Most of us have experienced a stomach ache after overindulging in a great meal at least once. When this happens, it can lead to uncomfortable feelings of fullness, indigestion, reflux, and even nausea. Although this may happen every so often, it shouldn’t be occurring on a regular basis, especially after eating a normal amount of food. If this is a common recurrence, you should be asking yourself why this keeps happening. While there are many possible reasons, three of the common causes are: allergies, food intolerance, and as a result of medical problems.
A food allergy is an immune system reaction that occurs soon after eating a certain food. Everyone's experience of food allergies is different. It depends on the severity of the allergy. If a person has severe allergies, they could have trouble breathing after touching or smelling their food. Beyond severe allergies, the most common allergy symptoms include:
- Itching in the mouth
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you should see if you notice a pattern. For example, if it only happens after you eat mushrooms, then it may be because you have a mushroom allergy. Even if the allergies aren’t severe, you should get a diagnosis from a professional.
Food intolerance (also known as food sensitivity) means your digestive system has a hard time digesting certain foods. Food intolerances differ from allergies. Intolerances affect your digestive system, rather than your immune system. Instead of quick and sometimes severe symptoms, the intolerance won’t show until a couple of hours after eating. Some of the symptoms include:
- Stomach ache
There are many different types of food intolerances. Some of the most common ones in America are dairy, gluten, eggs, fish, and nuts.
Underlying Medical Conditions
Allergies and food intolerances are the most common reasons that people get stomach aches after eating. However, consistent abdominal pain can also be a symptom of a more serious health condition. Some of the possibilities include:
Irritable Bowel System (IBS)
IBS is a chronic condition that affects the large intestine. Although there are different causes, common symptoms are abdominal pain, diarrhea, gas, and changes in the consistency of bowel movements.
This is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation in your digestive tract. It can lead to abdominal pain, fatigue, diarrhea, and malnutrition.
With this condition, gluten triggers a reaction from the body’s immune system. When this happens, the reaction damages the lining of the small intestine, causing abdominal pain, diarrhea, and severe pain
Other possible medical causes include GERD, peptic ulcers, biliary colic, ulcerative colitis, and sugar alcohol, among others.
When to get care for stomach aches after eating
When you eat a great meal, your only focus should be on enjoying the food and the time you get to spend with your loved ones. If you’re consistently getting a stomach ache after eating, you should focus on finding the underlying cause.
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