Is it normal for coffee to affect your bowel movements? When to speak to your doctor


Coffee makes up £17.7 billion of the UK economy, at a rate of 95 million cups a day, according to market research by Mintel and CEBR.

Drinking coffee to often, or at the wrong times, can be harmful to the body, experts have warned.

Nataly Komova, nutritionist and fitness expert warns: “Consuming coffee as the first thing in the morning increases your risk of gut problems.

“Taking coffee on an empty stomach in the morning causes damage to the stomach lining, heartburn, and indigestion.”

The stimulant effect of caffeine can provide energy to your body, but it also activates muscles in the colon and intestines.

This can be beneficial for maintaining regular bowel movements, Komova explains, but consuming the wrong amount might have the opposite effect.

She says that you should seek medical advice “If the irregular bowel movements become too persistent or you experience loose stool frequently.”

Other lifestyle factors can change how your body responds to caffeine, such as smokers processing it more quickly and often consuming more as a result.

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Limited research has been conducted on how caffeine interacts with chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

Caffeine has been linked to a short term increase in blood pressure, but the mechanism is not understood.

The effect of caffeine might be more pronounced when taken before activities that naturally raise blood pressure, such as exercise.

This means that people at risk from high blood pressure may want to limit or avoid their caffeine intake.


John Hopkins Medicine advises against coffee and any other caffeinated products if you suffer from IBS.

The stimulant effect of caffeine on the bowels can aggravate the condition.

While coffee, tea and cola are common sources of caffeine it can also be found in chocolate and some headache relief medications.

Coffee is one of the most caffeine-dense beverages, but the exact amount can very depending on preparation methods.

The Sleep Foundation warns that caffeine can actually worsen fatigue, by causing sleep deprivation.

Sleep deprivation can go on to worsen a dependence on caffeine.

Making changes to improve the quality of your sleep may reduce your dependence on caffeine.

This includes measures such as avoid electronics before sleeping and exercising daily.

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