Popcorn Stabbed Me in the Gut

Fluffy, crunchy popcorn, so light and delicious—who can resist it?

I couldn’t. Until I realized I got a horrible stabbing pain in the right side of my lower abdomen after I ate it. Has that ever happened to you?

How do I know it was the popcorn that was causing my abdominal pain?…

It got pretty obvious after a while. Popcorn is more of a snack than a meal, so I wasn’t eating other foods with it. That means I couldn’t put the blame on something else.

Here’s what used to happen when I was still eating popcorn:

Day One: Eat popcorn. Yum! Twinge of pain in right side of lower abdomen.

Day Two: Popcorn on Day One tasted so good, eat more. Ouch—worse feeling in exact same place in abdomen as on Day One, like someone is poking their finger into my intestine.

Day Three: Give in to a little lower abdominal pain? Ha! Eat more popcorn. OWWWW!! This time it really hurts. Gee, maybe I should stop (duh…)

So I did, and I’ve never had the problem since. (Except for that one other time when I thought it might be okay because I hadn’t eaten popcorn in such a long time. It wasn’t.)

Why would popcorn cause this pain?

I don’t know a scientific answer but I do know that I’m grain-sensitive. I react to all the grains that are in the grass family (cereal grains): wheat, rye, oats, spelt, kamut, teff, bulghur, barley and, of course, corn. So that could be the reason.

Or maybe it’s because corn is a high mould grain and my system reacted to the mould. I really don’t care what the reason is. If staying off corn keeps me from being stabbed in the gut, that’s all that really matters.

BTW, I avoid all corn now—on the cob, corn chips, tortillas, high-fructose corn syrup, cornmeal, corn bread, dextrose, luncheon meats, and anything else that might contain corn.

What foods do you react to? Let me know.

8 thoughts on “Popcorn Stabbed Me in the Gut”

  1. I could not agree more. Popcorn was one food I once thought was a healthy snack, but realized how addicting it was and hard to only eat just a small bowl. I always felt like I had a hangover the next morning after I ate too much of it the next morning. With the help of Karen and her priceless information on food and how it affects everyone differently, I have been able to make my own plan. One of the greatest pieces of advice I received from her and finally came to realize, is that there is no perfect answer for everyone. We all react differently to foods and need to find out what works for us as individuals. Chances are if you feel addicted to certain foods and can’t get enough of it, it probably isn’t something you should be eating. I am forever grateful for the help I have received from Karen regarding this and so much more. My life is changed forever! Thank you!

  2. Hi Sara,

    Thank you for your many kind words! You’re right that there is no perfect answer for everyone. There are people out there who are probably fine with popcorn. I wish I was one of them!

    BTW, eating something every single day is the best way to sensitize to it (i.e. develop an intolerance), so it wasn’t too bright of me to eat popcorn 3 days in a row… 🙁

  3. Hi Amber,Ouch! That’s a scary thought but makes sense. Some fiber is good but those sharp pieces in popcorn are a bit much.

  4. I have been a popcorn addicted for a few years and for the last two or three months I have eaten it almost every night pretty much for dinner ..today is Sunday and since last Monday I have had horrible bloat and sharp pains in my lower right abdomen ..anything I eat now which is completely clean and healthy causes me to bloat and I was just wondering if I can still be flared up from the popcorn and I just need to wait it out?…please help??

  5. Wow, same here. I have been having what I thought was healthy popcorn, many times for dinner. And A LOT of it. I could eat a whole tub by myself. I buy the Amish popcorn and I make it myself with olive oil or coconut oil and Himalayan salt. Well, something is wrong with my gut now and I’m working with my doctor to figure out what. I started wondering if maybe I’m eating too much popcorn. Any help in figuring out if this is it would help. For now, and sadly, I will stop eating popcorn until I feel better.

  6. So do you just wait out the pain? What did you do to get thru the pain. I don’t take medication. It just feels like I’m backed up and the pain is constant in my lower right abdomen.

    1. Hi Wendy,
      There are a couple of self-applied acupressure techniques you could try to help relieve the pain. The first is to use EFT and the second is to use the ‘spine-rub technique’. There are demonstrations of both on our YouTube channel which is located here: https://www.youtube.com/user/NoIBSvideos. These can be used for other types of discomfort as well.

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