If you have stomach or abdominal pain after eating, then here’s what you need to do to avoid a recurring pain on either side or both sides of your abdomen.
Abdominal pain is usually a mild, sharp, stabbing, or burning ache in the areas surrounding your abdomen.
It may be sudden and relieve you on its own or last a few days or more, depending on the cause.
This condition is always life-threatening, however, it can lead to one, if the pain is severe and consistent.
Why You Might Have Stomach Pain After Eating
Often, people complain of sharp, stabbing, dull, or mild stomach pain after eating. This ache sometimes lasts for as long as a few seconds to some minutes.
But what could cause this? There are several causes of stomach pain after eating. It may occur when eating, immediately afterward, or during digestion.
Regardless of the time of occurrence and duration, here are some reasons you might have stomach issues with eating:
Overeating or eating too fast can cause pain after eating.
When you rush the eating process, you may be unable to properly chew down your food, which in return leads to disruptive digestion.
Sometimes your stomach aches, maybe your body’s reaction to a particular ingredient, food, or substance that you are sensitive to.
Foods are more likely to cause an allergic sensation to include eggs, gluten, peanut butter, yogurt, dairy products, and wheat.
Heartburn occurs when there is not enough stomach acid to break down food substances.
This results in burning chest pain that lasts for about a few minutes or hours.
Blockages in your small intestine or colon can make it difficult for your body to absorb and digest foods.
This happens when you eat too fast and makes it unable for large food substances to be processed. Tumors can also cause intestinal obstruction.
Chronic infections like candida, a common condition caused by yeast overgrowth, can occur with symptoms such as bloating, gas, fatigue, abdominal pain, and discharge.
Common Cause Of Upper Abdominal Pain
While there are cases of stomach pain after eating, there are also certain conditions with symptoms, such as pain in the upper abdomen.
The abdomen comprises various parts including the stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, spleen, kidney, a part of the small intestine known as the duodenum, adrenal gland, and part of the colon.
Typical abdominal pain is usually mild and described as a muscle pull that comes and dissipates on its own within a few days.
However, sometimes other medical health issues can lead to prolonged discomfort in the affected areas.
Visit your physician for a diagnosis and treatment if you experience persistent pain.
Common causes of upper abdominal pain include;
This is an infection that affects your liver and causes pain in the right part of your upper abdomen.
Symptoms of hepatitis can include weakness, colored urine, jaundice, fatigue, nausea, itchy skin, and irregular appetite. There are three types of hepatitis;
Highly infectious and usually caused by contact with contaminated persons, food, water, and objects.
A crippling liver infection can lead to liver failure, cancer, or permanent scars.
A viral infection spreads through infected blood, resulting in liver inflammation and damage.
You can also experience gnawing pain related to eating in your gallbladder. It can occur on an empty stomach or from eating enormous meals or foods high in fat.
It occurs in the middle or right side of your upper abdomen and can become quite serious that it requires surgery. Cooccurring symptoms are nausea and vomiting.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
This is a health condition characterized by chronic abdominal pain in the upper, middle, and lower parts of your belly.
It is sometimes triggered by eating and followed by strong intestinal contractions.
Dyspepsia is typical indigestion caused by something previously eaten or drunk. However, functional dyspepsia occurs with no apparent cause.
Symptoms include stabbing or burning sensation in either or both sides of your upper abdomen, bloating, constipation, nausea, and feeling full after a few bites.
A peptic ulcer is one major cause of stomach pain between your sternum and belly button and when your stomach is empty.
It creates sores that occur on your stomach lining or small intestine. Pain resulting from stomach ulcers after eating is known as gastric ulcers.
Prolonged use of NSAID medications can cause peptic ulcers and lead to cancers of the gut when left untreated.
Inflammation of the pancreas is usually followed by pain after eating that starts from your upper abdomen and spreads to your back.
This condition is commonly caused by gallstones and genetics. However, it can also be triggered by smoking and drinking alcohol.
Symptoms include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, pale or yellowish eye color, severe abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
Shingles cause rashes that appear on the right or left sides of your torso.
It is a viral infection that is not necessarily life-threatening, however, rashes can be extremely painful.
Symptoms are itching, skin and light sensitivity, headache, blisters filled with fluids, tingling or numbing sensation, fever, fatigue.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is typically chronic heartburn in the esophagus followed by difficulty swallowing, discomfort, acidic and undigested food taste in the throat or mouth.
This condition is common in many people, however, patients with GERD experience frequent symptoms.
Less Common Causes
The following health conditions can also cause abdominal pain, however, these are usually rare occurrences.
Chronic belching and excessive gassing triggered by swallowing of air.
A problem of the small intestine has to do with irregular blood supply.
Cancer Of The Stomach
Depending on the type of cancer, you may develop abdominal pain in one part of the whole surrounding area, tumor growth, bloating, and inflammation.
When To Get Immediate Medical Care
You should get immediate medical attention if you experience either of the following;
Chronic pain, pressure, and high sensitivity often cause alarm.
It is your body’s way of signaling a serious condition or one that can become debilitating if you do not receive immediate adequate and proper care for it.
Irregular temperature is characterized by a sudden spike or abrupt drop.
Although fever is sometimes a symptom of an infection, it can also develop because of the above conditions.
Constant nausea and vomiting, smell sensitivity to food, without previous medical conditions, should be looked into. Most especially if it won’t go away.
Unexpected Weight Loss
Stomach pain can often become debilitating and affect your eating routine, mostly if the pain is triggered by certain foods or eating.
You may avoid eating enough or healthily, which results in a drop in your body mass.
Excess weight loss and stomach pain that restricts or limits your eating routine should be treated as soon as possible.
Jaundice is a type of skin discoloration, it causes yellowing of the skin and the white part of the eyes. It is caused by accumulated bile in the blood.
It is also a symptom of gallstones and liver infection.
Does your abdominal pain cause skin sensitivity in the affected area? Is the surrounding area very tender to touch?
This may likely be a sign of a serious issue that should be diagnosed immediately.
Infections have spread deep into your body’s bloodstream, causing colored or bloody urine and bloody stools.
Over time, this may become crippling and affect your overall functionality.
When To See A Physician
Pain in your body often signals that there is something not quite right. It may be mild or severe depending on the prevailing condition, symptoms, and duration.
If you experience mild abdominal pain every once in a while after eating, consider speaking to your physician about it.
You can also treat it at home by placing an ice pack on the affected area, this may ease symptoms linked to a muscle strain or spasm.
You may also avoid medications like aspirin and ibuprofen that are likely to trigger or aggravate stomach irritation and abdominal pain.
However, if you have consistent stomach or abdominal pain that does not go away, regardless of the home remedies used, that is still severe and lasts for more than a few days.
You should visit or contact your doctor and health care center immediately for an appointment.
This will help determine if the pain is nothing to worry about or a symptom of an underlying medical problem.
Abdominal pain is caused by various reasons, some of which require a change in lifestyle and eating choices.
Others, however, are chronic conditions that need surgery and close monitoring of treatment and medications.
Regardless of the case, always go for a diagnosis before self-medicating, and use only prescribed medications.
Verywellhealth: Why You Might Have Pain After Eating
Healthline: What’s Causing My Upper Abdomen Pain?