Thursday, April 28, 2022

What Causes Stomach Cramps And Diarrhea After Eating

Colon Damage From Impaired Blood Flow

Abdominal Pain, Diarrhea, & Constipation

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.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: abdominal pain , nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, being severely ill

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Stomach Cramps After Eating Food: What You Need To Know

James has battled with stomach cramping for years due to chronic kidney issues.

Stomach cramps after eating food are rarely dangerous, although they can be alarming to experience.

While some symptoms may warrant a trip to the doctor, and I’ll dig into those a little later in the article, the majority of cases can be dealt with once we know what triggered the pain.

We’ll start by looking at the ten most common causes of cramps and spasms after eating food and how best to deal with them.

Small Bowel Water Content

A group of researchers found that, compared to healthy control subjects, IBS-D patients have lower amounts of water in the small intestine and it passes through quicker to the large intestine, which may contribute to postprandial diarrhea.

This research dovetails with the FODMAPs theory for IBS as foods with high osmotic value are particularly troublesome for people with IBS. If true, the development of medications that would slow transit time and thus better regulate the flow of liquid into the large intestine may be of value.

Clearly, research into the factors behind postprandial diarrhea in IBS is quite limited, and therefore no definitive conclusions can be drawn. In addition, despite the variety of plausible theories explaining the problem, data regarding treatments for this condition don’t exist, so it’s unclear thus far which treatments will help patients, and which do not.

Hopefully, further research will shed more light on the subject and offer some effective treatment options. In the meantime, if you tend to experience urgent diarrhea episodes after eating, discuss the subject with your physician to see if any of the proposed interventions would be a safe option for you.

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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.

Heres How The Digestive System Works

Stomach Cramps And Diarrhea After Eating

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.

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Upper Abdominal Pain Between The Ribcage

If you develop an aching or stabbing pain or pressure in the upper abdominal area just under the ribs, this may indicate a heart-related problem. Physicians say this pain is often accompanied by shortness of breath and is concerning if the pain persists. People often assume this type of pain is indigestion, and while that may be the case, anyone with risk factors such as diabetes or hypertension should see a doctor as soon as possible.

Ways To Relieve And Treat Diarrhea After Every Meal

Establishing the underlying cause of PD is the first step in treating it. Depending on the diagnosis, a doctor will prescribe different treatments and lifestyle modifications. Never self-medicate when you have persistent diarrhea.

Try eating smaller, more frequent meals rather than large meals. Avoid foods that can irritate your digestive tract, such as fatty and spicy foods. Follow food safety measures and avoid handling other peoples food while you have PD.

Diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration, so youll need to drink plenty of fluids and electrolytes while youre ill.

Food elimination diets are sometimes used to determine which foods cause adverse reactions.

Consider seeking medical attention if you have persistent or recurrent postprandial diarrhea, or if your diarrhea is associated with other symptoms, such as:

  • Bloody stools

Also Check: Where Does Stomach Cancer Spread To

When To Call The Doctor

If you experience symptoms for more than a week, its wise to make a doctors appointment. However, if you have severe symptoms at any point throughout, it is also a good idea to be seen. Other symptoms that warrant a doctor visit include high fever, nausea and vomiting, confusion, difficulty speaking, vision problems, rapid heart rate, and seizures. While the most common symptoms of diarrhea and stomach problems are flu, food reactions, medications, stress, alcohol consumption, IBD, and IBS, these conditions can also be indicative of cancer, cystic fibrosis, appendicitis, or intestinal obstruction. If you have persistent symptoms, its best to be safe and be seen.

If you need to see a doctor for diarrhea and abdominal pain, or you are experiencing other GI upset, book an appointment at Carolina Digestive today.

How Do Doctors Find The Cause Of A Stomachache

Bloating after eating, stomach pain after eating, Diarrhea after eating

To find the cause of a stomachache, doctors ask about:

  • your symptoms
  • illnesses you’ve had in the past
  • health conditions that other family members have

Be honest with your doctor, even if a symptom seems embarrassing.

The doctor will do an exam and sometimes might order tests, such as an X-ray, ultrasound, or blood test. It all depends on what the doctor thinks is causing the problem.

Also Check: How Do You Lose Weight In Your Stomach

How Is Abdominal Pain Treated

Treating abdominal pain depends on its cause. Options include:

  • Medications for inflammation, gastroesophageal reflux disease or ulcers.
  • Antibiotics for infection.
  • Changes in personal behavior for abdominal pain caused by certain foods or beverages.
  • Local or spinal injections of numbing agents or corticosteroids by pain management physicians.

In more severe cases like appendicitis and hernia, surgery is necessary.

What Causes Acute Pd

Some conditions or issues may cause a brief bout of PD. Time may put a stop to the PD symptoms, or medicine may be required. These causes include:

Viral infection: Viral infections, like stomach bugs, can cause temporary PD and make your digestive tract extra sensitive. The PD may last for a few days, even after other symptoms have eased.

Lactose intolerance: People with an allergy to lactose, a type of sugar found in dairy products, may experience PD if they eat foods containing lactose. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include bloating, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea.

Food poisoning: The human body does a good job of knowing it has eaten something it shouldnt. When it detects the bad food, your body will probably try to expel it immediately. That may cause diarrhea or vomiting within a few minutes of eating the contaminated food.

Sugar malabsorption: This condition is very similar to lactose intolerance. Some peoples bodies cant properly absorb sugars like lactose and fructose. When these sugars enter the intestine, they can cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues.

Toddlers diarrhea: Toddlers and young children who drink a lot of fruit juice may develop PD. The high amounts of sugar in these drinks can draw water into the bowels, which can cause watery stools and diarrhea.

Check out: The meal plan to relieve toddler diarrhea ยป

Also Check: How To Rebuild Your Stomach Lining

When Should I Call The Doctor

Sometimes, what seems like one problem food poisoning, for example can turn out to be something more serious, like appendicitis.

  • the pain is very strong
  • you’re vomiting a lot
  • you already have another health condition
  • the pain gets worse over time, doesn’t go away, or wakes you up from sleep

Also let the doctor know if you:

  • have a fever
  • have pain when you pee
  • have trouble pooping or peeing
  • have blood in your poop or pee
  • think the belly pain is from an injury
  • might be pregnant

Diagnosis Of Stomach Pain After Meals

What is Explosive Diarrhea

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.

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Why Does My Stomach Hurt

There are numerous reasons for abdominal pain. It can come from any of the organs in your belly gallbladder, pancreas, liver, stomach and intestines or the abdominal wall the outer shell of the body. Sometimes you feel the pain in your belly, but its actually coming from the chest, back or pelvis.

Abdominal wall pain is common and easy to miss as healthcare professionals may direct their attention to internal organs as a cause of the pain. Once the abdominal wall is considered as a suspect, it is generally easy to nail down this diagnosis. If a patient strains the ab wall muscles from exertion, he may tell his doctor that he has right sided stomach pain. Clearly, this pain is not caused by a diseased internal organ such as the gallbladder or the stomach.

Healthcare providers can often determine where pain is coming from by taking a detailed history from you. Depending upon the physicians style, you may be simply asked to relate your medical story in your own words as a narrative. Other physicians may prefer to ask a series of detailed questions. Others may utilize both techniques. This medical history is paramount, even more important than the physical examination. After the history and physical, certain diagnostic tests may be advised to make an accurate diagnosis.

What are the most common causes of abdominal pain?

Digestive issues

You Might Have Irritable Bowel Syndrome

On top of abdominal pains , symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can include excess gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation , and seeing mucus in your stool, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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.

Also Check: What Helps With Stomach Bloating And Gas

What Causes Abdominal Pain And Diarrhea After Eating

Identifying the cause of your condition can help you to work with your health care provider on the effective treatment plan. Here are some situations that may be to blame for your symptoms

1. Viral Infection

Viral infection is a common cause of stomach cramps and diarrhea. They can cause diarrhea as well as make your digestive track super sensitive. The effects of viral infections usually last for a few days and then the symptoms subside. You may consult with your doctor for treatment.

2. Food Poisoning

Its hilarious that our bodies can identify what they should or shouldnt eat. In case you happen to eat contaminated food or drink contaminated water, the most probable way your body will get rid of it is through diarrhea, and you may feel some discomfort in the stomach. For instance, diarrhea after eating salad may mean that the salad was contaminated. Some cases of food poisoning are usually severe and if symptoms persist, immediately seek the help of a doctor.

3. Lactose Intolerance

In case you have an allergic reaction to lactose- a type of sugar mainly found in dairy products, then you may experience stomach cramps and diarrhea. if you take foods with lactose.

Sugar malabsorption is another condition related to lactose intolerance. In this case, ones body is unable to absorb sugars such as fructose and lactose properly. If these sugars reach the intestines, they may result in gastrointestinal issues as well as diarrhea.

4. Toddlers Diarrhea

5. Antibiotics

Prevention Of Diarrhea After Meals

I Have Stomach Ache And Diarrhea After Eating. What Can I Do? | Ask Eric Bakker

To prevent diarrhea after meals, you should:

  • Avoid eating food that triggers your symptoms. If you determine that certain foods are to blame for your diarrhea, be sure to avoid them at all costs.
  • Limit your intake of high-fat foods that could cause discomfort to your digestive system. High-fat foods include meats, fried foods, processed meats, and greasy snacks.
  • Limit your caffeine intake to no more than two cups per day. Caffeine is a known gastrointestinal stimulant that can cause diarrhea and discomfort.
  • Eat smaller meals. Large portions of food may result in discomfort and diarrhea after eating.
  • Include probiotics in your diet to improve gut health.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day to promote nutrient absorption and comfort your digestive system.
  • Make sure youre eating enough fiber-rich foods, which may help alleviate symptoms of diarrhea after eating.
  • Maintain good hygiene by washing your hands regularly and wiping down kitchen surfaces.
  • Cook your food thoroughly to avoid food-borne illnesses such as salmonella and E. coli that can result in diarrhea.

Also Check: Can Stress Cause Stomach Pain

How Do I Know If Its Food Poisoning Or A Stomach Virus

Bloody diarrhea is more likely to be a symptom of food poisoning. Projectile vomiting and stomach cramps are often caused by the norovirus, a type of stomach virus. Stomach viruses take longer to develop but usually go away in about 24 to 28 hours after symptoms begin. Food poisoning often lasts longer.

Causes Of Abdominal Pain And Diarrhea

Most people occasionally experience abdominal pain and diarrhea for short periods. Dietary changes, consuming too much alcohol, and indigestion may cause these symptoms.

Frequent, constant, or severe abdominal pain and diarrhea may indicate a disease or a more serious medical issue. Diarrhea that gets progressively worse and is bloody can be also be a sign of a more serious issue. Possible causes of abdominal pain and diarrhea include:

Diarrhea and abdominal pain that last for more than a week or that frequently reoccur may be a sign of an intestinal disease or disorder. You should talk to your doctor if youve experienced these symptoms for more than a week or on a reoccurring basis.

The above conditions and disorders can cause swelling of various parts of the digestive tract, such as the stomach and intestines. Inflammation of the digestive system can cause cramps and disrupt normal digestive processes. This usually results in abdominal pain and diarrhea.ADVERTISING

Read Also: What Vitamins Help Stomach Problems

How To Find Relief

Many of the conditions that cause PD require medical treatment, but these four lifestyle treatments may also ease the condition:

Avoid trigger foods: Certain foods may contribute to PD. If you arent sure what your trigger foods are, keep a food diary. Make note of what you eat and when you experience PD. Look for food commonly associated with PD, such as fatty foods, fiber, and dairy.

Practice food safety: Keep bad bacteria at bay by washing fruits and vegetables before eating them, cooking meat to the proper temperature, and properly refrigerating foods that need to be kept cold.

Eat smaller meals: Eat five to six small meals a day instead of three big ones. This may help your intestines more easily digest food, and that could reduce symptoms of PD.

Reduce stress: Your mind has a lot of power over your gut. When youre stressed or worried, you may make your stomach upset more easily. Learning to manage your stress and anxiety is good not only for your mental health, but also for your digestive health.

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