Stomach pain and nausea after a meal can occur for many reasons. They can be a sign of food sensitivity or overeating. However, persistent pain and nausea after a meal may indicate a more serious health problem, such as gallstones or a stomach ulcer. If a person has other symptoms or continued discomfort despite changes to their diet, it may be a medical condition.
Stomach pain can be avoided by eating a healthy, balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables. Not eating spicy or fatty foods and cutting down on sugary drinks or caffeine can also help. In this article, we list 21 reasons why a person may have a stomach ache or feel unwell after eating, including dietary and medical causes.
For many different reasons, the foods a person chooses to eat can lead to a stomach ache later on.
1. Food poisoning
One of the main symptoms of food poisoning is stomach pain. Other symptoms are:
lack of energy
Symptoms may appear within hours of eating, but may take days or weeks to appear. Food poisoning normally only lasts a few days. It can usually be treated at home with rest and fluids.
2. Acidic foods
Acidic foods that can irritate the stomach include fruit juices, processed cheese, and tomatoes. Finding alternatives, such as replacing fruit juice with water or tea, can help reduce stomach pain.
3. Trapped Gas
Gas trapped in the digestive tract can cause discomfort. The stomach may be stretched and uncomfortable, or sharp pain may be felt. Sugary drinks and certain foods can cause bloating and wind. These include:
When a person chews gum, sucks on candy, or eats with their mouth open, they may swallow air. This can be another cause of gas.
4. Spicy foods
Chili peppers are often used to flavor spicy foods. They contain capsaicin, a chemical that causes the sensation of heat or burning. Capsaicin can irritate sensitive parts of the body, especially the stomach.
A person may suffer from indigestion after eating or drinking. In addition to stomach upset, she may feel bloated or sick. The stomach contains acid to break down food. Sometimes it can irritate the stomach lining and cause indigestion. Rich or fatty foods, caffeine, sugary drinks, and alcohol can make indigestion worse.
Caffeine is a stimulant found in tea and coffee. It can irritate the stomach and cause discomfort in some people. People can choose alternatives and still enjoy hot beverages. Decaffeinated tea and decaffeinated coffee are available online. Fruit teas or hot water with a slice of lemon are also good for health and help people stay hydrated during the day.
Alcoholic beverages can cause bloating. This is especially true if they are carbonated, like beer or sparkling wine. They can also make heartburn worse. Reducing the amount of alcohol consumed can have many beneficial health effects. Drinking a soft drink or water between two alcoholic drinks or choosing non-alcoholic wine or beer are ways to reduce alcohol consumption.
8. Food allergy or intolerance
Some people may be allergic to certain foods. These can irritate the stomach and cause pain after eating. An intolerance is a milder form of an allergy. Allergies and intolerances can be caused by many different foods. The most common intolerances are gluten, wheat and lactose. People who think they have an allergy can keep a food diary. A food diary is a written record of what the person consumed at each meal, including drinks and snacks. They should also note the times when their stomach hurts. Keeping a diary can help identify problem foods. People can then eliminate these foods from their diet.
Filling the stomach regularly is not good for your health. Feeling sick after a meal can be a sign that a person is eating too much.
Here are some of the medical conditions that can also cause stomach pain after a meal.
Gastritis causes inflammation of the stomach lining. It can cause stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and indigestion. Mild gastritis can be treated at home with medication and dietary changes. Cutting out acidic foods and eating smaller meals throughout the day can help.
11. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
IBD cause inflammation of the intestine. IBD can cause a whole host of symptoms, one of which is stomach pain. IBD is a long-lasting condition that requires drug treatment and lifestyle change.
12. Stomach Ulcer
A stomach ulcer is a sore that develops on the stomach wall. It causes a burning pain in the middle of the stomach. Stomach ulcers are often caused by an infection. They can also be the result of taking medications, especially aspirin, if taken frequently and over a long period of time. Treatment is with antacid medication, with or without antibiotics.
13. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS is a disease that affects the digestive system. Besides constipation and diarrhea, it can cause stomach cramps and bloating. Symptoms can last for days, weeks, or months, and don’t always occur after a meal.
Although there is no cure, lifestyle changes can help. These include:
avoiding fatty and processed foods
get a lot of exercise
cut out alcohol and sugary drinks
eat at regular times and do not skip meals.
Gallstones are lumps of hard material that form in the gallbladder. If they block a bile duct, they can cause sudden sharp pain. Treatment is with medication or surgery, depending on the severity of the condition.
Heartburn is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in medical terms. They can also be called acid reflux. GERD is caused by acid backing up from the stomach into the digestive tract. It is manifested by a burning sensation in the chest and throat. It can also cause a burning sensation in the stomach. Eliminating alcohol, spicy foods, and losing weight if needed can help control heartburn.
16. Overactive thyroid
The thyroid gland produces hormones that tell the body how to function. An overactive thyroid can cause medical problems that can affect bones, muscles, and the heart. One of the symptoms of an overactive thyroid is stomach pain and diarrhea. Other symptoms include trouble sleeping, weight loss, and rapid heartbeat.
17. Celiac disease
Celiac disease is a disorder of the digestive system. It is caused by an allergy to gluten, present in rye, barley and wheat. The symptoms are: stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea and bloating. Eliminating gluten from the diet can stop the effects of this disease.
Finally, there are several other lifestyle and health reasons why a person’s stomach may hurt after eating.
Stress can cause muscles to tense, which can create pain or discomfort in the stomach. A few slow, deep breaths before eating can relax the muscles. Eating slowly and calmly can help avoid stomach pain.
Being overweight can mean a person is more likely to develop conditions such as heartburn or stomach ulcer. When a person loses a little excess weight, he can avoid having a stomach ache after eating.
Not having enough bowel movements or having hard, hard-to-pass stools is likely due to constipation. Stomach pain and bloating are other common symptoms of constipation. Constipation can be treated by eating a diet high in fiber and drinking plenty of fluids.
21. Medicines for blood pressure
Medicines used to treat high blood pressure can cause side effects. These include constipation and sometimes stomach pain. If a person experiences side effects from this medicine, they can ask their doctor to switch to another type of medicine.
When to consult a doctor
If a person has symptoms of the medical conditions listed here, they should see a doctor. If stomach pain after a meal persists for a long time, a doctor should be consulted.