Pain After Eating: Treatment You Can Try
Getting help from your doctor may be one of your best tools if you frequently experience an upset stomach after eating. They will likely perform a head-to-toe physical assessment and take a detailed history, noting aches and pains, possible causes, hereditary possibilities, things youve tried that have or have not worked, and lifestyle choices. There are also blood tests and imaging procedures your provider may want to perform.
Getting help from your doctor may be one of your best tools if you frequently experience an upset stomach after eating.
If youd like to try to manage some of your symptoms before you visit your provider, there are many causes of pain after eating that can be corrected by over-the-counter medications. These medications may help with gas, stomach acid neutralization, reduction in stomach acid production, improvement in bowel movement, and reduction of nausea. Pay attention to what you take and what does or doesnt work, as your doctor will want that information. It may be helpful to keep notes on your phone so you have the information handy at your appointment.
How To Relieve Bloating After Eating
The best way to relieve bloating is to prevent its occurrence. As dietary triggers are often the cause of bloating, knowing which triggers you are most sensitive to is vital to avoid bloating. Keeping an eye on your intake of fiber, salt, and carbonated beverages can also play a big part in preventing stomach bloating. Also, make sure you are not consuming a high-fat diet, as fatty foods are a major culprit in stomach bloating after eating. There also may be a difference between trans fats, saturated fats, and unsaturated fats for your digestion as well, so try and keep track of which ones make you feel the worst.
Although it is a dairy product, eating yogurt can help to fill your stomach with healthy bacteria in the form of probiotics, which boost digestion and gut health. When eating, try not to drink too many liquids. Beverages dilute stomach acids and cause the digestion process to become prolonged. Wait until after eating to finish your drink. Finally, take your time and eat slowly while sitting up straight. Allowing your digestive tract time to begin the digestive process will help to decrease the risk of bloating after eating.
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 arenât 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 .
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You Might Have A Food Allergy
A food allergy is a step up in severity from a food intolerance. If you have an allergic reaction to a food, it means your immune system has mistakenly identified that food as a potentially harmful invader and mounted a defense against it, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology explains. That immune system defense is what leads to symptoms like abdominal cramping, a tingly or itchy mouth, hives and overall bodily itching, facial swelling, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and even potentially life-threatening trouble breathing.
According to the AAAAI, the most common food allergens are proteins in cows milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, and tree nuts. If you notice youre constantly dealing with pretty intense symptom flare-ups after eating these foods, an allergy could be to blame.
You Might Have Inflammatory Bowel Disease
IBD is an umbrella term for two conditions that both cause chronic inflammation of various parts of the digestive tract: Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis. People with either type of IBD often experience periods of remission followed by flare-ups, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that Crohns disease usually affects the part of the small intestine that meets the large intestine, but the characteristic patches of inflammation it causes can be anywhere from the mouth to the rectum and seep through multiple layers of the G.I. lining. Ulcerative colitis, on the other hand, affects continuous portions of the large intestine and/or rectum, with the innermost lining becoming inflamed.
If you have Crohns disease, youre likely to deal with abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and weight loss, and might also have additional symptoms like fatigue, nausea, joint pain, and anemia, the NIDDK says. With ulcerative colitis, the most common symptoms are abdominal pain and diarrhea , the NIDDK notes, though you may also have issues such as fatigue, nausea, anemia, and an urgent need to use the bathroom.
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If Your Abdominal Cramps Are Making Life Miserable Try To Talk To A Doctor
Treatments for the above issues can vary wildly. For instance, if you think the issue is that you have a hard time processing beans, which then leads to painful gas, over-the-counter medications like simethicone may help with the distension that causes your pain, Dr. Krishnareddy explains.
However, if youre experiencing cramps that are pretty severe, along with other symptoms that make you think you might have a chronic issue like IBS or IBD, its really important to try to consult with a doctorparticularly because taking over-the-counter medications wont treat the real issue at hand.
These medications can decrease the symptoms just enough that the person doesnt go to their doctor to get evaluated, Dr. Krishnareddy says. But its not actually the underlying problem.
Ultimately, if getting abdominal cramps after eating is affecting your life, its time to consult the professionals. If youre having symptoms that are occurring frequently enough to interfere with your ability to conduct your daily activities, you need to see a doctor, Dr. Chey confirms. This is especially true, he says, if youre having serious symptoms like vomiting , seeing blood in your stool , or inexplicably losing weight.
Trust your gut when it tells you somethings wrong. At the very least, your doctor should be able to ask you some questions that get you closer to figuring out whats going on.
Is It Stomach Pain Or Abdominal Pain
Some people refer to all abdominal pain as stomach ache or tummy ache. Abdominal pain is any pain that occurs in the area between your chest and your groin.
Your liver, appendix, pancreas and intestines as well as other organs sit in this part of your body. So, conditions affecting any of these organs can cause abdominal pain.
The different conditions that can cause abdominal pain tend to affect specific areas. The 4 locations to consider are:
- upper abdomen
- right side of the abdomen
- left side of the abdomen
Read more about these 4 types of abdominal pain and what you can do about them here.
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You Might Have A Food Intolerance
If you find that your cramps keep happening after you eat certain things, you might have an intolerance to a specific food substance. Common culprits of intolerances are foods that are designated as fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyols , which is a fancy designation for poorly-digested carbohydrates, Dr. Ahuja says. Examples include fruits like apples and pears, veggies like cauliflower and lentils, and dairy products. In fact, trouble processing lactose is the most common type of food intolerance, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
In addition to getting abdominal pain when you eat that particular food, you might also deal with symptoms like nausea, bloating, gas, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea, and more, the Cleveland Clinic says. And keep in mind that different people can be intolerant to the same food to different extents. For example, Dr. Krishnareddy explains, someone who is mildly lactose intolerant may be able to digest cheese and yogurt but not a milky latte, whereas someone with a severe intolerance may not be able to digest any form of dairy very well.
How To Get Rid Of The Stomach Discomfort
Whether youâre uncomfortable because of gas, diarrhea or indigestion, there are several things you can do to find some relief. A quick and trusted method is to take Pepto Bismol. When used as directed, Pepto Bismol soothes your discomfort with proteins that enhance the viscosity of the protective layer in the upper gastrointestinal tract to help you feel better. Other ways to battle the bloating include drinking water, going to the bathroom, or waiting it out. If you want to be proactive, you can take note of foods that your body reacts poorly to and make changes in your diet to avoid them.
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Celiac disease is an immune reaction to eating gluten that can impact sufferers in different ways. One is stomach pain after you eat gluten, Bedford says. BTW: Your stomach can also hurt if you have a mild gluten intolerance , but this is different from Celiac disease. With Celiac, a person’s small intestine becomes damaged when they eat gluten with a gluten intolerance, someone may simply have a physical reaction like diarrhea or gas after eating gluten. Your doctor can help you determine what might be at the root of the problem.
If youre struggling with chronic pain after you eat and are also dealing with weight loss, anemia, vomiting, trouble swallowing, or blood in your poop, it could be a sign of an ulcer, Gabbard says. Ulcers, which are sores that develop in the lining of your esophagus, stomach, or small intestine, are usually treated with acid-reducing medication and antibiotics in some cases, so you really need to see a doctor about this.
What Are The Characteristics Of Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain may include any of the following, or a combination of these characteristics:
- bowel obstruction
- causes of heart pain
If you are experiencing abdominal pain, the exact location of the pain and any other symptoms you might have may suggest the cause.
If you feel pain right across your stomach area or low down, its probably coming from your bowel. You may also have bloating and wind. If your stomach cramps have started recently and you also have diarrhoea, the cause is probably gastroenteritis. If you are very ill for example, with chills or a fever you may have a more serious infection such as food poisoning.
If the pain is coming from higher up in your stomach, it could be caused by acid reflux or an ulcer. You might also have heartburn and belching, and the pain might be made worse, or relieved, by food.
If the pain is in the middle of your stomach and extends to your back, it could be a sign of gallstones. Pain in the lower right part of the stomach, along with fever, nausea and vomiting, could be appendicitis.
If the pain is made worse by exercise it could be heart pain. Read more in the chest pain section. If you are experiencing this type of pain, call triple and ask for an ambulance.
Some medicines, such as aspirin and anti-inflammatory and anti-dementia drugs, can cause stomach pain as a side effect.
You can find more information about the underlying causes of abdominal pain here.
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Sudden And Severe Onset Stomach Pain
When mid-abdominal pain occurs suddenly especially in people with a history of peptic ulcer disease or in those who take excessive amounts of aspirin or NSAIDs it may be a sign of a perforation that could require emergency surgery. A tear could leak air and gastric content which can lead to a condition called peritonitis, and eventually, septic shock. Surgery would be required to seal the perforation.
Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth
SIBO happens when theres an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine which causes the stomach to bloat. It can have similar symptoms to food intolerances, candida, or a leaky gut. However, SIBO tends to cause more bloating towards the end of the day. One of the symptoms of SIBO is stomach cramps after eating.
Holistic nutrition consultant, Mary Vance recommends the low FODMAP diet to reduce bloating and relieve the pain that you feel in your stomach. The low FODMAP diet eliminates certain type of foods which break down easily into sugars and continue to feed the bad bacteria in your small intestine. She has more information on the low FODMAP diet here.
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Drink Plenty Of Fluids And Rest
With stomach pains after eating resulting from food poisoning, rest and drinking plenty of fluids are key treatments. This allows the body to flush out the toxins that have gathered in the gut.
Maintaining hydration with water is important at any time, but it is recommended to wait at least an hour before drinking water after meals if too much food has been consumed in one sitting.
Urgent Advice: Speak To Your Gp As Soon As Possible If:
- you have severe abdominal pain, especially if it’s concentrated in one area
- the pain starts suddenly or unexpectedly
If your GP is closed, phone 111.
Serious causes of sudden severe abdominal pain include:
- appendicitis the swelling of the appendix means your appendix will need to be removed
- a bleeding or perforated stomach ulcer
- acute cholecystitis inflammation of the gallbladder, which may need to be removed
- kidney stones small stones may be passed out in your urine, but larger stones may block the kidney tubes, and you’ll need to go to hospital to have them broken up
- diverticulitis inflammation of the small pouches in the bowel that sometimes requires treatment with antibiotics in hospital
If your GP suspects you have one of these conditions, they may refer you to hospital immediately.
Sudden and severe pain in your abdomen can also sometimes be caused by an infection of the stomach and bowel . It may also be caused by a pulled muscle in your abdomen or by an injury.
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Treatment For Stomach Ulcers
If you think you have a stomach ulcer, you should see a doctor, as they may prescribe treatment.
If you take NSAIDs, they will review this, and may recommend an alternative painkiller but you shouldnt stop taking any prescribed medication without talking to your doctor first.
You should get medical help urgently if you:
- vomit blood
- feel a sharp pain in your tummy that gets worse
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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What Are Abdominal Muscle Spasms
In more serious cases, uncontrolled and sometimes painful muscle movements, or spasms in the stomach are known by the NHS as dystonia.
Dystonia symptoms include10:
- Uncontrollable muscle cramps and spasms
- Parts of your body twisting into unusual positions such as your neck twisting or your feet turning inwards
- Shaking or tremors
- Uncontrolled blinking
Dystonia is not common, however, in rare cases it can lifelong condition that affects people in different ways. You can get help and advice about dystonia from your GP or the UKs Dystonia Society.
Ways To Stop Digestive Discomfort After A Supersized Meal
Overindulgence can be a pain in your stomach. Skip the bellyache after your next big feed with these quick fixes.
Most of us have done it at some point, even with the best of intentions not to.
Sometimes that holiday meal is so delicious we cant stop, or the dessert table is too tempting to ignore.
You feel bloated now, but dont despair: Overdoing it once in a while isnt going to ruin your health, though it can wreak havoc on your digestive system.
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Stomach Pain After Eating: Causes And Effective Treatments
Stomach pain after eating can happen for a number of reasons such as indigestion, gas, ulcers, gastritis as well as other conditions. In this article Ill get to the bottom of why many people suffer from stomach ache after eating. Ill also cover natural remedies to help you relieve the post-meal stomach discomfort. However, you should also be aware that in many cases, an abdominal pain should be checked by your doctor, especially stomach ache every time you eat.