Oat Milk and Digestive Health: What You Need to Know

Oat milk has become an increasingly popular alternative to dairy milk due to its creamy texture and nutty flavor. However, some people have experienced digestive issues after consuming oat milk. In this article, we will explore the link between oat milk and digestive health, including potential causes of diarrhea, gas, bloating, stomach cramps, nausea, and constipation. We will also provide tips for preventing and managing digestive issues related to oat milk consumption.

Understanding the Link Between Oat Milk and Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a common gastrointestinal symptom that can be caused by a wide range of factors, including food intolerances and allergies. Oat milk may trigger diarrhea in some individuals due to its fiber content and potential gluten contamination.

The Science Behind Oat Milk and Digestive Issues

Oat milk contains both soluble and insoluble fibers, which can have a laxative effect on the digestive system. Soluble fibers, such as beta-glucan, can dissolve in water and form a gel-like consistency in the gut, which may increase stool bulk and speed up transit time. Insoluble fibers, such as cellulose, can't dissolve in water and pass largely unchanged through the digestive tract, adding bulk to the stool and promoting bowel movement.

Additionally, some brands of oat milk may be cross-contaminated with gluten-containing grains during processing or storage, leading to symptoms of gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, such as diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain.

Exploring the Common Causes of Diarrhea from Oat Milk

Aside from fiber and gluten, there are several other factors that may contribute to diarrhea after consuming oat milk:

  • Added sweeteners: Many commercial oat milk products contain added sugars, which can ferment in the gut and produce gas and diarrhea.
  • Carrageenan: Carrageenan is a thickener commonly added to plant-based milk alternatives like oat milk. It has been linked to inflammation and digestive problems in some people.
  • Soy lecithin: Soy lecithin is an emulsifier that helps stabilize the texture of oat milk. However, some individuals may be sensitive to soy and experience diarrhea or other symptoms as a result.

It is important to note that not all individuals will experience diarrhea after consuming oat milk. Some people may tolerate it well and even find it to be a good alternative to dairy milk. However, if you are experiencing digestive issues after consuming oat milk, it may be helpful to keep a food diary and track your symptoms to identify any potential triggers.

If you suspect that you may have a food intolerance or allergy, it is recommended to speak with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for guidance on how to properly manage your symptoms and ensure that you are meeting your nutritional needs.

Tips for Preventing Diarrhea from Oat Milk

If you experience diarrhea after drinking oat milk or other plant-based milk alternatives, here are some tips to help prevent or manage your symptoms:

  • Choose low-fiber brands: Look for oat milk products that are labeled as low-fiber or have less than 2 grams of fiber per serving.
  • Opt for unsweetened varieties: Avoid oat milk products that contain added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Instead, sweeten your oat milk with natural alternatives, such as maple syrup or stevia.
  • Avoid carrageenan and soy lecithin: If you suspect that these additives are contributing to your diarrhea, look for oat milk products that are free of these ingredients or make your own oat milk at home.
  • Gradually increase your intake: If you're new to oat milk or recently increased your consumption, start with a small amount, such as ¼ cup per day, and gradually increase your intake over several weeks to allow your body to adjust.

Understanding Your Body's Reaction to Oat Milk

Everyone's digestive system is different, and some people may tolerate oat milk better than others. If you're unsure whether oat milk is causing your diarrhea or other symptoms, keep a food diary and track your bowel movements, along with any other symptoms you may experience, such as bloating, gas, or abdominal pain. This can help you identify patterns and potential triggers.

Choosing the Right Oat Milk for Your Digestive System

If you're sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease, look for oat milk products that are certified gluten-free. These products are made from oats that are grown and processed separately from gluten-containing grains, reducing the risk of cross-contamination. You may also want to choose oat milk products that are enriched with calcium and vitamin D to ensure that you're getting the nutrients you need for bone health.

DIY Oat Milk: A Safe Alternative to Store-Bought Brands

If you prefer to avoid commercial oat milk products altogether, you can make your own oat milk at home with just a few ingredients. Homemade oat milk is typically free of additives and preservatives and can be customized to your liking. Here's a simple recipe:

Ingredients:- 1 cup rolled oats- 4 cups filtered water- Pinch of salt- Sweetener of choice (optional)Instructions:1. Soak the rolled oats in water for at least 30 minutes to soften them.2. Drain the oats and rinse them under cold water.3. Add the oats, filtered water, and salt to a blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes, or until smooth.4. Strain the oat milk through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth into a bowl or pitcher. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible.5. If desired, add a sweetener of your choice, such as dates, maple syrup, or vanilla extract. Stir well.6. Transfer the oat milk to a jar or bottle and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Managing Diarrhea Caused by Oat Milk

If you're experiencing diarrhea after consuming oat milk, there are several natural remedies that may help soothe your digestive system:

  • Drink plenty of fluids: Diarrhea can cause dehydration, so it's important to drink enough water, coconut water, or herbal teas to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes.
  • Eat bland foods: Stick to simple, easy-to-digest foods, such as rice, bananas, boiled potatoes, chicken broth, and toast until your diarrhea improves.
  • Avoid spicy or fatty foods: These can irritate your digestive system and trigger further diarrhea.
  • Try probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help restore the balance of gut flora and reduce diarrhea. Look for a high-quality probiotic supplement or consume fermented foods, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, or kimchi.
  • Use anti-diarrheal medications: If your diarrhea is severe or persistent, your healthcare provider may recommend over-the-counter medications, such as loperamide (Imodium) or bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol), to help reduce symptoms. However, these medications should not be used for more than 2 days without consulting your healthcare provider.

Natural Remedies for Soothing Digestive Issues

In addition to the above tips, there are several natural remedies that may help promote digestive health and soothe symptoms of diarrhea, gas, bloating, and nausea:

  • Ginger: Ginger has anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties and may help reduce gas and bloating. You can drink ginger tea or chew on fresh ginger root.
  • Mint: Mint is a natural carminative that may help relieve gas and bloating. You can drink peppermint tea or chew on fresh mint leaves.
  • Fennel: Fennel seeds contain compounds that can relax the muscles in the digestive tract and reduce gas and bloating. You can chew on fennel seeds or drink fennel tea.
  • Chamomile: Chamomile has anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties that can help soothe an upset stomach. You can drink chamomile tea or take chamomile supplements.

Adjusting Your Diet to Avoid Oat Milk-Related Diarrhea

If you suspect that oat milk is causing your diarrhea, you may want to eliminate it from your diet and explore other plant-based milk alternatives, such as almond milk, soy milk, or rice milk. You can also experiment with other sources of fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts, to ensure that you're getting enough fiber without triggering your symptoms.

Other Digestive Issues Linked to Oat Milk

In addition to diarrhea, oat milk may also cause other digestive issues, such as gas, bloating, stomach cramps, nausea, and constipation.

The Connection Between Oat Milk and Gas

Gas is a natural byproduct of digestion, but excessive gas production can cause discomfort and bloating. Oat milk may contribute to gas formation in some individuals due to its fiber content and fermentation by gut bacteria. To reduce gas and bloating, try eating small, frequent meals, chewing food slowly and thoroughly, and avoiding gas-forming foods, such as beans, lentils, cabbage, and onions. You can also experiment with digestive enzymes or activated charcoal supplements to help break down gas and promote its elimination.

Bloating and Oat Milk: What You Need to Know

Bloating is a feeling of fullness or tightness in the stomach that can be caused by gas, fluid retention, or inflammation. Oat milk may contribute to bloating in some individuals due to its carbohydrate content and potential sensitivity to gluten or additives. To reduce bloating, try avoiding carbonated drinks, chewing gum, and high-sodium foods, which can all contribute to fluid retention. You can also experiment with herbal teas, such as peppermint or chamomile, to promote digestion and reduce inflammation.

Stomach Cramps and Oat Milk: Causes and Solutions

Stomach cramps are caused by contractions of the smooth muscles in the digestive tract and can be triggered by various factors, such as food intolerances, infections, or stress. Oat milk may cause stomach cramps in some individuals due to its fiber content or sensitivity to gluten or additives. To relieve stomach cramps, try taking a warm bath or using a heating pad to relax the muscles, drinking chamomile tea or taking chamomile supplements, or trying gentle exercise, such as yoga or walking.

Nausea, Vomiting, and Oat Milk: Understanding the Symptoms

Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of gastrointestinal distress that can be caused by many factors, including food poisoning, indigestion, or pregnancy. Oat milk may trigger nausea or vomiting in some individuals due to its texture, additives, or contamination with harmful bacteria. To relieve nausea and vomiting, try drinking clear fluids, such as water, coconut water, or ginger tea, resting in a cool, dark room, and avoiding strong smells or foods that trigger your symptoms. If your symptoms persist or are severe, seek medical attention.

Can Oat Milk Cause Constipation? Debunking the Myth

Constipation is a condition characterized by infrequent or difficult bowel movements, often accompanied by abdominal discomfort or bloating. Oat milk is unlikely to cause constipation in most individuals due to its fiber content and laxative effect. However, if you're not accustomed to consuming high-fiber foods, it's possible that increasing your intake of oat milk or other fiber-rich foods may cause temporary constipation until your body adjusts. To prevent or relieve constipation, try drinking plenty of fluids, increasing your intake of fiber gradually, and engaging in regular exercise to promote bowel movement.


Oat milk can be a delicious and nutritious alternative to dairy milk for many people, but it may cause digestive issues in some individuals, particularly those with gluten sensitivity or intolerance to additives. If you experience diarrhea, gas, bloating, stomach cramps, nausea, or constipation after consuming oat milk, try adjusting your diet, choosing low-fiber or gluten-free oat milk products, or exploring other plant-based milk alternatives. Natural remedies, such as ginger, mint, fennel, chamomile, and probiotics, can also help soothe your digestive system and manage your symptoms. If your symptoms persist or are severe, consult your healthcare provider for further evaluation and treatment.

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