Stomach Pain After Eating Here Are 7 Things It Could Be
A recent online survey conducted across 26 countries found that 1 in 10 people experience post-meal abdominal pain. Of the 54,000 people who were polled, 13% of women and 9% of men reported frequent gastrointestinal discomfort after eating a meal. Individuals reported bloating, a swollen stomach, feeling full quickly, constipation, and diarrhea. Interestingly, these individuals had twice the rates of anxiety and depression as people who reported no symptoms.
This study illuminates the connection between food and diet, gastrointestinal health, mental health, and chronic gastrointestinal conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome or ulcerative colitis. It suggests the importance of an individualized and multidisciplinary approach to treating digestive disorders.
If you experience frequent gastrointestinal discomfort after eating food, seek medical help. A gastroenterologist can help diagnose the cause of your symptoms and build an effective treatment plan, based on your unique symptoms. In the meantime, follow along for common causes for stomach pain after eating:
Licorice Can Reduce Indigestion And May Help Prevent Stomach Ulcers
Licorice is a popular remedy for indigestion and may also prevent painful stomach ulcers.
Traditionally, licorice root was consumed whole. Today, its most commonly taken as a supplement called deglycyrrhizinated licorice .
DGL is preferred over regular licorice root because it no longer contains glycyrrhizin, a naturally occurring chemical in licorice that can cause fluid imbalances, high blood pressure and low potassium levels when consumed in large quantities (
Ground flaxseed meal and flaxseed oil can help regulate bowel movements and relieve constipation in humans. Animal studies suggest they may also prevent stomach ulcers and intestinal spasms, but more research is needed.
Peppermint May Relieve Symptoms Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
For some people, upset stomach is caused by irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. IBS is a chronic gut disorder that can cause stomach pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhea.
While IBS can be difficult to manage, studies show that peppermint may help reduce these uncomfortable symptoms.
Taking peppermint oil capsules daily for at least two weeks can significantly reduce stomach pain, gas and diarrhea in adults with IBS (
While the research is promising, additional studies need to determine whether peppermint leaf or peppermint tea have the same therapeutic effects .
Peppermint is safe for most people, but caution is advised for those with severe reflux, hiatal hernias, kidney stones or liver and gallbladder disorders, as it may worsen these conditions .
Peppermint, especially when consumed as peppermint oil, may help reduce stomach pain, bloating, gas and diarrhea for those with irritable bowel syndrome.
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Alternatives To The Brat Diet
It may be a good idea to modify the BRAT diet and add other bland foods to your diet, including clear broths, saltine crackers, and oatmeal. For small children, it’s okay to give dry, plain cereals like Cheerios while following the BRAT diet.
For longer-term relief, however, you’ll need to make sure you eat a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
Beneficial bacteria called probiotics may help shorten the course of diarrhea. Natural yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso soup, and fermented vegetables are great options.
While recovering from stomach symptoms and re-introducing solid foods into your diet, it is essential to keep yourself well-hydrated too. In addition to drinking water and tea, other helpful choices are clear broth and electrolyte-containing drinks, such as sports drinks.
Causes For Stomach Pain After Eating
1. Food Allergy or Intolerance. Many people experience food allergies and intolerances that result in persistent gastrointestinal symptoms, such as gas, bloating, cramping, and diarrhea. Common allergens include eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, milk, soy, wheat, and more. If symptoms are minor, these conditions can go undiagnosed for years!
2. IBS. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common disorder that affects the large intestine . IBS can cause bloating, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, constipation, gas, and other negative gastrointestinal symptoms. IBS is chronic and requires managing symptoms, often through dietary changes.
3. Gastritis. Gastritis is a broad term for inflammation/swelling of the stomach lining. It can be caused by infection, overuse of pain medications , injuries, certain foods, and overuse of alcohol. Gastritis can result in abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and weakness.
4. Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease is a chronic immune disease that is characterized by an inability to eat gluten. Eating foods with gluten damages the small intestine and immune system of people with Celiac. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, bloating, and mood changes. It is often genetic and can be diagnosed with a blood test.
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Clear Liquids With Electrolytes Can Prevent Dehydration
When an upset stomach is accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea, its easy to become dehydrated.
Vomiting and diarrhea cause your body to lose electrolytes, the minerals that maintain your bodys fluid balance and keep your nervous system functioning correctly.
Mild dehydration and electrolyte losses can usually be restored by drinking clear liquids and eating foods that naturally contain electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium.
If dehydration is severe, drinking a rehydration solution containing an ideal ratio of water, sugars and electrolytes may be necessary .
Drinking enough fluids and replenishing lost electrolytes is important for anyone suffering from vomiting or diarrhea.
How To Treat Gastro
If your condition is very severe and it can’t heal by itself, then you need some remedies to treat your gastro.
1. Natural Remedies
Here are some steps you can take to recover naturally:
- Give your stomach some time to settle and do not eat solid foods for some time.
- Consider sucking on ice chips or drink clear soda, non-caffeinated sports drinks, or clear broths to avoid dehydration.
- Start introducing bland food after some time, but opt for easy-to-digest foods, such as toast, soda crackers, rice, bananas, and chicken listed in the what to eat when you have gastro part. Stop right away if eating bland foods makes you feel nauseous.
- Do not go for dairy products until you recover completely, except products like yogurt and kefir. You should also avoid alcohol, caffeine, high fiber foods, nicotine, and stimulant drinks.
- Take plenty of rest and give your body time it needs to recover from the ailment.
2. Medical Treatment
You do not usually need to take any anti-diarrheal medicines, but you can try them to avoid using the toilet too often. Loperamide is the most effective choice here. You should take two capsules of loperamide at first and then take only one capsule every time you use the toilet. You can take 8 capsules at most within 24 hours. It slows down your gut’s activity and makes you feel better. Never use anti-diarrheal medicines for longer than five days.
Read Also: What Causes Woman’s Stomach To Bloat
Sports Drinks And Noncaffeinated Sodas
Vomiting and diarrhea with upset stomach can cause dehydration. Sports drinks with electrolytes are the best way to prevent dehydration. If you’re having trouble keeping liquids down, try sucking on ice chips and taking small sips of water. You can also drink noncaffeinated sodas, such as Sprite, 7UP or ginger ale.
Take care to avoid caffeinated sodas, since caffeine can make your upset stomach worse. The carbonation from sodas inflates the stomach while increasing its internal pressure. Combining higher pressure and caffeine’s effects makes acid reflux more likely.
Tips To Avoid Indigestion For A Sensitive Stomach
Here are some tips to help you avoid indigestion or upset stomach.
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What To Eat On A Gastritis Diet
Some foods may help manage your gastritis and lessen the symptoms.
Diet does not generally cause chronic gastritis, but eating some foods can make the symptoms worse. These may include foods that are:
Some people find that the following foods and drinks help ease symptoms of gastritis:
- high fiber foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans
- low fat foods, such as fish, lean meats, and vegetables
- foods with low acidity, including vegetables and beans
- noncarbonated drinks
These bacteria cause an infection in the digestive system, which can lead to gastritis or stomach ulcers. In fact, H. pylori is the most common cause of gastritis, accounting for
Eating smaller, more frequent meals can also help ease symptoms.
Some types of gastritis can make it more difficult for your body to absorb iron or vitamin B12, leading to deficiencies. Talk with your doctor about taking supplements to prevent deficiencies.
What Causes Digestive Issues
Most of the time, no one thing triggers gastrointestinal problems, and often, GI symptoms aren’t spontaneous. Many people develop digestive issues slowly, when a combination of factors worsens over time. Any of these seven elements could be affecting your digestion:
Diet: Obviously, what you eat impacts your entire GI tract. If you’re allergic to or sensitive to certain foods, your body may revolt in the form of upset digestion.
Hydration: Nothing works well when you’re dehydrated. Water acts as a lubricant for all organ systems and helps your body maintain homeostasis.
Sleep: Lack of sleep affects every part of your body, including your digestive system — and all the hormones that dictate its functions. Studies show that short sleep duration alters the levels of important digestive hormones and that poor sleep harms the healthy bacteria in your microbiome.
Stress: You may not intuitively equate stress with an upset stomach, but research tells us that millions of neurons in your gut communicate with the billions of neurons in your brain along something called the gut-brain axis. When you’re stressed, you also produce excess cortisol, which can trigger a handful of digestive reactions.
Microbiome dysfunction: Your gut contains two kinds of bacteria: friendly and unfriendly. If the bad bugs outweigh the good ones, your risk for all kinds of digestive issues increases.
A post shared by BIOHM Health on Aug 14, 2019 at 7:00am PDT
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How Does The Low Fodmap Diet Work
The best way to prevent bloating, gas, diarrhea and all other tummy issues is to avoid the very foods that are likely to ferment during digestion. This is where eating foods low in FODMAPs can help.
The easiest way to describe the FODMAP diet is eat this, and not that, Oikarinen said. The FODMAP diet isnt a forever diet, but it helps you identify which foods to avoid or limit depending on how your body responds.
Research has shown 75% of people with IBS who have tried the FODMAP diet experienced fewer and/or the absence of gastrointestinal symptoms. This means no more pain or cramping after eating, no more worries about rushing to the restroom or the discomfort of not being able to go, Oikarinen said.
The FODMAP diet should be done under the care and direction of a health care provider and/or a registered dietitian. A dietitian can help you navigate the different types of foods to eliminate but also help you gradually add foods back in over time while monitoring symptoms.
The low FODMAP diet is broken down into three phases:
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.
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Why The Brat Diet Is No Longer Recommended
The American Academy of Pediatrics no longer recommends the BRAT diet for management of diarrhea in children. Instead, it recommends oral hydration therapies using re-hydration drinks.
Using the BRAT diet for short periods, usually less than 48 hours, is unlikely to cause any harm. However, prolonged use of the BRAT diet can be dangerous because the diet does not contain enough calories, protein, fat, fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
With vomiting, only introduce solid foods after you have been able to hold down liquids for several hours without a vomiting episode.
Keep Your Belly Happy
A balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help keep your digestive system healthy and your immune system strong and ready to fight off bugs that might upset your stomach. And watch for triggers â anything from foods that have acid like tomatoes, to fizzy drinks, to stress at work.
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The 12 Best Foods For An Upset Stomach
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Almost everyone gets an upset stomach from time to time.
Common symptoms include nausea, indigestion, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea or constipation.
There are many potential reasons for an upset stomach and treatments vary depending on the underlying cause.
Thankfully, a variety of foods can settle an upset stomach and help you feel better, faster.
Here are the 12 best foods for an upset stomach.
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.
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The 14 Foods To Eat When You Have A Stomachache
- Stomach aches can be brutal and hard to cure.
- Bland food is best when trying to clear up a stomachache.
- From crackers to apples, these are the foods you should eat when you have an upset stomach.
Do you know anyone who wants to keel over, crying out in pain from how horrible their stomach feels at the moment? No one? Right, exactly. Stomach aches are BRUTAL, especially when you’re supposed to be having fun over a long weekend. In my case, that happened to be Thanksgiving last fall, during which I ate a horrendous bratwurst/hot dog concoction in Germany. It reared its ugly head when I discovered I contracted food poisoning on my flight to Barcelona the next day. Lovely. Luckily, my friends helped to cure me with the blandest of bland foods, and I became aware of what to eat with a stomach ache. Now as a survivor of blind faith in bratwurst, I’m here to assist with a list of what to eat when those stomach cramps finally hit. I apologize in advance.
Certain Foods That Make An Upset Stomach Worse
Some people with chronic stomach discomfort are more sensitive to certain foods like dairy, spicy foods, soda, fried foods or alcohol. These foods can relax the muscle that keeps food from traveling backward, increase stomach acid production or keep the stomach full for too long.
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Causes Of Stomach Pain After Eating
There are many conditions that can cause stomach or abdominal pain after eating. Some causes are routine, some are serious, and some are medical emergencies.
Causes of stomach pain include:
Irritable bowel syndrome
As many as 20% of Americans live with some form of IBS. The condition often causes lower stomach pain, especially but not always after a meal. Doctors diagnose IBS based on the reported symptoms and will work with you to find an appropriate diet and treatment regimen for it.
Also called a nervous stomach, functional dyspepsia causes excess pain, discomfort, and feelings of fullness in people who have only eaten a modest-sized meal. Symptoms can last many hours after eating and are not relieved by using the bathroom, unlike IBS.
Pain following a meal is one of the primary symptoms of acute pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas. Your pancreas produces enzymes needed for digestion. Pancreatitis is a medical emergency, so you should see a doctor to rule out pancreatitis as a cause for your stomach pain.
Other possible causes of stomach pain after eating include: