What does stomach pain after eating mean? Does this mean something more serious or is it something that may be shrugged off. In this article, we will look at the possible reasons as to why an individual will experience stomach pain after eating.
Stomach Pain after Eating: A Brief Overview
Those who experienced overeating or overindulging on food items or food products may have experienced some form of pain or adverse effect such as nausea, fullness, indigestion, and constipation. The problem lies though when people eat normal or regular amounts of food but still experience some form of stomach pain. Most of the stomach pain is usually harmless and will resolve on their own without requiring any form of medical intervention or assistance. Other forms of an upset stomach may also be addressed by some types of over the counter drugs or medicines. However, for those patients that feel like their stomach pain as ranging from moderate to severe, it is highly recommended that they seek their doctor’s assistance and recommendation.
Symptoms of Stomach Pain
There are a number of different types of Stomach Pain that patients may encounter and most of them are pretty commonly experienced by most individuals. These include some regurgitation of contents of the stomach, vomiting, pain and burning in the arms and chest, burning sensation in the abdomen, pain the upper portions of the abdomen, easily feeling satiated during meals, uncomfortable feeling of satiety after eating, abdominal cramps, gas, tightness or bloating of the abdomen, acid reflux, diarrhea and of course nausea or dizziness.
It must be noted that pain that is described as stabbing or severe should be treated as a medical emergency and should immediately be referred to a medical professional or doctor. Being dehydrated can also be considered as an emergency case that may require the use of IV fluids or intravenous fluids to help restore the regular or normal health of individuals.
What Causes Stomach Pain After Eating?
As stated earlier, there may be a number of reasons why people experience stomach pain after eating a meal. Listed below are some of these causes:
1. Food allergy
Food allergies can happen when the immune system misidentifies certain food items as harmful foreign bodies resulting in the body’s immune response to combat the misidentified food item. Food allergy can cause stomach pain after meals and some of the common food items that induce food allergies to include wheat, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, kinds of seafood like shellfish and fish, soy, and milk.
2. Food Sensitivity
Food sensitivity or food intolerance happens when the individual’s digestive system rejects or reacts adversely to certain types of food. Food sensitivity or food intolerance does not trigger the immune response of the body rather it simply means that the individual’s digestive system is unable to properly process or cannot easily process the food items consumed by the patient. One common food sensitivity is lactose intolerance which results in individuals getting upset stomach or stomach pain after eating dairy products such as milk and cheese.
3. Celiac Disease
Celiac Disease occurs when the body’s immune system negatively reacts to gluten. Gluten is found rye, barley, and wheat. Those with celiac disease may experience some form of small intestine damage if they are repeatedly or continually exposed to gluten. It is recommended that celiac disease is monitored further as they can lead to other more serious health problems if left untreated.
4. Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease or GERD
Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease or GERD, more commonly known as acid reflux, is a life-long and usually chronic health condition that makes stomach acid climb back up an individual’s throat or esophagus. If left untreated, Gastro-Intestinal Reflux Disease or GERD can cause damage to an individual’s esophagus and throat lining.
5. Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS
Similar to Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease or GERD, patients who have IBS or irritable bowel syndrome would ideally be treated as a chronic health condition that needs to be managed by the patient longer than other illnesses. It can have several manifestations such as gas, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, cramping and pain in the abdomen.
6. Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease is a serious disease and health disorder that is also called inflammatory bowel disease or IBD. This may lead to various portions of an individual’s digestive system to be inflamed. This inflammation, if left untreated, can lead to bloody stools, diarrhea, and extreme pain.
7. Peptic Ulcers
Peptic ulcers are ulcers or lesions that develop within the lining of an individual’s abdomen or gut and the small intestines or the duodenum. A peptic ulcer can further be exacerbated by eating foods that are spicy
8. Sugar alcohols
These are sweeteners that are artificially produced and are usually approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to be added to food items as additives and as a sugar substitute. Patients, however, noted that they felt some form of discomfort after taking sugar alcohols. This may be because consuming too much sugar may lead to a laxative effect as theorized by the US Food and Drug Administration (US-FDA).
This occurs when the frequency of passing stool becomes irregular and infrequent. Within weeks of being constipated, people may feel abnormally bloated and full leading to other symptoms such as stomach aches and nausea. Pain associated with constipation is usually experienced after meals due to the additional effort or stress of the body in digesting newly consumed food material.