foods for me. I've had to dash to the bathroom before even finishing a salad. The lettuce was still green and crispy.  And I hadn't eaten lettuce in days. Makes me realize I don't chew my food nearly as well as I should. These days, I stick with well cooked vegies.

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 12/28/2007 12:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Transit time for healthy people is 3 days, whatever they eat today (all meals) will be completely out of them within 3 days, but of course, healthy or not that is just an approximate time...of course with having IBD or even IBS transit times vary from person to person and with IBD, from flare to flare as's very difficult to keep track of something like that and know for sure.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 455
   Posted 12/28/2007 6:48 PM (GMT -6)   
i go about 10 a day and average 14hrs arrival time depending on the food..its kinda nice to plan life around it

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30614
   Posted 12/29/2007 1:38 AM (GMT -6)   
It's impossible for food to go from the stomach to the toilet in 15 minutes....impossible.
Even the purges that are liquid and made to force peristalsis take an hour or two to start, and the process for total evacuation can take up to 6 hours.


*Heather*Status: mini flare Dec 28... increased enemas to nightly
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol (6 daily) + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~Probiotic 3(Natural Factors Protec) bedtime + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) occasionally
~multi-digestive enzymes as needed ....bromelain 1 - 2x daily
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

Post Edited (quincy) : 12/29/2007 1:23:29 PM (GMT-7)

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 12/29/2007 2:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I have constant D and I depending on what I eat if I do cheat ......will be on that toilet 30 minutes 3 hrs tops .........with a very lil warning

I have cheated before bed and I have dirtied self ........could not make it to bathroom...........

This is with all the opiates I take as well

I believe it depends on person,flaring and what ya eat.........constant D or not ...Just my half penny worth
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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/3/2014 2:15 AM (GMT -6)   
I thought my wife poisoned me for the life insurance. She made me dinner and served every plate to the table. The first was a salad and the a very good meat loaf with boiled potatoes. It was all very tasty but before I could finish my main dish I had the
"GRIP" only 15 minutes after the salad. I headed to the bathroom and my bowels were the salad, undigested. It looked as green as when I ate it. Did my wife poison me or do I have a serious problem ?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 909
   Posted 12/3/2014 2:09 PM (GMT -6)   
When I have D shortly after eating, I attribute it to the food setting off my GI tract and causing it to spasm, which then speeds up pushing whatever is already in the colon to the exit.

It's impossible to tell unless you see undigested food in the toilet bowl, but I would say in really bad situations, I have seen stuff in a couple hours.
30s female. Crohn's ileocolitis dx2/06. Proctitis dx 10/12. Arthritis dx9/09. GERD dx1/13. Asthma dx4/13. Lyme dx 7/14. Raynaud's. Chronic migraines. Chronic chest pain. Anxiety.

Meds: Remicade every 6 weeks, 100mg Trazodone, 50mg Zoloft, Klonopin, Botox (migraines), Zyrtec, Maxalt Pentasa, Pred, PPIs, Topamax, Lyrica, Gabapentin, Lialda, doxyxycline

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 233
   Posted 12/3/2014 5:50 PM (GMT -6)   
I generally go to the bathroom within 30-60 minutes of eating. The more I eat, the quicker and more urgent I'll need to go. I'm sure it's not the same food I just ate, but something about a full stomach triggers the rest of the process for me.
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