The stomach is a vital organ of the digestive system. The main function of the stomach is breaking down the food that we eat with the help of digestive enzymes and acids. A burning stomach pain after eating is an indication that the digestive system is not functioning normally. If one occasionally gets this kind of pain due to overeating or eating in a hurry, then it is not a matter of serious concern. However, if one experiences it after every meal, then it is a clear sign that the digestive system is not working properly.
There could be several causes that can lead to burning pain in the stomach soon after having a meal. One of the main causes of stomach pain after eating spicy foods is heartburn. In this condition, the weak sphincter that lies in between stomach and esophagus allow stomach acids to enter the esophagus which then causes irritation in its lining.
Thus, a burning sensation is felt not just in the stomach, but also in the chest and throat. This pain intensifies after lying down or bending forward. A more serious form of heartburn is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If ulcers have developed on the stomach lining, then one can get a burning sensation in the stomach after eating spicy foods. Such food substances irritate the ulcers giving rise to pain.
Pancreas is a vital gland in our body that helps in the digestion process. When it gets inflamed for some reason, then the condition is known as pancreatitis. It shows symptoms of abdominal pain after eating which is accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Diverticulitis is a condition where an inflammation occurs in the digestive tract resulting in stomach pain after having food. Here the area at the location of the stomach becomes tender to touch. Gallbladder diseases like gallstones can cause stomach pain after eating fatty foods. This pain continues for several hours after eating and in extreme cases may get extended up to the shoulder area.
If one experiences this condition after eating raw foods, then it could be triggered by some virus or bacteria that entered the stomach through the foods that was consumed. It happens particularly due to eating unwashed fruits or vegetables. Gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and intestinal obstruction are some of the other causes of this condition.
The treatment of burning stomach depends on the underlying cause. Heartburn and stomach ulcer cases are treated with the help of medicines and changes in diet and lifestyle. At an early stage, antacids are given to control acid formation in the stomach. If it fails to show results, then other medicines like acid blockers or proton-pump inhibitors are used to reduce acid secretion in the stomach.
If any sign of infection is observed, then it has to be treated with the help of antibiotics. In serious cases, other medicines may also be given to treat the condition. Pancreatitis requires intravenous (IV) fluids and suitable medicines to provide relief from the pain and inflammation of the gland. Gallstones are removed by surgical means.
Dietary changes are also an integral part of this treatment. Any spicy foods or acidic foods including citrus fruits should be avoided as they tend to cause irritation in the stomach lining. If one finds it difficult to eat heavy meals, then it should be done in smaller quantities but increase the number of meals that is to be taken. Alcohol can aggravate stomach lining inflammation. For this reason, one must stop drinking alcohol to prevent worsening of the condition. Smokers must stay away from smoking as it can cause extensive damage to stomach lining.
This condition may not be a serious health issue all the time, however, one must not ignore it either. If one takes it lightly, then it may have a severe impact on their digestive health. It can be prevented by maintaining a healthy and stress-free life.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.