What Are the Causes of Abdominal Pain After Eating?


Quick Answer

The most-common cause of abdominal pain after eating is indigestion, which is often caused by an underlying condition, according to WebMD. Indigestion is usually caused by lifestyle choices, medications or diseases, and it is a common condition that affects men and women of all ages.

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Full Answer

Health conditions that can cause indigestion include gallbladder disease, ulcers, stomach infections or gastroesophageal reflux disease, states WebMD. An inflamed pancreas, thyroid disease or irritable bowel syndrome can also cause indigestion. Rarely, indigestion may be caused by stomach cancer. Gastroparesis is a condition that is commonly associated with diabetes, which causes the stomach not to empty properly, resulting in indigestion.

Medications that can cause indigestion include pain relievers such as aspirin, certain antibiotics, medications that contain steroids, and estrogen or birth control pills, according to WebMD. Indigestion can also be caused by thyroid medications. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, smoking, eating too fast, and eating unhealthy foods can cause indigestion. Abdominal pain may also be caused by fatigue or stress.

Symptoms of indigestion include bloating, gas, belching and nausea, notes WebMD. In addition to abdominal pain, other symptoms associated with indigestion include vomiting, fullness during or after eating, a growling stomach, and burning in the stomach or upper belly. Other possible causes of abdominal pain after eating include constipation, food allergies, food poisoning and gas. People who are lactose-intolerant may experience post-meal abdominal pain after ingesting food containing lactose.

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