Why Salad Could Cause Pain
So, what is causing the pain? Niket Sonpal, MD, an internist and gastroenterologist in New York City, offers some reasons your lettuce/salad could be causing you gastric upset:
It may be contaminated. Within the last few years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recalled romaine lettuce on a number of occasions because it has been linked to outbreaks of E. coli infection.
Symptoms of an E. coli infection include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Symptoms can start a few days after you eat the contaminated lettuce, the CDC says. Check to see if there are recalls and avoid any lettuce on the banned list.
Read more:Is It Unhealthy to Eat Old Lettuce?
Youre constipated. If you eat lettuce or salad and find youre gassy, it could be due to underlying constipation that is trying to make its way out,’ Dr. Sonpal says. Eating salads and lettuce puts a heavy fiber load on the intestines, and, if you are slightly backed up, your bowels will work a bit overtime to get it all out.
If this is the case, stools will be hard initially and then may become softer, he says. Ironically, this does not mean you should stop eating salads, he adds. It actually means continue and add more fiber.
Advice For People With Diabetes
Having gastroparesis means your food is being digested slowly and at unpredictable times. If you also have diabetes, this can have a big effect on your blood sugar levels.
The nerves to the stomach can be damaged by high levels of blood glucose, so it’s important to keep your blood glucose levels under control if you have diabetes.
Your doctor can advise you about any changes you may need to make to your diet or medicine. For example, if you’re taking insulin, you may need to divide your dose before and after meals and inject insulin into areas where absorption is typically slower, such as into your thigh.
You’ll also need to check your blood glucose levels frequently after you eat.
Page last reviewed: 14 October 2019 Next review due: 14 October 2022
Causes Of Stomach Pain After Eating Red Meat
If you are prone to red meat allergy even slight amount of its consumption can lead to stomach pain. As with other allergies, it is not the protein present in red meat which causes allergy, but on the other hand, carbohydrate present in red meat is to be blamed. Bodys immune system recognizes the carbohydrate to be foreign substance and begins to react by producing histamine and antibodies. These substances react with the body system and cause inflammation of intestinal lining leading to stomach cramps, vomiting, gases, diarrhea etc.
Stomach pain in abdomen is also related to intolerance of red meat. Intolerance towards a particular food occurs when enzymes produced by the body to break down the proteins in the food are deficient. Thus the protein present in red meat is not digested and as a result it causes irritation and inflammation of stomach and intestine. The precipitating symptoms may occur in the form of bloating, gasses, and abdominal cramps few hours after eating red meat.
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Abdominal Muscles After Exercise
Abdominal muscle injury often leads to symptoms of pain, swelling, and a burning sensation. Injury is most likely to occur to beginners who perform far too much then their body is capable of handling, however, abdominally muscle injury can occur at any fitness level. Regardless of your level of fitness, it is recommended to begin any new exercise problem slowly.
Sugar Intolerance May Result In Stomach Ache
The sweet taste of sugar may cause severe pain in stomach after eating too much of it. This may be caused by poor digestion of the sugar, and it eventually breaks down in the lower intestine, producing gas. In carbohydrate form, the sugar may stimulate pain if not expelled. A sugar intolerance may also be seen with the use of milk products, as milk contains sugar in the form of lactose.
Weather also may initiate sugar-induced stomach pain as extremely high temperatures may cause you to reach for cold, sweet drinks such as soda, iced tea, lemonade, and alcohol. The high content of sugar may cause pain and bloating from gas formation.
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Heres How The Digestive System Works
Or how digestion should work when everything goes according to plan.
Your body employs multiple organs to turn the food you eat into energy. When everything is going well, you should barely notice this process, which is good because it can actually take a pretty long time. The Mayo Clinic estimates that it takes two to five days for a mouthful of food to go through all the various digestive processes and come out the other end looking unrecognizable.
First, though, this all starts with one bite. Between the chewing action of your mouth and the enzymes and lubrication from your saliva, you start to break down what youre eating, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases explains. Once the bite is small enough to swallow, your tongue pushes it to the back of your throat into your esophagus, which begins to contract automatically in a motion called peristalsis.
The first organ the newly chewed food encounters after this is the stomach. Muscles in your stomach walls churn the food and release acid and enzymes, slowly mixing the food into a paste called chyme. Your stomach gradually releases the chyme into the small intestine, which reduces it further by mixing it with enzymes from the pancreas and from bacteria, along with bile from the liver, all while pushing the chyme further through the digestive tract. The walls of the small intestine absorb the extracted nutrients and water, which move into your bloodstream.
What Are Signs Of An Unhealthy Digestive System
Signs of an unhealthy digestive system may include:
- Weight gain: Unintentional weight gain or loss is one of the most common signs of an unhealthy gut. When your gut is not working properly, it can interfere with your bodys ability to regulate blood sugar levels.
- Increased stress: An unhealthy gut can impact hormonal balance and contribute to stress, anxiety, and other mood disorders.
- Skin irritation: Skin problems such as eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and acne have been linked to an unhealthy digestive system.
- Bloating and gas: Even though gas is a normal part of the fermentation and digestion process in the body, improper digestion, and bad bacteria strains can lead to excessive gas. Gas trapped in the gut can cause uncomfortable or painful bloating and heartburn.
- Diarrhea: An unhealthy gut can cause diarrhea, which can further worsen gut health by causing good bacteria to flow out of the gut.
- Constipation: People suffering from constipation usually have a lower level of good gut bacteria, which impacts digestion.
- Sleep problems: An unhealthy gut can lead to poor sleep or insomnia. As sleep problems begin to mount and extend over a period, chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, and other health issues can set in and complicate things even further.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Excess Gas In Stomach
How Can I Improve My Digestive System
Your digestive system breaks down food into nutrients your body needs to function properly. And when it comes to a healthy gut, bacteria plays a huge role. Balanced levels of healthy bacteria create normal gut flora and line the entire digestive system, synthesizing vitamin K, and promoting blood flow and enteric nerve functions.
Your diet and lifestyle can have a direct impact on your gut health. Here are signs of an unhealthy digestive system and what you can do to help it function efficiently and improve your overall health.
Why Does Your Stomach Hurt
Stomach cramps can range from mild achiness to severe, stabbing pain.
Common causes of stomach cramps include eating foods that can irritate your stomach, constipation, food poisoning, or a stomach infection. People who have anxiety may also develop stomach cramps.
Pregnant people may experience stomach cramps as the fetus grows. Menstrual cramps are also very common, though they actually take place in the uterus.
Sometimes stomach cramps are constant. In this case, a chronic digestive illness, such as irritable bowel disease, may be the cause.
Most stomach cramps go away on their own within a few hours or a couple of days. Changing what you eat and taking over-the-counter medication can help with symptoms while you recover.
Some stomach cramps may require medical attention. You should be concerned about stomach cramps if they last for a week or longer or are so severe that you cant function, or you also have symptoms like fever or blood in your vomit or stool.
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When To Contact A Medical Professional
Get medical help right away or call your local emergency number if you:
- Are currently being treated for cancer
- Are unable to pass stool, especially if you are also vomiting
- Are vomiting blood or have blood in your stool
- Have chest, neck, or shoulder pain
- Have sudden, sharp abdominal pain
- Have pain in, or between, your shoulder blades with nausea
- Have tenderness in your belly, or your belly is rigid and hard to the touch
- Are pregnant or could be pregnant
- Had a recent injury to your abdomen
- Have difficulty breathing
You Can’t Digest Fructose
One reason why you might get a stomach ache after eating fruit is because your body has trouble digesting fructose.
Fructose is one of the naturally occurring sugars found in fruits, fruit juices, some vegetables and honey, per the Mayo Clinic. When your digestive system doesn’t absorb fructose properly, it can lead to abdominal pain, diarrhea and gas.
There are a couple types of fructose-related digestive issues you could have. First: Fructose malabsorption, a condition where the cells of the small intestine can’t properly absorb the sugar, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
It leads to symptoms like:
- Low blood sugar
- In extreme cases, seizures or coma
âFix it:â Talk to your doctor if you regularly experience side effects after eating fruit to find out if you have fructose intolerance or malabsorption.
People with hereditary fructose intolerance should completely avoid foods or drinks that contain the sugar, per the Cleveland Clinic. If you have malabsorption, eating lower-fructose foods and limiting your fructose intake can help curb stomach cramps after eating fruit.
Most fruit â including dried and canned fruit â is high in fructose. But there are some lower-fructose options to try if fruit hurts your stomach regularly, per the Cleveland Clinic:
How Much Fiber Should You Eat Every Day?
- âââPeople assigned female at birth:â 22 to 28 g
- ââPeople assigned male at birth: â28 to 34 g
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You Might Have Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Its not clear exactly what causes IBS, but there are a few theories. People with IBS may have abnormalities in how their brains and guts interact that lead to digestive problems and pain, the NIDDK explains.
This can manifest in a few different ways. Dr. Chey says that people with IBS may have large intestines that contract more strongly and more frequently when they eat a meal than other peoples, which can then cause abdominal pain and other issues. Another theory is that people with IBS are extra sensitive to the stretch that is normal in the intestines from the breakdown of food products, Dr. Krishnareddy says.
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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When To Go To The Healthcare Provider
Pain in the body means that something is wrong. If you experience pain after eating only every once in a while and it is not debilitating, you may want to mention it to your healthcare provider the next time that you see them.
But if you are experiencing pain after eating on a fairly frequent basis, it is essential that you make an appointment right away with your healthcare provider to ensure that you get an accurate diagnosis and come up with a treatment plan.
If the pain is severe, debilitating, and accompanied by jaundice, fever, rapid heart rate, chills, or severe vomiting, you should seek emergency care.
Colon Damage From Impaired Blood Flow
Acute intestinal ischemia means that the blood flow to the large and/or small intestines has been cut off. It is also called acute mesenteric ischemia, or AMI.
The ischemia is caused by blockage in one of the arteries leading into the abdomen, usually due to atherosclerosis or a blood clot.
Most susceptible are those with very high or low blood pressure heart disease or using illegal drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine.
Symptoms include sudden, severe pain in one area of the abdomen nausea and vomiting and repeated, urgent bowel movements, often with blood.
Acute intestinal ischemia is a life-threatening medical emergency. If it is suspected, take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.
Diagnosis is made through arteriogram, which involves injecting dye into the abdominal arteries under x-ray in order to find the exact location of the blockage.
Treatment involves clot-busting drugs to destroy a clot, or emergency surgery to remove whatever is causing the blockage and possibly some of the damaged intestine as well.
Top Symptoms: abdominal pain , nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, being severely ill
Urgency: Hospital emergency room
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
Pain in the body means something is wrong. If you feel pain after eating every once in a while and it doesn’t keep you from functioning, you may want to mention it to your healthcare provider at your next visit.
But if you regularly have pain after eating, or your pain is significant, it’s vital that you make an appointment with your healthcare provider right away. A proper diagnosis is the first step toward a treatment plan.
Seek emergency care if you have severe pain along with any of these symptoms:
- Severe vomiting
Can Stomachaches Be Prevented
Not all belly pain can be prevented. But to help avoid common types of stomachaches:
- Wash your hands before eating or preparing food, and after using the bathroom.
- Don’t overeat, and try not to eat right before going to sleep.
- Drink plenty of water and eat fiber-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to keep food moving through your digestive system.
- Avoid foods that have passed their expiration date or or weren’t stored properly.
- If you have a food allergy or intolerance, avoid eating foods that make you sick. If you have a food allergy, always carry two epinephrine auto-injectors, and know when you should use them.
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What Are The Four Types Of Abdominal Pain
Since your abdomen it is home to many organs, your healthcare provider may want to narrow down the kind of pain youre having by narrowing down the region youre feeling it in. Healthcare providers often divide the abdomen into quadrants or four parts. They may ask if your pain is in the:
- Right upper quadrant.
- Left lower quadrant.
Consulting With Your Local Gastroenterologist
Most symptoms of stomach pain after eating may be alleviated with dietary and lifestyle changes. However, it is always best to have any persistent or troublesome symptoms evaluated by a medical professional.
As the leading gastroenterology specialists in our community, Saratoga Schenectady Gastroenterology Associates, we aim to provide the best in care standards to our local patients. Setting up an appointment is easy and convenient, and we look forward to meeting with you.
Saratoga Schenectady Gastroenterology Associates has grown in to one of the largest, most medically advanced practices in New York State, providing the highest quality care to the Greater Capital Region since 1981.
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How Do You Relieve Abdominal Pain
Stomach pain has a wide variety of causes and treatments. Some conditions, such as gallstones or appendicitis, may require surgery. Others, such as ulcers or infections, may be eased with medicine. And sometimes you may just have to get through a bout of stomach flu or a kidney stone until it passes.
If you dont know whats causing your abdominal pain, its important to find out, especially if it doesnt go away on its own. Remember that even mild cases can be serious. However, if you have a pretty good idea that your stomachache is related to digestion, you can begin by treating yourself with:
- Bowel rest. Stop eating, or only eat easy-to-digest foods like crackers or bananas.
- Hydration. Drink plenty of water or a hydration formula.
- Heat therapy. Try a warm water bottle or a soak in the bath.
- Home remedies. Try licorice for gas, ginger for indigestion, or peppermint to help relax your intestinal muscles.