Abdominal Pain After Eating

Abdominal Pain After Eating. If abdominal pain occurs after eating, this can have many causes. These range from relatively harmless food intolerances to congenital food intolerances to rare, malignant tumors . In order to find the right diagnosis, a detailed history and many different diagnostic examination techniques are necessary.

Abdominal Pain After Eating

If the abdominal pain is closely linked to food intake, gallstones in the gallbladder may also be the cause. These abdominal pain after eating then occur for a few minutes to a few hours, especially after the intake of fatty food.

Abdominal Pain After Eating

The pain is mostly located on the right side diagonally above the belly button. The cause is the contraction of the gallbladder after eating fat. These contractions cause stones stored in them to be pressed against the gallbladder wall causing pain. Patients with pancreatitis ( pancreatitis ) can also experience an increase in Abdominal Pain After Eating , but their pains tend to drag around the abdomen like a belt.

Generally, the pain can occur in any body position and region of the abdomen. For example, some patients complain of sitting abdominal pain or abdominal pain .

Abdominal Pain After Eating causes

The causes of abdominal pain after eating are very versatile. For this reason, numerous laboratory chemical , diagnostic and other medical technicalexaminations are often necessary for the diagnosis. The following are the main causes of abdominal pain, which typically occur immediately after eating, called and briefly described.

Many patients complain of abdominal pain or stomach discomfort after eating. The abdominal pain after eating can put a stomach ulcer behind it. The decisive factor here is when the symptoms occur. Pain immediately after eating could be an ulcer on the stomach wall, abdominal pain disappearing after eating, more likely to ulcer of the duodenum.

Abdominal Pain After Eating due to food intolerances

The most common abdominal pain is triggered by flatulent foods. After eating legumes, for example, it often comes after some time very strong abdominal pain, but after the toilet or after the air drain ( flatulence ) attenuate but usually immediately increase in intensity again.

In a food intolerance , such as lactose intolerance occurs after eating milk or dairy products in addition to nausea often to crampy abdominal pain . The pain is usually located above the intestinal area, are of an oppressive and pungent nature and usually only improve after the toilet has been used.

Wrong diet

Too much, too greasy or too fast food can trigger Abdominal Pain After Eating in some people immediately after eating. Also, a chronic constipation (constipation) can lead to an unpleasant feeling of fullness and abdominal pain after eating.

The symptoms and the likelihood of occurrence are individually very different. The chronic constipation can usually be treated well with mild laxative medication and a diet change . Even a sufficient amount of drinking regulates the bowel movement and is therefore essential for symptoms of this kind.

Whether it was too much, too fast or too greasy eaten and this was not compatible, varies from person to person and very situation-dependent. Accordingly, not every Abdominal Pain After Eating can be adequately explained or diagnosed. In this case, only a slower and lower food intake, depending on your own well-being helps.

Food intolerance

Under a food intolerance means all symptoms immediately following ingestion. These can be very different and may cause itching , skin rash , abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea , headache and even breathing difficulties . In order to make the correct diagnosis often numerous investigations are necessary. Especially important is the exact history.

Often the patients keep a symptom journalfor several weeksto filter out the special food. Although many people seem to suffer from food intolerance, the true intolerances associated with quality of life are comparatively rare.

Particularly common is the lactose intolerance . In this case, the intestine does not produce enough of the enzyme lactase, which serves to split the milk sugar in the intestine. In this case, the intestine can not sufficiently digest the milk sugar. As a result, the lactose undigested passes into the colon and begins to ferment there. This leads to malaise , Abdominal Pain After Eating or other symptoms.

Approximately 15 out of 100 people in Germany suffer from a more or less pronounced lactose intolerance. A breath test for diagnostics can help to make the right diagnosis. However, this only makes sense if there is actually a suspicion of lactose intolerance. In many cases, the test is false positive. Since there is no cure, the only way to alleviate the symptoms is to abstain from lactose.

Similar to lactose intolerance, the symptoms of fructose intolerance are the same . It is an intolerance of fructose, which undigested passes into the intestine and there may also lead to bloating , diarrhea and abdominal pain after food intake. However, fructose intolerance should not be confused with intestinal fructose intolerance.

This is associated with a congenital transporter defect in the intestine and early leads to massive and dangerous symptoms. Also in case of fructose intolerance, a breath test can be used. However, there is no healing therapy in this case as well. Only the absence of appropriate foods can alleviate the symptoms.

Gastritis (gastritis)

Gastritis is a disease that can be caused by unhealthy lifestyle, chronic alcohol or nicotine consumption , some medications ( acetylsalicylic acid , ibuprofen , …) or the bacterium Helicobacter pylori . If it is chronic ( chronic gastritis ), it can lead to serious complications such as gastric bleeding , a gastric puffing or gastric ulcer . As a rule, no symptoms appear in this case for a long time.

The acute gastritis is a feeling of pressure especially in the upper abdomen , loss of appetite , nausea and belching along. Typically, the symptoms worsen after eating.

Gastric ulcer (ulcer)

A gastric ulcer is a complication of chronic gastritis. This can be triggered by certain drugs, the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, a disturbed stomach movement or increased production of stomach acid. But nicotine or alcohol abuse can damage the gastric mucosa and promote the formation of a gastric ulcer. The symptoms of a gastric ulcer include nausea and pain in the middle of the upper abdomen, as well as vomiting, heartburn and weight loss. Typically, these symptoms increase immediately after ingestion or when the stomach is empty.

To diagnose a stomach ulcer or gastritis ( gastritis ) usually serves the gastroscopy ( gastroscopy ), which allows the examiner to look at the stomach lining accurate. As a rule, the therapy is based on an inhibition of the high acid production of the stomach by proton pump inhibitors . If complications such as gastric bleeding or gastric ulcer breakdown occur, surgery is necessary.


Gallstones occur when the body’s own substances such as cholesterol or protein solidify in the gallbladder . Risk factors for gallstone disease include older age , female gender , overweight and nicotine use . The symptoms of gallstone disease consist of a right-sided colicky upper abdominal pain . The gallbladder produces a lot of bile, especially after meals that are very high in fat.

This can not leave the gallbladder due to the stones. This causes strong contractions of the gallbladder, causing colicky upper abdominal painto be triggered. For this reason, the pain is more common, especially after very high-fat meals. In some cases, however, there are no symptoms at all for a long time.

As a rule, then no therapy is necessary. However , if the gallbladder causes severe pain , it is usually removed ( cholecystectomy ). Although gallstones can also be dissolved by medication, the disease usually recurs. For this reason, gallbladder removal is the treatment of choice.

Abdominal Pain After Eating Psychosomatic complaints

Also abdominal pain after eating can cause mental stress or psychosomatic complaints. The symptom constellation is very diverse and individual. In case of constant abdominal pain after eating, many other causes should be considered first. However, if the results are not satisfactory, psychosomatic diagnosis is always useful and important. Much stress and mental stress of any kind can cause real physical symptoms.

However, to find the true cause of the physical symptoms, the patient has to get involved in the examination and the diagnosis. This is usually in many conversations, relaxation exercises and rest . In contrast to the usual diagnostic means. However, since the abdominal pain in this case can not be cured by medication or other therapies, the therapy of psychosomatics is often helpful and curative.

Abdominal pain after eating in children

If children or babies complain of abdominal pain after eating, this can be due to a variety of causes .
Primarily need for older children to a food intolerance in particular, lactose intoleranceare thought. This is an intolerance of lactose , which is caused by a lactase deficiency. This enzyme is normally used to break up the milk sugar into galactose and glucose.

If there is an enzyme deficiency, osmotically effective amounts of lactose enter the colon and bind water there, First, then the symptom diarrhea (diarrhea). In addition, the water leads to an overall higher filling level of the intestine and thus to abdominal pain. Subsequently , the lactase is split by the bacteria of the intestine , causing gas and flatulence .

Diagnostically , an outlet trial of lactose-containing foods can first be undertaken. In many cases, this leads to a spontaneous cessation of the symptoms. If the diagnosis can not yet be ascertained in this way, a H2 breath test can be carried out.

In this test, 50g of lactose are taken orallyand then measured the hydrogen content in the air. This is pathologically high if there is no or an insufficient amount of enzyme to cleave the lactose. An invasive method of diagnosis is a small bowel biopsy . As part of a gastroscopy, small samples are taken from the small intestine and detected therein the enzyme lactase.

The best therapy for confirmed and symptomatic lactose intolerance is the renunciation or reduction of the daily intake of lactose. Lactase tablets containing the enzyme may help to prevent travel or planned use of lactose . In the case of children special care must be taken to ensure that there is no relative calcium deficiency due to the renunciation of milk .

In addition to lactose intolerance, other foods such as fish, nuts, shellfish or hen’s egg can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort, especially pain , diarrhea and flatulence . In case of nut or fish allergies , however, systemic reactions such as:

  • Circulatory instability
  • Itching or
  • Swelling of the respiratory tract

Also in this form of the disease, the history and the Auslassversuch play an important role. In addition, detection of immunoglobulin of group G, as well as methyl histamine in urine can be detected by laboratory chemistry . The Allergy Diagnostic Prick Test is performed on the forearm and is said to have local allergic reactions there. Here, too, the first therapy is the nutritional limit of the allergic-effective foods.

In addition, a hypo – or desensitization can be carried out. In doing so, the body gets slow to the allergen used to diminish the reaction of the body. In some cases, medication must be treated with a mast cell stabilizer . It is administered orally in the case of food allergies and can lead to coughing , burning and irritation of the nose and eyes .

Differential diagnosis must be considered especially in infants with abdominal pain and flatulence of the 3-month colic . These lead to persistent cry attacks of the infants after meals, culminating around the 6th week of life . Most of the symptoms disappear at the end of the 3rd Month of life again. An exact cause for this is not yet known.

It is suspected that too large amounts of drinking , much air swallowing during the meal ( aerophagia ) and increased gas formation in the intestine to painful peristalsis (intestinal movement) nd flatulenceleads. Therapy is not required. Symptoms may be warming blankets on the abdomen or a circular abdominal massage towards the intestinal outlet (clockwise).

Abdominal Pain After Eating in pregnancy

The body of a pregnant woman undergoes a series of changes. Above all, the severe impairment of the hormone balance can cause various complaints in the expectant mother.

Especially for the development of abdominal pain after eating, there may be different causes in a woman who is pregnant. Some expectant mothers develop incompatibilities with certain foods during pregnancy , which they were originally able to eat without any problems. One reason for this may be the hormonal change of the organism.

If women who have been pregnant for some time have had abdominal pain after eating, this symptom may be caused by excessive stomach filling . If you are pregnant, the adolescent child increasingly forces the organs of the abdomen in the direction of the chest. For a long stretch of the stomach there is no room for this reason.

For women who often suffer from abdominal pain after eating, it is recommended for this reason not to take large portions . Those affected should eat small meals several times a day to avoid over-filling the stomach and prevent stomach ache.

Abdominal Pain After Eating Upper abdominal

Abdominal pain after eating, which is mainly restricted to the upper abdomen, can be caused by excessive stomach filling .

In addition, abdominal pain after eating in the area of ​​the upper abdomen may be a first indication of the presence of a so-called irritable stomach . The affected patients feel in this case in addition to the pain a pronounced feeling of fullness and suffer from nausea . The occurrence of additional nausea is not uncommon.

In addition, inflammatory processes or ulcers of the stomach can lead to abdominal pain in the upper abdomen immediately after eating.

Upper abdominal abdominal pain, which does not occur immediately but two to three hoursafter eating, is usually caused by deeper sections of the gastrointestinal tract .If the symptoms can be assigned to the middle area of ​​the upper abdomen, then diseases of the pancreas are likely.

Typically, these abdominal pain radiate belt-shaped in the affected patients to the back .

Probably the most common cause of the development of abdominal pain after eating, which occur mainly in the area of ​​the right upper abdomen, are gallbladder diseases ( gallbladder inflammation ) or displacement of the draining bile ducts .

Especially elderly patients should be examined for stomach pain after eating in the upper abdomen for the presence of gallstones .

Abdominal Pain After Eating and diarrhea

A possible cause of the occurrence of abdominal pain after eating may be the so-called ” irritable bowel syndrome “.
This disease is a functional disorder of the colon , in which no abnormal changes in the intestinal walls can be detected.

Patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome often experience abdominal pain after eating.
Also, the occurrence of diarrhea , which is observed in the temporal context with food intake, is a typical symptom of this disease.

The large intestine of the affected patients responds to various stimuli, such as worry, grief, stress or various foods, more sensitive than usual.

As a rule, the abdominal pain in the affected patients occurs a few hours after eating. At the exact moment when the chyme enters the colonic passage.

Usually the abdominal pain is felt after eating in the area of ​​the left lower abdomen. The quality of the pain can range from a strong feeling of tightness to pronounced cramps .

Moreover, patients suffering from an ongoing exchange between constipation ( constipation) and diarrhea .

Reason for diarrhea in patients with irritable bowel syndrome is excessive sensitivity of the nerves and muscles of the colon. This usually results in a spontaneous, involuntary contraction of the intestinal walls .

On the one hand, those affected can perceive these contractions as abdominal pain, on the other hand, they cause a too rapid further transport of the intestinal contents . The intestinal walls are unable to absorb enough fluid due to the rapid passage. It comes to the emergence of diarrhea.

Women are more likely to be affected by irritable bowel-associated abdominal pain and diarrhea after eating than men.
In many women, the abdominal pain occurs especially during menstruation , or worsen during this period.

Patients who suffer from abdominal pain and diarrhea after eating should avoid bulging foods ( such as onions ).
In addition, care should be taken to ensure adequate fiber intake . In this way the stool volume can be increased and the consistency of the stool improved.

In addition, it can be observed that the regular intake of small food portions prevents the development of abdominal pain and diarrhea after eating.

Abdominal Pain After Eating and nausea

There can be many causes for post-meal abdominal pain associated with severe nausea . The most common reasons for the occurrence of such symptoms include diseases of the stomach . Patients who suffer from inflammatory changes in the gastric mucosa ( gastritis, gastritis ) often experience abdominal pain in the middle upper abdomen and marked nausea after eating.

In addition, post-meal abdominal pain, which is associated with severe nausea, is common in pregnant women .

Even with various infectious diseases of the gastrointestinal tract ( caused by viruses or bacteria ) may cause Abdominal Pain After Eating and nausea .

Patients should be careful in this regard, during the infection only to take light food . Especially on fatty foods should be waived for the time being.

In addition, severe abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting after eating can be a first indication of food poisoning .
The affected patients usually develop severe stomach pain and severe cramping within six hours of eating . In the further course it can come to marked nausea , vomiting and / or diarrhea .

Abdominal Pain After Eating and flatulence

If abdominal pain, combined with flatulence or meteorism, occurs regularly after eating , it may possibly be the so-called irritable bowel syndrome . The nonspecific clinical picture is usually attributable to no organic cause. Most can be in addition to the mentioned, further complaints .

Other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome include diarrhea and constipation symptoms , convulsions in the colon, fullness, increased mucus discharge during bowel movements and vegetative symptoms such as an accelerated heartbeat, hot flashes and nervousness. Prognostically, the irritable bowel syndrome shows a good self-healing tendency .

Other causes of abdominal pain and flatulence after eating may be food intolerances such as lactose or fructose intolerance. But carbohydrate-rich diet of short-chain carbohydrates (white flour, sugar), hasty eating habits and high-protein diet cause flatulence after eating in some people.

The regular use of certain medications (antibiotics, some analgesics) is also one of the possible triggers. In addition, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease ( Crohn’s diseaseand ulcerative colitis ) should be excluded.

Abdominal Pain After Eating and loss of appetite

Abdominal pain after eating and loss of appetite or a subsequent feeling of fullness are typical symptoms of the so-called irritable stomach . Affected people usually report regurgitation and a feeling of pressure in the epigastrium. Similar to the irritable bowel syndrome, this is also a nonspecific clinical picture without organic correlate with favorable self-healing tendency .

A gastrointestinal infection is also associated in many cases with loss of appetite and abdominal pain. In addition, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea occur.

Other diseases of the digestive tract, which also can trigger next abdominal pain after eating appetite, are an inflammation of the stomach ( gastritis ), incompatibilities of various foods and gastric or duodenal ulcers ( duodenal ulcer ). An ulcer may develop as a result of chronic mucosal inflammation due to long-term use of certain medications such as NSAIDs. Other causes of anorexia, such as liver disease or malignant changes in the gastrointestinal tract should be excluded.

Abdominal Pain After Eating improvement

Abdominal pain can not only arise after eating, but can also be alleviated by the intake of food. Patients suffering from a gastric mucosal inflammation ( gastritis ) suffer often feel abdominal pain, in a temporal association with the intake of food available.

Typically, the intensity of the symptoms decreases immediately after eating for the time being. However, some time after feeding, the abdominal pain returns to its original strength or even increases in intensity.

People who suffer from abdominal pain, who only get better after eating and then go back and / or get worse, should consult a doctor promptly . In case of gastritis it is recommended to initiate treatment with so-called proton pump inhibitors ( acid blockers ).


Abdominal pain after eating is a very nonspecific symptom and can have many causes. In most cases, the causes of abdominal pain are relatively harmless and can often be improved by a change in diet . However, in some cases, abdominal pain is a sign of serious illness. For this reason, regularly occurring abdominal pain should always be clarified diagnostically.

Here, both the organic causes, such as gastritis , gallstones or food intolerances to investigate, as well as a psychosomaticComponent. This should not be ignored in any case, since abdominal pain can very often be an expression of stress or other mental stress .

Abdominal Pain After Eating
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