Though it can be quite worrying, stomach pain after eating is a very common complaint and happens to most of us at one time or another. Yes it can be quite uncomfortable and yes at times can be quite painful too, but the majority of time it’s nothing serious and you can usually rest easy. With that said, you’re probably wondering what cause’s this pain and discomfort? Well there can be a variety of reasons, some of these we will cover in the forthcoming paragraphs below. However do keep in mind that sometimes these reasons may only be diagnosed with a visit to your local physician, and if you’re are unsure or feeling particularly unwell, stop reading this and get yourself to your local health clinic.
Wind or possibly gas?
Yes I knows this is normally a topic of much laughter, but it’s no laughing matter when you’re the one in discomfort. Wind is a common problem and is literally caused by swallowing air when we eat and air digested within the foods we eat. Trapped wind is usually a minor discomfort and is normally accompanied by symptoms like feeling bloated. You can take solace that this bloated feeling is usually a temporary discomfort. Everybody reacts differently to all sorts of food and drink, but there are a number of food and drinks in particular that seem to crop up more often than others.
Foods normally associated with wind and gas pains are Beans, Products that use milk, cucumbers (yes cucumbers!) fizzy drinks and soya products. If you are a heavy consumer of these items, it’s maybe time to reconsider them and how you cook them when including them in your diet. You may also consider that other symptoms of abdominal pain can be caused by: Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Gastric ulcer Symptoms, Stomach Flu. I mention these other symptoms not to frighten you, but just that you are made aware.
Well overeating is as simple as it sounds, you’ve ate to much or usually you’ve eaten to fast, and this can certainly cause problems within the digestive system. Overeating may also be caused by having your meals at all sort of different times or skipping meals. As a result when you do get a chance to eat, you end up eating far too much in one sitting, and as a consequence end up with a really dicky tummy or even stomach cramps. Try and keep your meals spaced evenly and at regular intervals. If you do manage to follow the advice I have given regarding overeating and are still experiencing pain after eating, please consult a Doctor.
Lactose Intolerance is as exactly as it sounds, it’s the inability to absorb lactose. People susceptible to lactose intolerance will suffer the pain associated with it when consuming dairy products such as milk. This pain normally manifests itself in symptoms such as: Wind and gas pains, swollen stomach, bloated feeling, and sometime even the dreaded diarrhea. A simple way of self diagnosis of lactose intolerance is to try and not consume dairy products for at least a few days, then consume at least two glasses of milk. If shortly thereafter you develop stomach pains or Diarrhea, then it’s more than likely you suffer from lactose intolerance. Make an appointment with your local physician and he will run a couple of tests to either confirm this or help you get to the root of your underlying problem.
Food allergies are normally found when you’re a toddler and a s a result if you have a food allergy, you more than likely know about it, however that may always not be the case as more and more, other ingredients are now added to meals that can be bought locally in the supermarket that we wouldn’t add had we made the food ourselves. This is why you should always read the ingredients of the foods you buy when shopping. Common foods associated with allergies are peanuts, shellfish, fish (I myself have a particular problem with salmon) and wheat. Symptoms are apparent fairly quick and those associated with allergies may include: Itching, Hives, stomach cramps, Breathing difficulties, sneezing and bloating after eating. The only real way of treating allergic reactions to foods, is simply to make sure you avoid these foods. If you feel you may have suffered an allergic reaction, please consult your local physician, as the reaction next time may not be a small one, some people are know too and have gone into anaphylactic shock.
Food poisoning is a relatively common ailment and be caused by a myriad of things, from people not washing their hands before eating to under cooked food. Food that has been left out the fridge too long then not cooked thoroughly. Fruits and vegetables that weren’t washed properly before consumption. Raw fish and chicken not kept at proper temperature are a common culprit, as well as untreated water. Symptoms of food poisoning include but not up to: nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain after eating, Diarrhea after eating, stomach cramps. The good news is that most people recover from food poisoning with in a few days.
You should also make sure you keep your fluid level up, as a common problem associated with food poisoning, is diarrhea after eating the infected food. You should also make sure you avoid milk when drinking fluids as the body may have a temporary intolerance too lactose. Simple ways of avoiding food poisoning include making sure you wash your hands and all utensils properly before preparing food. Making sure any meats and fish are refrigerated properly and kept at correct temperature. These two tips alone will ensure a major reduction in catching food poisoning.
This may seem common sense but it’s amazing the things we forget in our day to day lives, especially in this modern age of hustle and bustle, so I’m going to provide a few tips on preventing yourself ending up with stomach ache after eating. I hope you find them useful.
- Always make sure you wash your hands and all cutlery and utensils you will be using before cooking.
- Wash all vegetables and fruit thoroughly before consuming.
- Smell your food before you eat it, smell is one of our greatest senses and it can serve you well especially when dealing with foods that may be a bit iffy.
- Look at your food before consuming, does it look a bit mouldy, does the colour appear off? Does it look like it’s spoiled?
- When reheating food, make sure you cook it thoroughly. When keeping leftovers, don’t let them sit at room temperature, make sure you refrigerate them as soon as possible to avoid bacteria growing.
- When purchasing foods, always make sure you check the sell by date or best before.
Treating Stomach Pain
Like I said at the start off the article, most people will experience stomach pain after eating food at one point or another, that’s life I’m afraid. Barring there being some underlying condition you’re not aware of. There are a few things you can do to relieve yourself of the pain and discomfort.
Drink plenty of water, try and avoid eating any solid food or dairy products for at least a couple hours, as this may potentially worsen the pain and discomfort. Try to relax and and avoid anything that may cause you to fell anxious, abdominal pain and anxiety are sometimes related. Avoid high acidity drinks like freshly squeezed orange juice, at least until you feel better. If you have some antacids or tums that are nearby take a few, please keep in mind if these make the problem worse, consult a doctor immediately.
Persistent Pain After Eating
If you have adhere to some of the tips provided above but still have consistent stomach pain after eating. Then I would advise you to consult your local physician or nearby health clinic. Stomach cramps and stomach ache after eating may seem like a minor problem, but they could be masking something more serious such as chronic constipation or irritable bowel syndrome, maybe even a stomach ulcer. So please don’t leave persistent abdominal pain too long. The fact that it’s persistent should be the warning sign.
Please take care of yourselves,