If your stomach hurts after eating or have stomach pain, there are some causes.
Stomach discomfort or pain after eating is known as postprandial pain.
Experiencing postprandial pain from time to time is not a big concern.
But frequent stomach pain, bloating, and upset after eating can indicate several digestive disorders.
Postprandial pain usually goes away, but it can become a recurring problem for some people.
In this post, we’ll discuss the reasons why your stomach hurts after eating.
Finally, we’ll share some tips on how to stop stomach pain after eating.
Let’s dive in!
What causes your stomach to hurt after eating?
1. Intestinal gas
Intestinal gas is an essential byproduct of the digestion system.
But an excessive amount of this gas can irritate your digestive system, resulting in stomach pain.
Drinking carbonated beverages or swallowing air can cause too much intestinal gas.
Intestinal gases are usually produced by fermentation in which gut bacteria digest carbohydrates.
If the fermentation process goes on for a longer period, it causes excessive intestinal gas.
Eating too much or gastrointestinal (GI) diseases may speed up fermentation.
2. Digestive disorders
This happens when your body struggles to digest food. Specific examples of digestive disorders are:
- Functional Digestive Disorder: Symptoms of unintentional weight loss, anemia, bleeding, fever, and constipation.
- Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO): Occurs when gut bacteria from the colon flow toward the small intestine.
This overgrowth can disturb the balance of bacteria necessary to absorb gases produced in the digestive system.
- Carbohydrate Malabsorption Some people have difficulty digesting specific carbohydrates carbs available in beans and wheat.
People who have intolerance can also experience stomach discomfort or pain after eating.
- Visceral Hypersensitivity: When you feel bloated and gassy, even if the gas volumes are normal. This condition occurs due to digestive disorders and IBS.
3. Eating too fast or too much
Scientific studies highlight that our stomach can hold about 1 to 2 cups of food on average.
Stomach pain or discomfort can start when you try to exceed this capacity.
If your stomach hurts after eating, this can be the reason.
When you eat too much or fast, your stomach has to stretch to make room for extra food, causing discomfort or pain.
Similarly, eating too fast can cause you to swallow excessive air into the intestine, resulting in stomach bloating or pain.
Eating too fast and too much is the major cause of stomach bloating or pain after eating.
It is suggested to slow down while you eat and chew the food completely before taking another bite to avoid overeating.
4. Digestive Content
The digestive content you eat can also cause stomach bloating or pain.
When your stomach muscles that move along the digestive contents are impaired, it can cause a buildup in your digestive system.
This buildup in your digestive system limits the room for incoming foods, making your stomach feel tighter.
The following factors can cause a buildup in your digestive system
a. Motility Disorders
This causes everything you eat or drink to move slowly from your digestive tract.
These disorders include pelvic floor dysfunction, paralysis of the stomach muscles, gastroparesis, and intestinal pseudo-obstruction.
b. Bowel Obstructions
Hernias, scar tissues, tumors, and strictures stenosis can block your large and small bowels, building up digestive contents.
Some inflammatory diseases, such as diverticulosis and Crohn can damage the parts of your bowels, narrowing the passage of digestive contents.
You may have temporary or chronic constipation due to an imbalanced diet or other underlying conditions.
Backed-up poop can also cause digestive contents to stay in your intestines for longer, resulting in stomach bloating or pain.
Indigestion refers to the burning or pain in the middle of your stomach.
Surveys reveal that about 25% of Americans experience the symptoms of indigestion every year.
Indigestion may cause nausea, a feeling of being full early in a meal, and stomach bloating.
People who smoke, eat too much or too fast, consume too much alcohol, and eat greasy or spicy foods can experience the symptoms of indigestion.
Some functional gastric disorders that can cause indigestion include:
- Postprandial distress syndrome (PDS)
- Epigastric pain syndrome (EPS)
You must see a healthcare professional because, in most cases, indigestion does not have a specific underlying cause.
6. Food allergies and intolerance
People having food allergies or intolerance may experience vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps after eating.
A lack of the enzyme lactase can cause an inability to digest lactose ingredients in food.
People having food allergies can also experience mild to severe stomach pain after eating.
How to stop stomach pain after eating
The following tips can help you avoid stomach cramps or pain after eating;
- Try to limit distractions when eating to chew your bites completely
- Take a gentle walk after eating to stimulate the digestion process in your body
- Don’t lie down with a stuffed stomach as it can worsen heartburn after overeating
- Avoid greasy, spicy foods and carbonated beverages to avoid the bloated feeling and stomach pain
Many people experience stomach discomfort or pain after eating.
If your stomach hurts after eating, there are several factors.
These include: eating too much or too fast, constipation, bowel obstructions, and excessive intestinal gas can cause stomach cramps after eating.
You must chew food completely before taking another bite and avoid carbonated beverages to limit the risk of a bloated stomach.