Irritable Bowel Syndrome/digestive speeds


I've always been told it should take a day for eaten food to pass thought the body.   I just ate my lunch and it contained peas, no more then an hour and a half later I had a bowel movement and there was a pea in it.    I hadn't had any peas for over a week.  So this pea was from the lunch.    Is this normal?

Hi Curtis - it may not be typical, but if you have IBS this is not super uncommon. Transit times for foods vary widely - even if you don't have IBS - depending on diet. People with very high fiber, vegan diets often have transit times of 8 -12 hours, whereas someone with a typical low fiber, high animal fat/protein Western diet may have a transit time of 48 hours. In general, the faster the transit time the healthier for your gut.

The caveat here is obviously that you don't want a transit time so fast you have diarrhea, abdominal spasms, cramps etc.

If you're eating healthy, and having normal bowel movements without pain, then you may have just had an exceptionally rapid transit time for those high fiber peas. If it continues, you can see a GI doc. If you don't have any bowel problems, IBS symptoms, etc. I don't think you have need to worry.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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Heather Van Vorous


I can address questions regarding diet, cooking, recipes, and non-pharmaceutical supplements (soluble fiber, herbal, probiotics, etc.) for IBS. I can supply information sources about diagnostic guidelines, symptoms, and the medical pathology of IBS, but I cannot give a diagnosis or analyze test results a patient has obtained. I would prefer not to answer questions about prescription drugs and diagnostic tests. PLEASE DO NOT TELL ME YOUR SYMPTOMS AND THEN ASK ME TO DIAGNOSE YOU!


I'm the founder and CEO of, an organization dedicated to serving people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. My goal is to offer education, support, and help that allows people with IBS to successfully manage their symptoms through lifestyle modifications.

I'm the author of Eating for IBS, the only explicit dietary guide and cookbook for people with bowel disorders. Eating for IBS then led to my second book, The First Year: IBS, a comprehensive view of the disorder and every way to successfully manage it. Together, these works have become the two best-selling, best-reviewed IBS books in America.

My writing has led to an ongoing Canadian clinical research study of the groundbreaking dietary guidelines for Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Eating for IBS; this work also led to my inclusion in the 4th edition of Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare. Today's Dietitian has featured my IBS dietary guidelines, and my work has reached gastroenterologists and internists. I'm the author of "Heather's IBS Newsletter", which is free to subscribers and is published twice monthly. As a result, I've become recognized as the foremost patient-expert on IBS in America. I've personally had IBS since age 9.

I now teach classes on managing IBS through lifestyle modifications, I developed the Heather's Tummy Care line of organic medical foods for the dietary management of IBS, and I'm planning to work with corporate HR departments to offer employee IBS education programs. I host Heather Cooks!, the Seattle television cooking show for good digestive health, which is now available on DVD and also on the HelpForIBS YouTube Channel.

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