There can be many reasons behind pain in the left side of the back after eating. The common ones are irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance and some abdominal diseases. The article describes these causes in brief.
Random, isolated incidents of pain can occur in any part of the body and back pain is nothing uncommon. However, having pain in the left side of back after eating is a symptom not experienced by many. Usually, the pain disappears after a couple of minutes. But if it is recurrent and has started to make you wary of eating, it is a cause for concern. There are many factors that can result in pain, primary of which are listed below.
Causes of Back Pain after Meals
Kidney and Pancreatic Disorders: The left side of the abdomen houses two important organs: the left kidney and the pancreas. Ailments of these organs should not be treated lightly since both the organs, especially the kidneys, are very important in homeostasis. Due to their proximity to the digestive tract, ingestion of food can put pressure on either of these organs and exacerbate the pain emanating from them.
Diverticulitis: A condition called diverticulosis involves the formation of fluid-filled pouches in the colon wall. These pouches are known as diverticula. The inflammation of the diverticula is known as diverticulitis. This causes pain at the lower abdomen and sometimes at the left side of the lower back. The pain elevates on eating meals.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Irritable bowel syndrome is a common gastrointestinal disorder in which the food passes through the digestive tract either very quickly or very slowly. This causes a lot of abdominal discomfort such as bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, cramping and back pain.
Lactose Intolerance: Milk contains a type of sugar known as lactose. The inability to metabolize this sugar is known as lactose intolerance. This occurs because of absence of lactase (an enzyme needed to digest lactose) in the digestive system. Lactose intolerance can cause abdominal cramps, which can lead to lower left back pain after consuming a significant amount of dairy products.
Intestinal Obstruction: The mechanical or functional blockage of the intestine that prevents or obstructs the passage of products of digestion in all forms like gas, fluid and solids is termed as intestinal, or bowel obstruction. The obstruction can occur at any part of the intestine such as the duodenum, colon, etc. Progressive treatment or, sometimes, surgery is required to correct the condition. Intestinal obstruction can cause mild to sharp back pain on the left side after eating food.
Celiac Disease: Celiac (also spelled coeliac) disease is an autoimmune disease affecting the small intestine. It is a genetic disorder. It occurs in people of all ages. In celiac disease, a modification reaction occurs in a protein called gliadin, found in wheat and many other cereals. Gliadin is acted upon by enzyme transglutaminase and gets converted to a protein that triggers the immune system to cause an inflammatory reaction. This can cause sharp lower and upper left back pain.
Acid Reflux: The condition in which the acidic liquid content of the stomach rises into the esophagus is called acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux. This can result in the damage or inflammation of the esophageal lining. It primarily causes heartburn, but depending upon its severity, it can also cause abdominal or back pain.
Some Home Remedies
- Eat a banana daily. It has a protective action over acidity and aids smooth passage of food in the digestive system.
- Take ginger with tea or other foods. It improves the digestion of fat-rich foods.
- Drink plenty of water. It flushes out toxins and helps in reducing bloating.
- Chew a clove or eat a small piece of jaggery after every meal. It relieves gas problems.
- Walk for at least 30 minutes every day. It helps a lot in maintaining the overall well-being of your body.
Besides the aforementioned conditions, there could be other reasons for back pain after meals, for example, genetic disposition. A physician generally conducts various diagnostic tests including ultrasound, X-ray and blood tests to detect the exact cause of pain after eating. Therefore, besides trying home remedies, you should consult a health care professional, specialized in physiology, for the correct diagnosis and treatment of left side back pain after consumption of meals.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.