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Causes of Upper Stomach Pain After Eating

Causes of Upper Stomach Pain After Eating

There are many conditions that can lead to upper abdominal pain after eating. These causes range from inflammation of the lining of the stomach to acid reflux disease. Here are more details on what causes it, and how to deal with the issue.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
One of the most neglected, used, and abused organ would have to be our stomach. The stomach is the central organ of digestion and is responsible for digestion of proteins. This organ is often at the receiving end of our bad habits like drinking, eating junk food, frequent eating, eating at odd hours, etc. However, it still manages to overcome all of this. In the end though, it finally gives up, and leads to what is known as stomach or abdominal pain. This pain could vary in nature, depending on the underlying cause. However, sometimes, a person may feel pain only after eating food.
Causes and Treatment
Gastritis
It involves the inflammation of the stomach lining. This could be acute or chronic in nature. There are many causes of gastritis, like chronic alcoholism, prolonged use of anti-inflammatory drugs, etc. It may also occur as a side effect of a surgery or as a result of a severe infection of the gastrointestinal tract. A typical symptom of gastritis is stomach pain and gas after eating. There may also be slight indigestion, nausea, loss of appetite, etc. In case of acute gastritis, there may be a burning sensation immediately after eating which could even last for a few hours. The gastritis treatment will entail treating the underlying cause. If it is an infection, then antibiotics will need to be administered. If the person simply has acidity due to chronic indigestion, then antacids can help in curbing the symptoms. Another condition similar to gastritis is gastroenteritis, where, along with the stomach, the lining of the entire digestive tract is affected. The symptoms are the same with the exception that along with stomach pain and bloating, there is also acute diarrhea.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
This condition occurs when the upper stomach sphincter fails to close completely, due to which there is back flow or reflux of its contents into the esophagus and the upper part of the stomach. This leads to stomach pain after eating, which could be severe enough to make the person lose his appetite. The acid reflux treatment will consist of a long drawn treatment plan, including lifestyle changes and the use of medications, and the like, but not restricted to antacids. In severe cases, surgical intervention may become necessary.
Stomach Ulcer
It is a condition wherein there is a break in the stomach lining. This leads to the leakage of the very strong hydrochloric acid of the stomach, which causes pain. After a meal, the stomach starts secreting even more hydrochloric acid, which causes severe pain. This is a classic sign to differentiate a stomach ulcer from a duodenal ulcer - the pain of a stomach ulcer worsens after a meal, whereas that due to duodenal ulcers is relieved after a meal. If a person has a history of heartburn, then there are still higher chances that he will develop a gastric ulcer. More often than not, a stomach ulcer is caused due to Helicobacter pylori infection, therefore, one will need to take antibiotics and antacids for dealing with the condition. Surgical repair may be required in case of an emergency, like when the ulcer gets perforated.
This may be a symptom that people will tend to ignore, as it initially starts off as a slight gnawing pain in the stomach. However, more often than not, if this symptom persists for more than a week or so, it is surely indicative of a serious underlying disease. Hence, it is best to get this condition diagnosed and treated at the earliest, so as to prevent any complications later.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.