Stomach Pain and Bloating After Eating

Understand the underlying causes of bloating and stomach pain and get effective relief by following simple tips.

Stomach Pain and Bloating After Eating

When gas does not pass through flatulence or belching, it can build up in the intestines and stomach and result in bloating. Bloating can cause swelling of the abdominal area and is followed by stomach pain and cramps. Though it is not a serious ailment, experiencing bloating on a regular basis can be burdensome and hinder your day-to-day activity.

 

What causes bloating stomach pain?

Food intolerance

One of the most common causes of stomach bloating is intolerance to certain types of food. Foods such as milk, fructose, and gluten can trigger symptoms of bloating in your body. It is advisable to avoid these foods if you frequently experience bloating or stomach pain after eating them.

Overeating

When you overeat, your body is not able to effectively break down the food components and this results in a bloated or distended stomach. Instead of taking huge meals throughout the day, if possible, try to eat small meals to give ample time for your stomach to digest your food.

Deficiency of digestive enzymes

Your body needs digestive enzymes to absorb nutrients from the food you take. An inadequate enzyme availability manifests itself in constipation, gas, bloating, excess weight, stomach pain and many other digestive disorders. Taking digestive supplements will help to minimise the deficiency of enzymes in your body and build a stronger digestive system.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a common functional disorder of the gut. It also causes swelling or bloating of the abdomen accompanied by mild to severe pain. You can treat IBS with healthy changes in your lifestyle, maintaining a well-balanced diet or taking IBS tablets. Avoiding or limiting food that triggers IBS can also help to control the symptoms of IBS.

Constipation

Constipation is one of the most common digestive complaints. Constipation causes the stomach to bloat and results in abdominal pain. Bloating usually occurs when gas gets trapped behind slow-moving stool and keeps building up resulting in a bloated stomach. Drinking ample amounts of water and the inclusion of high-fibre food can help alleviate stomach pain caused by constipation. If that’s not enough, you can also consider taking constipation tablets to eliminate any bowel discomfort. 

Acid reflux

Sometimes after eating, digestive juices or stomach acid backflows into the oesophagus, and results in acid reflux. Acid reflux makes you feel bloated in the upper belly especially after eating meals. It can also make you burp excessively or feel nauseous within an hour of eating your meal. You can take antacids or Omeprazole to relieve your acid reflux.

 

How to get rid of bloating and stomach pain?

Changes in lifestyle habits or dietary decisions can go a long way in curing bloating or stomach ache. These simple tips may help you to combat bloating and contribute to a healthy lifestyle:

  • Drink plenty of water to flush down sodium and fluids from your body. Alternatively, you can also drink herbal tea like peppermint or chamomile to help the bloat go down.
  • Exercise regularly to help the gas pass down through your system more quickly. Simple exercises such as walking or jogging will help expel the gas from your body
  • Take magnesium-rich foods such as leafy greens, vegetables or nuts to reduce fluid retention that leads to bloating.
  • Eat probiotics or take probiotics in tablets or capsules to encourage the growth of friendly bacteria in your stomach
  • If possible, try to limit or avoid the intake of salts, starches and artificial sweeteners to help to fend off bouts of gas and reduce bloating. 
  • Additionally, you may consider taking other over-the-counter medicines that can relieve upset stomachs and gas buildup such as digestionmedication for trapped wind or bloating and cramp relief tablets

 

How long does a bloated stomach last?

Bloating can last a few hours to several days, depending on its cause. Although bloating is not harmless it can get serious. Water or exercise can help reduce the time it takes for your bloated stomach to go down. If it lasts longer, you should see a doctor or consider taking some bloating remedies.

 

How to prevent stomach bloating

  • Eat appropriate portions
  • Eat mindfully
  • Identify, know and avoid trigger food that makes you feel bloated
  • Increase the amount of fibre you include in your diet
  • Drink enough water
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid fizzy drinks

 

When to see a doctor for stomach pain and bloating

You should see your doctor if the pain suddenly gets worse, doesn’t go away or keeps returning. Also, if you can’t swallow food, have abnormal vaginal discharge or are bleeding from your vagina or bottom. You should go to A&E or call 999 if you suddenly have severe stomach pain, vomiting up blood, cannot pee, cannot fart or poo, have chest pain or cannot breathe.

 

Bottom line

Stomach pain and bloating can be very uncomfortable, even painful, and stop you from being able to get on with your day. It can be caused by any number of things including food intolerance, overeating, deficiency of digestive enzymes, IBS, constipation and acid reflux. The good news is that it can be treated and even prevented by making positive changes to your diet, drinking plenty of water, exercising, and taking probiotics or over-the-counter medicines. But if your stomach pain doesn’t go away, gets worse or you develop other symptoms, you should see your doctor for advice.