What are the causes of stomach pain after eating? Find out!

Woman experiencing stomach pain

There are numerous causes of stomach pains after eating. Here we will explain many of its causes.

Causes of stomach pain after eating Include;


Sometimes stomach pain after eating is simply due to overeating. Maybe you hit up a buffet or simply couldn’t say no to a second serving. When we overeat, it takes out stomachs longer to break down the food, so it’s important you stay within your limit to avoid stomach pain after eating.

Hot or spicy foods

Consuming hot or spicy foods can irritate a sensitive stomach, thus causing pain. You may need to turn down the heat on your next dish to avoid this stomach pain afterward.

Food intolerance/lactose intolerance

When our bodies don’t have the enzymes to break down certain enzymes present in food – for example, lactose in dairy products is a common one – such intolerance can then result in symptoms like stomach pain, accompanied by bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea. It’s important to document what you are eating and when the pain occurs to help you narrow down on your food intolerance. Furthermore, you may want to try an elimination diet and slowly bring back trigger foods back one by one.

Food allergies

Similar to intolerances, food allergies can cause stomach pains after eating. Common food allergies are dairy, starches, spices, and grains.

Celiac disease

Celiac disease is gluten intolerance so the stomach pain after eating may occur when you consume a meal that contains gluten. Once again, documenting your meals or trying an elimination diet may help you narrow down on your cause. A doctor can also help confirm celiac disease diagnosis.

Food poisoning

If you ate something that was contaminated not only will you experience stomach pains, but bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, and even a fever may follow. Food poisoning is temporary, and you will have to let it run its course. Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.

Peptic ulcer

A peptic ulcer occurs when bacteria eat through the stomach lining. Don’t fret – this condition can be treated with antibiotics.


Bile is released after eating to aid in digestion, but if gallstones are preventing bile from being released, you could experience stomach pains after eating. The pain would be situated on the right side of your back.

Blocked blood vessels

This happens when cholesterol blocks a blood vessel that interrupts the digestive process, resulting in stomach pains after eating. If left untreated, this condition can be life-threatening. Have your cholesterol checked regularly and ensure you are taking the necessary steps to lower your cholesterol.

Intestinal obstruction

If a part of the intestine is blocked it can prevent food from passing, causing pain after eating. The pain can linger for hours after the meal has been consumed. It’s important you have an obstruction cleared to prevent complications.


Stomach pain due to appendicitis is felt in the lower right side of the abdomen. This pain worsens after eating and can be accompanied by a mild fever and vomiting.

Irritable bowel syndrome

Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome include stomach pains after eating, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.


If pain occurs after a large meal and lasts for six hours or more, it could indicate pancreatitis. Pain will begin on the upper left side of the abdomen and can spread to the back.


This is the formation of cysts or pouches along the bowel wall, which becomes infected. Severe cramping occurs after a meal, and medical intervention is required immediately.

Gastroenteritis/stomach flu

Like food poisoning, these conditions must run their course and are caused by eating contaminated food or beverages.


If you can’t go or haven’t gone in a while, your stomach may hurt after a meal because your food and waste are not being released.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

PID is caused when an infection affects any of the organs in the reproductive system, including the ovaries, uterus, or fallopian tubes. This inflammation is caused by a bacterial infection, which is typically acquired through sexual intercourse. As your stomach or intestines become full after eating, it can put pressure on your inflamed organs, causing pain.

SEE: Some tips you can try to relieve your stomach ache after eating.

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