Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Abdominal Pain That Get Worse After Eating
- Have you experienced any nausea?
- Any fever today or during the last week?
- Have you lost your appetite recently?
- Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
Self-diagnose with our free Buoy Assistant if you answer yes on any of these questions.
Nutrients Deficiency Or Imbalance
Stomach pain after eating may be caused by a deficiency in certain nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. For example, low levels of calcium can also cause muscle spasms which lead to cramping pain during digestion.
Other nutrient deficiencies may include vitamin B12 or iron. Vitamin B12 deficiency is often characterized by diarrhea along with other symptoms while an iron deficiency may typically be associated with bloating and nausea.
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.
If you’re experiencing chronic stomach pain, take steps now to head off any bigger problems down the road. Your primary care provider can help get to the bottom of what’s causing your issues and create a plan to help improve your gut health. Your plan may include medication, lifestyle changes, a healthier diet and stress management techniques.
7. Right or left lower abdominal pain in women
Sudden onset of right lower abdominal pain or left lower abdominal pain can indicate a ruptured ovarian cyst in a woman who is in the middle of her menstrual cycle. This kind of pain could also be a sign of ovarian torsion, which is the rotation of the ovary and part of the fallopian tube, or possibly a twisting of the ovary due to reduced blood supply. Seek treatment immediately at the nearest emergency department. Surgery to remove the ovary may be required.
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How Can I Prevent Nausea
There are several ways to try and prevent nausea from developing:
- Eat small meals throughout the day instead of three large meals.
- Avoid hard-to-digest foods.
- Consume foods that are cold or room temperature if you are nauseated by the smell of hot or warm foods.
- Rest after eating with your head elevated about 12 inches above your feet.
- Drink liquids between meals rather than during meals.
- Try to eat when you feel less nauseated.
When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About My Abdominal Pain
Always see your doctor if your pain is unexplained, persistent or severe, or if you have been injured or are pregnant.
Also, see your doctor if your pain is accompanied by any of these symptoms:
- Persistent fever.
- Blood in your stools, urine or vomit.
- Swelling and tenderness to the touch.
- Pain in any other part of your body.
- Shortness of breath or symptoms that get worse with exertion.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
So many things can cause abdominal pain that its inevitable well all experience it from time to time. Common causes, such as gas and indigestion, menstrual cramps, or even food poisoning and the flu may be instantly recognizable. Other causes may be more mysterious. And sometimes stomach pain is a sign of an unsuspected or serious condition.
Your healthcare provider will always be interested in your abdominal pain, especially if its unexplained. Common causes are often easy to treat, and having your condition diagnosed can help you find relief. Even if your stomach pain is mild, make sure you see your healthcare provider if it doesnt go away, keeps coming back or gets worse.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/18/2022.
First Up: Is It Actually Your Stomach That Hurts
Before we get into the most common causes of a crampy middle after eating, lets clear up something many of us have been unknowingly getting wrong since we were kids. When you say your stomach hurts, chances are youre talking about the part of your torso between your chest and your hips. This part of your body is technically your abdomen. Your stomach starts a bit under your chest on your left side and extends down into the middle of your torso.
Its no surprise, then, that figuring out exactly what hurts in this general area can be tricky. There are organs that overlap, Nitin Ahuja, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of clinical medicine in the gastroenterology department in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, tells SELF. The small intestine occupies a lot of space, and the colon sort of drapes around the entire abdomen and overlaps of the stomach as well.
Also, depending on what is going on, the nerves in the abdomen may not be as good at localizing pain, Dr. Ahuja says, so it might be hard to tell where the pain is coming from. Keep all of this in mind as you try to figure out what might be causing your post-eating cramps. Now, for the next bit of background information you need to know, since high school biology was a long time ago for some of us
You Have Crohn’s Disease
There is no known cause for Crohn’s disease, but it is typically related to your diet and genetics, says Dr. Jacobs. While it’s a chronic condition that requires ongoing monitoring and management, your doctor may recommend medication, diet changes, and surgery to curb symptoms and provide long-term relief.
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How Are Abdominal Bloating And Nausea Treated
Abdominal bloating and nausea related to foods you eat will typically resolve after your body has had time to digest whatever has upset your stomach. Common food intolerances include lactose and gluten. Avoid eating any foods that you determine are causing abdominal bloating and nausea.
Your doctor may prescribe medication if you have underlying conditions such as acid reflux or constipation. More serious disorders, such as congestive heart failure or dumping syndrome, may require prolonged treatments.
Effects Of Chemotherapy Treatment
Chemotherapy treatment can induce persistent and frequent vomiting. It can be difficult if you are going through chemotherapy to keep food down and not feel nauseous after eating.
Dr. Jennifer Robinson on WebMD provides some helpful tips to help alleviate feelings of nausea and vomiting after eating.14 Some of these are:
- Eat foods that are at room temperature because the smell of hot foods can make your nausea worse.
- Avoid drinking beverages with your meal.
- Eat food when you feel less nauseous.
- Chew your food properly and eat slowly to prevent feeling nauseated after eating.
- Avoid foods that are hard to digest, like spicy, fatty, and creamy foods.
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Causes Of Acute Stomach Pain
- Eating Too Much. Eating too much can cause an upset stomach and mild stomach pain.
- Hunger Pains. Younger children may complain of stomach pain when they are hungry.
- GI Virus . A GI virus can cause stomach cramps as well as vomiting and/or diarrhea.
- Food Poisoning. This causes sudden vomiting and/or diarrhea within hours after eating the bad food. It is caused by toxins from germs growing in foods left out too long. Most often, symptoms go away in less than 24 hours. It often can be treated at home without the need for medical care.
- Constipation. The need to pass a stool may cause cramps in the lower abdomen.
- Strep Throat. A strep throat infection causes 10% of new onset stomach pain with fever.
- Bladder Infection. Bladder infections usually present with painful urination, urgency and bad smelling urine. Sometimes the only symptom is pain in the lower abdomen.
- Appendicitis . Suspect appendicitis if pain is low on the right side and walks bent over. Other signs are the child wonât hop and wants to lie still.
- Intussusception . Sudden attacks of severe pain that switch back and forth with periods of calm. Caused by one segment of bowel telescoping into a lower piece of bowel. Peak age is 6 months to 2 years.
Urgent Advice: Speak To Your Gp As Soon As Possible If:
- you have severe abdominal pain, especially if itâs 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 youâll 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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Common Causes Of Stomach Pain
Harmless abdominal pain usually subsides or goes away within two hours. Some of the common causes for stomach pain are from:
- Gas: Formed in the stomach and intestines as your body breaks down food, gas can cause general stomach pain and cramps. This often can be indicated by belching or flatulence.
- Bloating: Related to gas, bloating occurs when excess gas builds up in your digestive tract. Your stomach usually will feel full, and you may experience cramps.
- Constipation: This occurs when you are having difficulty making bowel movements. If you are having two or fewer bowel movements a week, constipation is the likely cause. In addition to feeling bloated and uncomfortable, you may experience cramping and pain in your rectum.
- Indigestion: This is typically experienced as an upset stomach, burning, or belly pain after eating.
- Stomach flu: Your stomach may hurt before each episode of vomiting or diarrhea.
When Should I Call The Doctor
Sometimes, what seems like one problem food poisoning, for example can turn out to be something more serious, like appendicitis.
- the pain is very strong
- youâre vomiting a lot
- you already have another health condition
- the pain gets worse over time, doesnât go away, or wakes you up from sleep
Also let the doctor know if you:
- have pain when you pee
- have trouble pooping or peeing
- have blood in your poop or pee
- think the belly pain is from an injury
- might be pregnant
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Chronic Constipation Or Constipation Alternating With Diarrhea
It is normal to occasionally feel constipatedhaving difficulty moving bowels or infrequent bowel movements. There are a variety of reasons why someone may experience occasional constipation. But if you or a loved one is frequently experiencing constipation, or constipation alternating with diarrhea, it is important to see a healthcare provider or gastroenterologist. Your healthcare provider will be able to run tests to determine the cause of the constipation and recommend for the best course of treatment for you or your loved one.
When To Seek Medical Help
Most people understand from their own life experiences that diarrhea is a very common affliction, so having diarrhea or stomach pain alone probably isnt enough to require medical attention. When the diarrhea and pain last longer than three days, however, it may indicate a larger problem. Moreover, if the diarrhea and abdominal pain accompany fever, bloody stool, or any other severe symptoms, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. For small children, the elderly, or anyone with a weakened immune system , diarrhea alone can be dangerous and should be diagnosed by a medical professional. If you have been experiencing diarrhea and stomach pain for more than a few days and are concerned about an underlying condition, contact us at Cary Gastro to set up an appointment to meet with a gastroenterologist. Our helpful staff will be happy to get you checked out so you can get the treatment you need.
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How Do You Relieve Abdominal Pain
Stomach pain has a wide variety of causes and treatments. Some conditions, such as gallstones or appendicitis, may require surgery. Others, such as ulcers or infections, may be eased with medicine. And sometimes you may just have to get through a bout of stomach flu or a kidney stone until it passes.
If you dont know whats causing your abdominal pain, its important to find out, especially if it doesnt go away on its own. Remember that even mild cases can be serious. However, if you have a pretty good idea that your stomachache is related to digestion, you can begin by treating yourself with:
- Bowel rest. Stop eating, or only eat easy-to-digest foods like crackers or bananas.
- Hydration. Drink plenty of water or a hydration formula.
- Heat therapy. Try a warm water bottle or a soak in the bath.
- Home remedies. Try licorice for gas, ginger for indigestion, or peppermint to help relax your intestinal muscles.
When To See A Doctor For Your Stomach Pain
Stomach pain after eating that results from overeating or indigestion is not very serious and can be treated with over-the-counter medications and home remedies. However, persistent pain accompanied by other symptoms that do not seem to be getting better may be something concerning.
If you have any medical conditions that can cause stomach pain, you should call your doctor. If the stomach pain continues to occur right after you eat or while you are eating, and lifestyle and diet changes are not working, it may be something serious or deeper, and medical attention becomes necessary. It could be some undetected health issue that needs to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
For more information on the diagnosis and treatment of digestive conditions, schedule an appointment at Manhattan Gastroenterology today. The experienced and award-winning gastroenterologists offer expert advice regarding matters of the gastrointestinal tract and help you find relief from the pain and discomfort you experience right after eating food. They specialize in diagnosing and treating pain that affects your gastrointestinal tract and offers a variety of treatments, including medications and home remedies to protect you from gastrointestinal damage. The top-rated doctors study why you feel uncomfortable or your stomach hurts after eating, including food and medical causes, and come up with the best solutions to ensure you enjoy healthy digestion.
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How Do You Stop Nausea After Eating
Nibbling on saltine crackers, small amounts of ginger and resting up these are all things Dr. Lee calls conservative management. You shouldnt try treating yourself or doing too much, but if youre not feeling well, there are some small things you can do to ease the sick feeling of nausea.
The most important thing you can do is keep yourself hydrated and get rest. Plus, you should monitor when youre feeling nauseated, what brought it on, how long it lasts and what made it feel better. This is all important information that can help your doctor determine a diagnosis.
If it keeps coming back or fails to improve or resolve on its own, its not normal and you should get it checked out, advises Dr. Lee.
Related To The Type Of Food Causes
Some people can feel nausea after eating foods as a result of one of the following reasons:
- Food allergies: sometimes cause some allergies and foods Kalmaxrat eggs, for example, having taken up the immune system called many of the chemicals Kalhustamin, which cause some of the symptoms, including nausea.
- Food poisoning caused by bacteria eating contaminated foods, or viruses, or parasites of some symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.
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You Have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Also known as GERD, this condition happens when stomach acid irritates the lining of your esophagus, creating heartburn and stomach pain in the process, Dr. Farhadi says.
Youre more likely to suffer from GERD if you tend to overeat or love spicy foodsthat allows acid to flow up into your esophagus, which can be pretty painful, says Rudolph Bedford, MD, a gastroenterologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
If you think youre struggling with GERD, try cutting back on spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol, and take over-the-counter antacids to help with symptoms. If that still doesnt do the trick, call your doctor.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
Pain in the body means something is wrong. If you feel pain after eating every once in a while and it doesn’t keep you from functioning, you may want to mention it to your healthcare provider at your next visit.
But if you regularly have pain after eating, or your pain is significant, it’s vital that you make an appointment with your healthcare provider right away. A proper diagnosis is the first step toward a treatment plan.
Seek emergency care if you have severe pain along with any of these symptoms:
- Severe vomiting
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