What Causes Stomach Pain After Eating
Last reviewed: Medically reviewed
If your tummy hurts after eating, a simple bout of indigestion might be to blame. But there are also times when pain after eating can be a sign of something more serious.
Read on to learn about some of the common causes of stomach ache, abdominal pain or stomach cramps after eating, how to treat and manage the discomfort, and when to see a doctor.
Diagnosis Of Stomach Pain After Meals
Your doctor will ask you a number of questions about your diet, lifestyle, and medical history. All of these can significantly affect the digestive system.
Doctors can use computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scans to diagnose gastrointestinal pain, but it is not always easy to generate accurate images of the digestive system using these methods.
What Causes Pain In The Upper Abdomen After Food Poisoning
Indigestion is pain and burning in the upper abdomen, an feeling of fullness after a meal, belching, and gas. Food poisoning can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, and weakness. CCostochondritis symptoms include sharp pain in the front of the chest, then migrating to the back or abdomen.
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Vague Upper Abdominal Pain Associated With Nausea And Belching
Sometimes stomach pain is hard to identify or comes with multiple symptoms. Vague pain in the upper and mid-abdominal area that is linked to nausea, burping, or belching could be signs of a heart attack, particularly in older patients. Physicians say tests like an ECG or cardiac markers can be lifesaving. They also warn that vomiting with back or jaw pain and shortness of breath can also be a sign of a life-threatening emergency.
Find The Cause Of Your Stomach Pain After Eating
Its important to remember that stomach pain after eating is a common problem that may stem from an underlying health condition such as pancreatitis or diverticulitis, or food sensitivity. Your pain can range from mild to severe, and depending on the cause, it may indicate damage to the lining of your gut.
The pain may occur within a few minutes to hours after eating, and the timing of the painful discomfort may help you to narrow down what food or disorder caused the agony. The location of the pain may also determine if the pain is caused by a serious event such as appendicitis.
Stomach pain after eating may be the result of an intolerance to foods like bananas, eggs, or peanuts and may be prevented by avoiding the culprits.
Pain may also be prevented by changing your overall eating habits. You can start by maintaining a regular eating routine of healthy foods and avoiding triggers that may be causing the pain.
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Preventing Stomach Aches After Eating
Prevention is always better than treatment. If youre unsure of whats causing your abdominal pain or nausea after eating, you can always make some changes to your diet and lifestyle habits that may help.
Avoid foods that irritate your GI tract , avoid overeating, and try to break bigger meals into smaller portions. Smoking is also an irritant to overall GI health. Reducing caffeine may also prove helpful.
Avoid foods that irritate your GI tract, avoid overeating, and try to break bigger meals into smaller portions.
Its also important to eat foods that help your GI system. Foods that are high in fiber will help improve bowel motility and prevent constipation. The more water and fluids you drink, the better . Probiotic-rich food, like unsweetened yogurt, can also be helpful to the GI system.
Stay on top of your mental health and dont forgo regular checkups. While stress and anxiety arent responsible for every stomach ache and pain, your body will respond to an excess of stressors in your life.
Knowing when to seek immediate care for abdominal pain can be hard. However, there are a few signs and symptoms that are red flags and should be addressed with a doctor immediately.
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Belly Pain In The Lower Left Side That’s Worse When You Move
Abdominal pain in the left lower area of the abdomen may signify diverticulitis, small pockets in the colon that can become obstructed and tear. Traditional treatment includes antibiotics and stool softeners to reduce the risk of abscess formation. Physicians say according to recent research, antibiotics may no longer be needed in this scenario, recommending acetaminophen instead.
Stomach Pain After Eating: Causes And Natural Treatments
Mealtimes are supposed to be enjoyable occasions when we can spend time with family and close friends. However, it can be very frustrating if immediately after eating, you suffer from stomach cramps, discomfort, or abdominal pain. Very often there are some simple home remedies that can help you relieve and treat the post-meal intestinal pain.
Lets look at the most common reasons for this type of pain as well as ideas on how to relieve stomach ache after eating.
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Right Or Left Lower Abdominal Pain In Women
Sudden onset of right lower abdominal pain or left lower abdominal pain can indicate a ruptured ovarian cyst in a woman who is mid-cycle. This kind of pain could also be a sign of ovarian torsion, which is the rotation of the ovary and part of the fallopian tube, or possibly a twisting of the ovary due to compromised blood supply. Seek treatment immediately at the nearest emergency department. Surgery to remove the ovary may be required.
Crampy Pain With Diarrhea Or Constipation
Lower “crampy” abdominal pain accompanied by bloating and diarrhea or constipation can be signs of irritable bowel syndrome , says Singh. “It’s exceptionally common and affects 15% of the U.S. population, particularly younger women, although it can happen at any age.” Symptoms of IBS can usually be controlled by managing diet, lifestyle, and stress. Medication and counseling may be needed in some cases.
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What Causes Burning Sensation In Upper Abdomen After Eating
Pain after eating that occurs in the middle part of your upper abdomen may be caused by dyspepsia, often commonly referred to as indigestion. 1 Dyspepsia may also cause a burning sensation in the same area. Bloating and nausea may also be experienced. Dyspepsia presents itself differently than gastroesophageal reflux disease .
Other Causes Of Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain of any sort is never something that should just be shrugged off. In this article, I am limiting my overview to stomach cramps that accompany eating, which are rarely a cause for concern and may benefit from home remedies.
However, severe abdominal pain that precedes the ingestion of food persists over time, and is generally making you so uncomfortable you can’t sleep or sit still should always lead to a trip to the local emergency room.
Here are a few reasons why this may be necessary.
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Stomach Pain After Eating: What Causes It
There are some rules about eating that most of us heard growing up: Clear your plate before you leave the table. Dont swim on a full stomach. If you swallow a watermelon seed, youll grow a watermelon in your stomach. Unfortunately, these rules are based on myths and old wives tales, and they arent especially helpful. What we could have used was some practical advice to avoid stomach pain after eating.
Why Do Fried Foods Hurt Your Stomach
Since fried foods contain a lot of fat, they are hard and slow to digest.
Because of the slow digestion process, your brain might think you are still hungry when your stomach is already full of fried foods. This means it is very easy to eat too much fried food, which contributes significantly to stomach problems.
Too much fried food can easily upset the stomach and you might feel dull stomach pain for a few hours after eating. If this happens occasionally, it can be perfectly normal, just try to cut back on the amount of french fries and fried chicken.
However, if this happens regularly, or you feel a sharp stomach pain that lasts for several hours, you might have an underlying medical condition, that needs to be diagnosed.
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Why Do I Have Pain In My Stomach After Eating
You could have gall stones. If you feel discomfort after eating fatty foods, and the pain comes and goes your probably looking at gall stones. Loading Guest over a year ago You could have an intolerance to sugar. Loading Guest over a year ago I have very discomfort to the stomach, some headaches, and then feeling very tired after eating.
How Long Will Indigestion Last
Indigestion might go way as soon as you change your diet and habits. If you do take medication for your upset stomach, only do so with your healthcare providers approval. Some medications, especially acid reducers, can have long-term side effects. These may include an increased risk of infections or low levels of important nutrients.
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Severe Acute Pain In The Lower Right Side Of The Abdomen
A sudden pain in the lower part of the abdomen may be a sign of appendicitis. It may also be accompanied by a fever. Pain often begins around the belly button area and becomes worse with time. Vomiting or constipation or diarrhea along with the pain also indicate it’s time to go to the emergency room. Physicians recommend seeing a doctor right away if the pain comes on suddenly over several hours or is persistent. Appendicitis often requires surgery. If left untreated, a ruptured appendix can be deadly.
Treatments For Stomach Pain After Meals
Mild cases are usually treated at home without too much trouble. Doctors recommend putting yourself on a light diet, eating in frequent but small amounts for 24 to 36 hours until you can tolerate more substantial foods. Sports drinks, soups and broths, and juices are highly recommended.
More serious cases are treated with a range of therapies. Doctors look for structural or functional problems in the digestive tract itself to identify and treat the problem at its source. Various interventions may be employed in that case, such as:
- Intravenous drug infusion
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Other Causes: Stress Anxiety And Medications
There is an incredible connection between the mind and the body and the things we put into it. If you dont have any of the above conditions but feel sick after eating, read on to discover how stress, anxiety, and normal medications may be causing your problem.
- Stress and anxiety: Irritable bowel syndrome is a frustrating condition that causes abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. It currently has no known specific cause, but there is thought to be a link between IBS, sensitivity to stress, and regulating the response to stress. Research shows that 5090 percent of IBS sufferers also have a psychiatric disorder like anxiety or depression.
- Medications: There are a variety of medications that can lead to stomach pain after eating and/or digestive issues. NSAIDS, nitrates, calcium channel blockers, oral antibiotics, and birth control pills may cause GERD and reflux or irritate the lining of the stomach. Long-term use may lead to gastritis, ulcers, bleeding, or stomach perforation.
Why Do Fried Foods Cause Sore Throat
A sore throat might be a surprising symptom of eating fried foods, but some people do experience it.
Just like acid reflux, this symptom is related to the stomach acids escaping the stomach and flowing up in the esophagus.
However, in the case of a sore throat, the acids dont stop in the esophagus but go all the way up to the larynx .
This condition is called laryngopharyngeal reflux and besides sore throat the two other common symptoms are:
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Stomach Cramp Home Remedies
A series of natural and simple tips to ease stomach pain.
- Drinking plenty of water: Water will help the body digest and flush out toxins. But even more critically, drinking water will counter the potentially serious side-effects of dehydration. If you are unable to hold down water due to throwing up, and you also are suffering from diarrhea, consider a trip to the emergency room because you may need fluids .
- Take a warm bath or shower: If you are cramping, your abdominal muscles are straining. Do what you can to relax the muscles during their downtime. A heat patch around the abdomen might also help.
- Avoid problematic foods: Avoid high-fat and fried foods. If you are dealing with pent-up gas, also avoid legumes, dairy products, and spicy food.
- Eat some yogurt: If you aren’t lactose-intolerant, yogurt can help relieve stomach upsets.
- Drink some chamomile tea: Chamomile contains anti-spasmodic properties. Particularly useful if your cramps are due to menstrual periods.
- Stay upright: If your cramps are accompanied by acid reflux, avoid lying horizontally as it will cause stomach acid to travel upwards into the esophagus.
- Eat plain rice: Rice is a stomach-safe food that will help by absorbing toxic fluid buildup, supplement you with important cramp-relieving nutrients, and also add bulk to your stool .
What To Do After Eating Too Much Fried Food
At times, you might give in to your temptations and start gorging on a lot of fried foods. Thankfully, reacting in time can help to minimize the effect and harm that these foods may cause.
The critical fact to remember is that you should boost digestion at this moment to help get rid of the fried foods from your system faster.
These tips might help you avoid the unpleasant symptoms fried foods may cause:
- Take a walk after eating fried foods. This will help promote digestion and ensure that all the food has been digested properly.
- Drink lukewarm water or probiotics like yogurt or buttermilk to activate the digestive system and allow it to break the nutrients into smaller forms.
- You might want to skip your next meal to allow your body to regain its balance.
- Certain fruits and vegetables are also good for your body when you have eaten a lot of fried food as a good supply of essential nutrients will counter the fried foods.
- Have a good sleep to allow your body to recharge and relax. However, do not go to bed immediately after eating, but allow for at least four hours before going to bed. Sleeping directly after eating fried foods means that your digestive system will not have worked its magic to offset the amounts of fatty foods in your system.
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Possible Causes Of Stomach Cramps After Eating
Pinpointing the cause of an upset stomach after eating isnt always easy. Stomach pain often presents in different ways and in different locations. The abdominal cavity is home to a large number of organs and a variety of different processes. Because there is so much going on, it can be hard to determine whats actually happening.
Causes Of Acute Stomach Pain
- Eating Too Much. Eating too much can cause an upset stomach and mild stomach pain.
- Hunger Pains. Younger children may complain of stomach pain when they are hungry.
- GI Virus . A GI virus can cause stomach cramps as well as vomiting and/or diarrhea.
- Food Poisoning. This causes sudden vomiting and/or diarrhea within hours after eating the bad food. It is caused by toxins from germs growing in foods left out too long. Most often, symptoms go away in less than 24 hours. It often can be treated at home without the need for medical care.
- Constipation. The need to pass a stool may cause cramps in the lower abdomen.
- Strep Throat. A strep throat infection causes 10% of new onset stomach pain with fever.
- Bladder Infection. Bladder infections usually present with painful urination, urgency and bad smelling urine. Sometimes the only symptom is pain in the lower abdomen.
- Appendicitis . Suspect appendicitis if pain is low on the right side and walks bent over. Other signs are the child won’t hop and wants to lie still.
- Intussusception . Sudden attacks of severe pain that switch back and forth with periods of calm. Caused by one segment of bowel telescoping into a lower piece of bowel. Peak age is 6 months to 2 years.
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Abdominal Pain Treatment And Home Remedies
The treatment for abdominal pain depends on its cause, and may include:
- Medications to lower inflammation, prevent acid reflux, or treat ulcers or infection
- Surgery to treat a problem with an organ
Over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin and ibuprofen can irritate your stomach and worsen your pain. Donât take them unless a doctor has diagnosed the cause of your belly pain and recommends their use.
Some diet and lifestyle changes may help belly pain caused by gas and indigestion. Here are some things you can try:
- Eat smaller portions at more frequent meals
- Eat slowly