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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

What Does It Mean If You Feel Pain After A Meal?

Do you feel stomach pain immediately after your meal? Well, if the pain goes away in a while, the reason maybe your food. But if you have any other persistent symptoms along with stomach pain, then three may be a medical reason for it. Continue reading to know further.

Symptoms of Stomach Pain

Mild stomach pain can be treated with home remedies and over the counter medicines. But if the pain is severe, it can be due to an underlying medical condition.

There are many different types of stomach pain. The common symptoms of stomach pain are listed below.

  1. Nausea

  2. Bloating

  3. Abdominal cramps

  4. Acid reflux

  5. Vomiting

  6. Pain in the upper abdomen

  7. Burning sensation in the lower abdomen

  8. Dyspepsia (Indigestion)

Reasons for Stomach Pain after a Meal

FoodRelated Issues

The following food-related issues can be the cause of your stomach pain.

  1. Food Poisoning

  2. Acidic Foods

  3. Spicy Foods

  4. Coffee

  5. Alcohol

  6. Food Allergy and Intolerance

  7. Overeating

  8. Food Poisoning

When you feel stomach pain after eating your food, food poisoning can be the reason. Any uncooked food or toxins in the food can cause food poisoning. The typical symptoms of food poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and lack of energy. Food poisoning lasts for a few days. It can be treated at home with rest and fluids.

Acidic Foods

Acidic foods

Processed meats, Credits: pixabay

When you consume high amounts of acidic foods like processed meats, sugary drinks, tomatoes, processed cheese, and fruit juices, you can get stomach pain. You can find alternatives and avoid acidic foods to combat the stomach ache.

Spicy Foods

Chili peppers are part of spicy foods. They contain a chemical called capsaicin that irritates the stomach and causes a hot or burning sensation.


Coffee causes acidity

Coffee, Credits: pixabay

Too much consumption of coffee can cause acidity. The caffeine can irritate the stomach and cause pain. Decaffeinated coffee and tea can be alternatives.


Carbonated alcoholic drinks like sparkling beer and wine can cause bloating and make the heartburn worse.

Food Allergy and Intolerance

Food allergies

Peanuts, Credits: pixabay

Some people are allergic to certain foods, which can irritate the stomach and cause pain. Food allergies happen when your body identifies food as a foreign particle and evokes a response against it.

The common foods that cause allergies include egg, gluten, fish and shellfish, peanuts, eggs, and wheat. You should avoid the foods that you are allergic to.

In food intolerance, there is no immune system involvement, but the digestive system is irritated as it cannot digest the food properly. The most common food intolerance is lactose intolerance.


Overeating can cause the stomach to stretch beyond its normal capacity, causing pain, discomfort, and bloating.

2.   Medical Conditions

Here are the following medical conditions that can be the cause of your stomach pain after eating.

  1. Gastritis

  2. Inflammatory Bowel disease

  3. Stomach Ulcer

  4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

  5. Gall Stones

  6. GERD

  7. Celiac disease


Gastritis is the inflammation of the lining of the stomach. This causes stomach pain, vomiting, sickness, and indigestion. Gastritis is due to Helicobacter pylori infection.

Inflammatory Bowel disease

Inflammatory Bowel disease causes inflammation in the gut. Stomach pain is one of the main symptoms. The condition requires medications and lifestyle changes.

Stomach Ulcer

Stomach ulcers are due to infections or due to the use of medicines like aspirin for a longer period of time. Stomach ulcer causes pain in the middle of the stomach.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS affects the digestive system and the common symptoms are constipation, bloating, and stomach cramps. There is no cure for IBS, but the symptoms can be managed through lifestyle modifications.

Gall Stones

Gall stones are hard pieces of material in the gall bladder, that block the bile duct causing sharp pain. Pain from gall stones usually occurs when you have a large meal, rich in fat. Treatment involves medications and surgery.


Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive condition in which stomach acid comes back up into your esophagus. This acid reflux irritates the lining of the esophagus and can cause damage.

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is caused by an allergy to gluten, found in rye, barley, and wheat. The repeated exposure to gluten products causes damage to the lining of the small intestine. This disease causes stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and bloating. Having gluten-free diet can help manage the condition.

Stress, anxiety, and the long term use of certain medicines can also be the cause of some forms of stomach pain.

Diagnosis of Stomach Pain

If stomach pain is severe and persistent, more invasive tests are necessary to identify the cause. Depending upon the severity, tests like colonoscopy, endoscopy, and MRI will be done.

Treatment for Stomach Pain

  1. For food allergies and food intolerance, it is ideal to avoid the food that is the causative.

  2. A lactose-free and gluten-free diet can help solve some of the issues of stomach pain.

  3. Antacids can neutralize stomach acid and reduce the burning sensation.

  4. Lansoprazoleand omeprazole can help heal the esophagus.

  5. Laxatives and stool softeners can relieve occasional constipation and associated bloating.

  6. Probiotics can improve overall digestive health.

Prevention of Stomach Pain

If the cause of your stomach pain is mild and is often seen after eating, you can try doing the following.

  1. Do not overeat. Plan for 5 to 6 small meals per day.

  2. Avoid acidic foods

  3. Incorporate a diet rich in fiber, fruits, and vegetables.

  4. Drink lots of water

  5. Reduce stress

Take-Home Message

Mild stomach pain can be managed with lifestyle modifications. Severe, uncontrolled pain requires proper diagnosis and treatment.

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