Symptoms A-Z

Reasons Abdominal Pain Can Worsen After Eating & Relief Options

Having abdominal pain after eating, also known as postprandial pain, can also be associated with nausea or diarrhea immediately after eating. Abdominal pain that gets worse after eating commonly occurs when there is infection or irritants to the organs of the digestive system. While most postprandial pain causes are non-serious, read below for more information other related symptoms and treatment options.

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Abdominal Pain That Get Worse After Eating Symptom Checker

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Contents

  1. 10 Possible Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics

10 Possible Abdominal Pain That Get Worse After Eating Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced abdominal pain that get worse after eating. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Stomach ulcer

A peptic ulcer is a sore in the lining of the stomach or the first part of your small intestine (the duodenum), which causes pain following meals or on an empty stomach.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, moderate abdominal pain, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps)

Symptoms that never occur with stomach ulcer: pain in the lower left abdomen

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Acid reflux disease (gerd)

Acid reflux disease, also known as GERD, occurs when the acidic contents of the stomach come back up into the esophagus. The most common symptoms are heartburn and regurgitation.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: nausea, sore throat, pain below the ribs, cough with dry or watery sputum, deep chest pain, behind the breast bone

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Indigestion (dyspepsia)

Indigestion, also called upset stomach, dyspepsia, or functional dyspepsia, is not a disease but a collection of very common symptoms. Note: Heartburn is a separate condition.

Common causes are eating too much or too rapidly; greasy or spicy foods; overdoing caffeine, alcohol, or carbonated beverages; smoking; and anxiety. Some antibiotics, pain relievers, and vitamin/mineral supplements can cause indigestion.

The most common symptoms are pain, discomfort, and bloating in the upper abdomen soon after eating.

Indigestion that lasts longer than two weeks, and does not respond to simple treatment, may indicate a more serious condition. Upper abdominal pain that radiates to the jaw, neck, or arm is a medical emergency.

Diagnosis is made through patient history and physical examination. If the symptoms began suddenly, laboratory tests on blood, breath, and stool may be ordered. Upper endoscopy or abdominal x-ray may be done.

For functional dyspepsia – "ordinary" indigestion – treatment and prevention are the same. Eating five or six smaller meals per day with lighter, simpler food; managing stress; and finding alternatives for some medications will provide relief.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: nausea, stomach bloating, dyspeptic symptoms, bloating after meals, vomiting

Symptoms that always occur with indigestion (dyspepsia): dyspeptic symptoms

Symptoms that never occur with indigestion (dyspepsia): vomiting (old) blood or passing tarry stools, rectal bleeding, bloody diarrhea, fever

Urgency: Self-treatment

Irritable bowel syndrome (ibs)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder of the large intestine. It is characterized by recurrent abdominal pain and bowel movement issues that can be difficult to treat. Signs and symptoms of IBS are usually not severe or life-threatening, but finding relief may be frustrating.

In order to have a confirmed diagnosis, your IBS should include two of three key symptoms, including improvement of symptoms after defecating, pain that begins when the frequency of stool changes, or(https://www.buoyhealth.com/symptoms-a-z/pain-when-passing-stools/).

Other key symptoms include abdominal pain and discomfort, as well as bloating, cramping,(https://www.buoyhealth.com/symptoms-a-z/fatigue/). These may all be exacerbated by stress, specific foods, or hormonal changes, especially in women.

Treatment focuses on alleviating your symptoms through supplements and medication.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea or vomiting, constipation, stool changes

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Gallstones

Gallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluid that can form in your gallbladder. Your gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ on the right side of your abdomen, just beneath your liver.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, loss of appetite, pain in the upper right abdomen, vomiting

Symptoms that always occur with gallstones: abdominal pain (stomach ache)

Symptoms that never occur with gallstones: abdominal pain that improves after passing stools

Urgency: Primary care doctor

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Colon damage from impaired blood flow

Acute intestinal ischemia means that the blood flow to the large and/or small intestines has been cut off. It is also called acute mesenteric ischemia, or AMI.

The ischemia is caused by blockage in one of the arteries leading into the abdomen, usually due to atherosclerosis (plaque) or a blood clot.

Most susceptible are those with very high or low blood pressure; heart disease; or using illegal drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine.

Symptoms include sudden, severe pain in one area of the abdomen; nausea and vomiting; and repeated, urgent bowel movements, often with blood.

Acute intestinal ischemia is a life-threatening medical emergency. If it is suspected, take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Diagnosis is made through arteriogram, which involves injecting dye into the abdominal arteries under x-ray in order to find the exact location of the blockage.

Treatment involves "clot-busting" drugs to destroy a clot, or emergency surgery to remove whatever is causing the blockage and possibly some of the damaged intestine as well.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, being severely ill

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Diverticulosis

Diverticulosis is the common condition of small, sac-like pouches forming and pushing outward along the inside of the colon, called diverticula.

These symptoms should prompt a visit to a medical provider, since diverticulosis can lead to diverticulitis an inflammation of the pouches that can have serious complications.

Treatment involves a high-fiber diet, medicines to ease bloating and other symptoms, probiotics and sometimes antibiotics. Procedures to stop bleeding may be necessary as well as surgery to remove the problematic area of the colon.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: stomach bloating, diarrhea, constipation, flatulence, incomplete evacuation of stools

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Chronic pancreatitis

Chronic pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that does not improve, but slowly gets worse over time.

Causes include alcoholism; a blocked pancreatic duct; autoimmune disease, where the body's natural defenses turn against itself; and possible genetic factors.

Chronic pancreatitis is most common in men from age 30 to 40 with a history of alcoholism and a family history of the disease, but anyone can be affected.

Symptoms include severe pain in the back and abdomen, especially with eating; weight loss; nausea and vomiting; and diarrhea with oily-appearing, pale-colored stools.

The pancreas is vital for blood sugar control and for secreting certain digestive enzymes. If not treated, chronic pancreatitis can lead to permanent pancreatic damage, diabetes, malnutrition, and chronic pain.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, and imaging such as x-ray, CT scan, or ultrasound.

Treatment involves pain management through both medication and surgical procedures. Lifestyle improvements through diet, exercise, and stress management can also be very helpful.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain that comes and goes

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Celiac disease

Celiac disease is also called gluten-sensitive enteropathy, coeliac, or sprue. It is an autoimmune response in the gut to gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, and barley.

  • Repeated exposure to gluten causes damage to the lining of the small intestine.

Most at risk are Caucasians with:

  • Family history of celiac disease.
  • Down syndrome.
  • Type 1 diabetes.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease.

Symptoms include digestive upset with gas, bloating, and diarrhea. The malnutrition causes fatigue, weight loss, fragile bones, severe skin rash, mouth ulcers, anemia, and damage to the spleen and nervous system.

A swollen belly, failure to thrive, muscle wasting, and learning disabilities are seen in children, and normal growth and development can be severely affected.

Diagnosis is made through blood testing and endoscopy, and sometimes biopsy of the small intestine.

There is no cure for the condition, but celiac disease can be managed by removing all gluten from the diet. Nutritional supplements will be used and sometimes steroid medication is given to help heal the gut.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, stomach bloating, nausea, constipation, diarrhea

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Lactose intolerance

Lactose is a sugar that naturally occurs in milk. Someone is considered "lactose intolerant" when the small intestine cannot produce enough of the enzyme that digests lactose called lactase.

In primary lactose intolerance, the enzyme is produced during childhood but declines substantially by adulthood. Secondary lactose intolerance occurs when the small intestine has been damaged by illness or exposure to certain medical treatments. Lactose intolerance most often affects adults of African, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American descent.

Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as gas, bloating,(https://www.buoyhealth.com/symptoms-a-z/nausea/), occur roughly two hours after consuming dairy products, such as milk, ice cream, or yogurt. Lactose intolerance is not dangerous, but the uncomfortable symptoms can interfere with quality of life. Dairy products are an important source of nutrients and their avoidance can lead to nutrient deficiencies.

Treatment typically consists of simply avoiding lactose-containing foods, or replacing the enzyme in order to break down the lactose.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: fatigue, abdominal pain (stomach ache), stomach bloating, constipation, diarrhea

Urgency: Self-treatment

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Abdominal Pain That Get Worse After Eating

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • 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?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Take a quiz to find out why you're having abdominal pain that get worse after eating

Abdominal Pain That Get Worse After Eating Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced abdominal pain that get worse after eating have also experienced:

  • 12% Abdominal Pain (Stomach Ache)
  • 8% Nausea
  • 6% Stomach Bloating

People who have experienced abdominal pain that get worse after eating were most often matched with:

  • 50% Stomach Ulcer
  • 37% Acid Reflux Disease (Gerd)
  • 12% Indigestion (Dyspepsia)

People who have experienced abdominal pain that get worse after eating had symptoms persist for:

  • 41% Less than a day
  • 34% Less than a week
  • 11% Over a month

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Abdominal Pain That Get Worse After Eating Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you're having abdominal pain that get worse after eating