The stomach serves a lot of purposes for our body. This particular organ is considered a major part of the digestive system or the gastrointestinal tract. Aside from its role of digesting the food that we eat, the stomach also acts as a food reservoir. This means that it serves as storage for food before it is delivered to the intestines. The stomach is located in the epigastric area of the abdomen. Its upper portion is connected to the esophagus, where the food is passed down from the mouth, and the lower part of it is attached to the duodenum, which is the first portion of the small intestine. As we can see, the stomach is a very important organ in the body. Unfortunately, just like any other organs in our system, the stomach can also experience different kinds of abnormalities or irregularities such as pain and discomfort. In fact, stomach pain is considered to be one of the most common problems experienced by many people. This can be caused by many different factors and can occur anytime. Some even experience pain after eating a meal or ingesting any type of food. But why does this happen? Why does my stomach hurt after eating?
Learning More on Stomach Pain
Stomach pain is a common and usually a short-lived benign symptom. Most of us have already experienced having stomach pain after eating meals. However, there are only a few of us who knows exactly the reason behind this problem. Stomach pain after eating is usually due to dietary indiscretions such as eating spoiled, expired or poisoned food. However, if the pain after eating already happens frequently, then this could already be a sign of something much worse for our health. This is why it is very important for us to seek for the advice of medical practitioners in order to provide immediate and appropriate interventions. We must remember that recurring stomach pain after eating can be associated to potentially serious health issues.
Types of Stomach Pain after Eating
There are actually different types of stomach pain that can occur after eating. Stomach pain can be dull with the feeling of fullness and sharp stabbing pain. As we all know, simple overeating can already cause dull stomach pain. However, if sharp pain is being felt, then this can indicate food poisoning or gastroenteritis. Another type of pain in the stomach is described as “burning”. This particular pain is usually present in individuals with ulcers as well as GERD or gastroesophageal reflux. Colicky pain, on the other hand, is usually associated with gall stones and can cause abdominal pain after eating fatty foods. However, this type of pain is no longer present within the stomach.
The Important of Timing
The timing of the occurrence of the stomach pain is a very important factor to consider since it can determine the exact cause of the problem. Recurrent stomach pain that happens only after eating certain foods can show intolerance or food allergy. Pain that occurs a few hours after eating and can temporarily be relieved through the ingestion of food is usually a sign of stomach ulcer. Food poisoning usually happens within hours of eating the contaminated food. Gastroenteritis on the other hand occurs soon after eating since any activity in the gastrointestinal tract can already irritate the inflamed tissues. GERD usually occurs when lying down after eating a meal. In connection to this, heartburn is possible after ingesting large amounts of meals and can be exacerbated with the intake of alcohol.
Identifying the Location of the Stomach Pain
Aside from learning the types of stomach pain as well as the timing of it to occur, it is also necessary for us to identify the location of the pain in order to provide clues to the possible cause. Stomach and intestinal pain can actually radiate its symptoms all the way to the chest and down to the navel. Pain felt in the lower abdomen can be indicative of gastroenteritis and food poisoning especially if it is accompanied by diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. Pain located in the center of the abdomen can be a symptom of ulcer, while gallstone pain is often felt on the upper right quadrant of the abdomen where the gall bladder is located. Nevertheless, different people can experience pain in different areas, which is why it is best to examine each individual carefully in order to provide interventions that are suitable for the client’s specific and unique needs.
Knowing the Diagnosis
The diagnosis of the stomach pain is usually based on the medical history of the patient. However, doctors can also order laboratory tests like blood exams and x-ray studies in order to determine the cause more specifically. Ultrasound and dye tests are some of the other common diagnostic exams used by doctors in identifying stomach problems along with endoscopy. Relying on these methods is important since they can provide immediate diagnosis thus allowing faster and quicker interventions.
Things to Ponder
We should always remember that stomach pain after eating can be caused by numerous factors, just like what was mentioned earlier. Some of these causes are benign while others are also very serious. Because of this, any type of recurring pain after eating must be placed immediately under medical investigation. Listing down all the types of food that we eat can also be useful, to determine whether or not certain food products are potentially harmful and must be avoided.
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