Articles GI Issues

A survey discovered that 1 in 10 people endure post-meal stomach pain. Out of the 54,000 individuals who were surveyed, 13% of women and 9% of men said they frequently have gastrointestinal issues after eating a meal. The symptoms reported included bloating, a swollen stomach, feeling full quickly, constipation, and diarrhea. Interestingly, these individuals had twice the rates of anxiety and depression as people with no symptoms did.

This study investigated the correlation between food, diet, gastrointestinal health, mental health, and chronic gastrointestinal conditions. The findings suggest that digestive disorders should be treated with a personalized approach that involves input from multiple disciplines.

If you often feel sick or have other gastrointestinal issues after eating, speak with a gastroenterologist. GI Associates can help determine the source of your symptoms and put together a treatment plan tailored specifically for you. However, in the meantime, here are a few reasons why stomach pain is experienced after eating.

Common Reasons for Stomach Pain After Eating

Food Allergy or Intolerance. People with food allergies or intolerances may experience uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms regularly, like gas, bloating, cramping, and diarrhea. The most common allergens are eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, milk, soy, wheat, and more. If someone only experiences minor symptoms, these conditions can go unidentified for a long time!

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that commonly affects the large intestine (colon), causing common symptoms such as abdominal cramping, constipation, bloating, diarrhea, gas, and other negative gastrointestinal symptoms. IBS is chronic and requires managing symptoms - this is often done through dietary changes.

Gastritis is a general term for stomach lining inflammation, which can have many etiologies, including infection, overuse of pain medications (NSAIDs), injuries, certain foods, and alcohol abuse. The symptoms associated with gastritis include abdominal pain, vomiting, weakness, and nausea.

Celiac Disease is a chronic immune disease that cannot eat gluten. When people with Celiac consume foods with gluten, it harms the small intestine and weakens their immune system. Some common symptoms are abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, bloating, and mood changes. It is often genetic and can thus be diagnosed by a blood test ahead of time.

IBD, Conditions like Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis which involves inflammation of the intestines, are known collectively as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). These conditions are believed to arise from an abnormal immune response. They can cause various symptoms, including cramping, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, fatigue, and blood in the stool.

GERD. If you experience pain after eating in your upper abdomen, throat, or chest, you may suffer from acid reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Symptoms can also include heartburn, nausea, a burning sensation in the throat, or difficulty swallowing.

Overeating or eating something challenging to digest. Often, people immediately assume they have a food allergy or disease after experiencing indigestion. However, consider what you ate first. Did you eat an abundance of food? Was the cuisine acidic, spicy, or fried? Sometimes these foods are difficult to digest for anyone--not just those with chronic illnesses.

Dietary Tips to Help/Avoid The Stomach Pain

What you don't want to happen when you have a stomach ache is making it worse by eating the wrong food. If you're also vomiting or have diarrhea, it can be even more challenging to know what to try. But some foods can provide your body the nutrients it needs without making you feel worse.

Liquids. If you can't keep any substantial food down, it's best not to try and eat anything. Although liquids don't provide much nutrition, they are still essential for keeping your electrolytes balanced. Try sipping sports drinks, clear broth, or coconut water throughout the day to replenish minerals like potassium, calcium, and sodium (salt).

Bananas. They're easy to eat and have a lot of potassium, an essential mineral you may lose if you have diarrhea or vomit.

Rice. white rice is the best choice for an upset stomach. Wild, brown, or black rice may be healthier choices, but they are harder to digest when you're nauseous or have diarrhea. Starchy foods like white rice can help firm up your stool and stop diarrhea that often accompanies stomach trouble.

Applesauce. This food is easy to digest and contains plenty of nutrients, including pectin — a water-soluble fiber that can help add bulk to your stool and relieve diarrhea.

Toast. When you have an upset stomach, it's better to stick with simple white-bread toast instead of fiber-rich whole grains. The type of fiber found in whole grains can make diarrhea or nausea worse.

Foods To Avoid:

Dairy. generally, it's a bad idea to consume milk, cheese, or ice cream when you have an upset stomach. They're challenging for your digestive system due to their high-fat content. If you're feeling up for it, nonfat yogurt might be alright occasionally. Start small and see how your body reacts.

Fried Foods are loaded with oil and fat, which makes them more challenging to digest. They're not healthy for anyone at the best of times, but if you already have an upset stomach, they can worsen it.

Soda. The influx of gas bubbles can cause indigestion, and too much sugar at once can lead to diarrhea. To minimize the latter problem, drink flat soda slowly in small sips.

Spicy Food. Spicy and greasy food will only make your tummy ache worse. Stick to bland, easy-to-digest foods until you're feeling better.

Raw Fruits and Vegetables. Though they're usually great for you, the fiber in vegetables can make an upset stomach feel worse. If you're not feeling well, it's best to stay away from them and eat cooked veggies or drink juice instead. Once you're feeling better, slowly add more vegetables back into your diet bit by bit.

A diet with a good balance of fruits and vegetables helps keep your digestive system healthy. It can also help strengthen your immune system, making it more resistant to stomach bugs. And be mindful of triggers that might cause indigestion or heartburn – things like acidic foods (like tomatoes), fizzy drinks, or stress at work.

GI Associates Can Help With Gastro Conditions

Please schedule an appointment with us at GI Associates to learn more about the available treatments for disorders of the digestive system. Our professional staff is passionate about refining new solutions and treatments for those who suffer from these conditions. Each of our physicians offers expert specialization in evaluating and treating every need related to the digestive system.

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