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What are the Most Common Causes of an Upset Stomach After Eating?

By G. Wiesen
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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There are a number of common causes of upset stomach after eating, and depending on the severity of discomfort and other possible symptoms, it may be indicative of some potentially serious health issues. One of the most common reasons for an upset stomach right after eating is simply eating too much, and the excess food can cause physical discomfort for some time after eating. There is also the possibility that a person has been exposed to food-borne illnesses such as salmonella, or he or she may have a food allergy. An upset stomach can also be indicative of serious medical issues such as a heart attack or stomach ulcers.

The most common physical sensations related to an upset stomach after eating are physical discomfort, usually around a person’s midsection, though this can be accompanied by feelings of nausea as well. Heartburn can also be common with an upset stomach, which typically feels like an intense burning sensation within a person’s chest and esophagus or throat. Someone experiencing such symptoms after eating may also have other physical issues such as diarrhea or vomiting.

Overeating is one of the most common reasons for an upset stomach, and care should be taken to ensure a proper amount of food is consumed. Most people experience a delay between a sense of fullness and actual fullness within their stomach. This means that eating slower typically allows a person to more realistically understand his or her actual hunger. Stopping between portions to allow his or her body to potentially feel full can also be a good way for a person to prevent overeating.

Food-borne illnesses such as Salmonella or Staphylococcus can also cause upset stomach after eating, though these effects may take longer to develop. Such discomfort is often accompanied by nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting, which can lead to further issues such as dehydration. Unsafe food handling practices or undercooked food can often lead to such “food poisoning,” and care should be taken whenever handling or eating raw meat or eggs. Some food allergies can also cause stomach discomfort after eating certain foods, and these effects may also be joined by rashes, hives, throat closure, and entering anaphylactic shock.

While an upset stomach after eating may be fairly innocuous, it can also potentially be a symptom of a more severe medical condition. Abdominal discomfort can be a symptom of an acute myocardial infarction, or heart attack, and if such feelings are accompanied by a shortness of breath, chest pains, or other strange sensations, medical attention should be sought. Common and recurring upset stomach or heartburn can also be indicative of gastritis or similar gastrointestinal issues, which may cause ulcers and other complications. Anyone experiencing long-term or recurring stomach pains should consult a medical professional.

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Discussion Comments

By cafe41 — On Dec 09, 2010

Oasis11-I get a bloated stomach after eating popcorn or any Mexican food.

I know that products like Beano are supposed to help people that experience stomach bloated symptoms.

I have never needed to try it, because my bloated feeling goes away eventually, but one day I think I will try it to see how it could help my bloated stomach after eating because sometimes the pain in the stomach after eating is too much to bear.

By oasis11 — On Dec 08, 2010

Cupcake15-I have had that happen to me when the food that I am eating is greasy.

My stomach also develops a certain level of discomfort when I eat a lot of vegetables and high fiber foods like beans.

I start to feel the gas bloating and really feel uncomfortable because aside from the gas bloating, I also experience pain due to the stomach pain of gas.

It is a very uncomfortable feeling that I try to avoid. This also happens to people when they change their diet in a significant manner.

Changing to a healthier diet takes time for your body to adjust and these are some of the discomforts so may feel as a result.

By cupcake15 — On Dec 07, 2010

An upset stomach after eating anything might mean that there are stomach bacteria and the person has a stomach flu.

Usually with this condition, the person afflicted can not keep anything down and experiences constant vomiting.

In cases of small children, some pediatricians are able to offer the child a shot in order to stop the vomiting because excessive vomiting in children is dangerous.

I know that for me, I sometimes get stomach cramps after eating. It is usually a pain in my lower stomach and it is an inflammation of the intestines which is really irritable bowl syndrome.

This lining gets inflamed which is why the pain develops. It is usually followed by bouts of diarrhea after eating and the stomach is also feels bloated.

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