How This Helps

Stomach pain can be avoided by an individual eating a balanced, healthful diet with fresh fruits and vegetables. Not eating fatty or spicy foods and cutting down on sugary drinks or caffeine may also help. For several different reasons, the food that someone chooses to consume may cause their stomach hurting afterward.

We all need food to survive. That is the basic fact of life. Food provides the energy our body needs to perform day-to-day activities. Our body needs to have a continuous supply of nutrients and calories to function correctly. It is essential to eat clean and healthy food to keep our body fit and healthy. However, there are many days when even after having a tasty and nutritious meal, you start feeling sick after eating. 

You may experience bloating, gas, and abdominal pain after eating. You may even feel nauseous and feel like throwing up after eating. At times you may find yourself asking why do I feel sick after eating, or why do I feel nauseous after eating. We bring you some surprising reasons why you may always feel sick after eating.

Why do I feel sick after eating?

1: You are Stressed Out

You might not realize it, and you might not even feel it, but the fact is that stress has a significant impact on your body's digestive functions.[1] When you feel stressed or anxious, your body goes into a fight or flight mode, which is a natural response of the body. In this condition, your heart rate increases, the blood vessels become constricted, and the muscles tighten in preparation for flight or fight. In such a state of the body, your gut becomes highly vulnerable to inflammation, permeability (or developing a leaky gut), acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, and even some food allergies.[2]

So if you feel like every time you eat, you feel sick, take a forced timeout. The next time you sit down for your meal, make sure to take a deep breath, relax, and forget about everything else. Try to focus only on the joy of eating while you are eating. Do not multitask as this only makes you feel sick when you eat.  Focusing on your food helps you properly digest and absorb the nutrients from the food you are having.

 

2: You are not chewing correctly

Many people remain unaware of Eating 101. Digestion begins in the mouth.[3] So even before you take an actual bite of your food, the salivary glands in your mouth get activated in anticipation of the food about to come in. This secretes certain vital enzymes that are responsible for breaking down the food. 

Keeping this in mind, you must chew your food correctly. Chewing is one of the most critical steps in the digestive [process. As your teeth start tearing up the food, the saliva in your mouth softens and breaks down the food to make it easier for the next stage of digestion to take over, which takes place in the stomach. 

However, if you are not chewing your food correctly or sufficiently, then this breakdown process does not happen thoroughly. This results in more work for the rest of the digestive tract to carry out.

The act of swallowing big chunks of food without chewing until the food is quite liquefied can result in bloating, gas, and abdominal pain. And most of the time, this leaves people entirely at a loss to figure out why they feel sick after eating. 

To avoid this, make sure to chew your food correctly for at least 20 times before swallowing it and moving on to the next stage of digestion.

 

3: You Lie down right after having your meal

While it sure feels good to lie down right after a big meal, the fact is that it can be potentially very harmful to your digestion. Lying down puts the body in a posture that is bad for your digestion and leads to indigestion and heartburn. 

It would be best if you allowed at least two to three hours in between your meal and going to bed. This is the right amount of time your body needs to digest your dinner. To further boost the digestion process, remain in an upright position after finishing your meal. You should really go for a light walk after you eat.

Research by the University Hospital of Heidelberg at Mannheim in Germany found that walking after you have had a meal helps speed up the time it takes for your food to travel from the stomach to the small intestine.[4]

 

4: You suffer from food sensitivities

Another reason you might be wondering, 'why do I feel like throwing up after I eat?' is because you might be suffering from food sensitivities and might not even be aware of it. 

So if you are every time feeling sick after eating and feeling discomfort, then it is perhaps time to take note of what you are eating at every meal and maintain a food diary to log it all in. After securing a record for a few weeks, you should be able to see a pattern. 

Maybe you will find that you feel bloated every time you eat something with gluten. May you experience gas after you snack on cheese, or could be that your afternoon coffee is leading to evening diarrhea? These are all possible patterns that start to emerge once you maintain a proper record of what you are eating.  Whatever pattern you can discover, it is time to give your body a break from the foods that are making you feel sick after eating. Stop eating the foods that are triggering discomfort and other symptoms.

 

5: You are trapping air in your stomach

Drinking too many carbonated drinks can also put immense stress on the gastrointestinal system and lead to uncomfortable bloating and gas. This will also make you feel sick after eating. 

Research carried out by the University of Naples Federico II in Italy found that such symptoms of discomfort can occur after drinking more than one glass of any carbonated drink. [5] The reason is that when you are drinking carbonated beverages, you are only ingesting large pockets of air and not much else. These air pockets get trapped in the stomach, leading to bouts of abdominal gas and pain. 

Trapped wind in the digestive tract may lead to discomfort. The stomach can feel stretched, bloated, and uncomfortable. You may even experience there might be a sharp pain. Sugary sodas and certain foods like cabbage, broccoli, and onions may cause bloating and gas. 

To avoid this, instead of having carbonated drinks such as kombucha or sparkling water, you should have something flat without bubbles. This is so much better for your stomach in aiding the digestion process and help with the elimination of toxins from your body as well. 


6. Food poisoning

Stomach pain is a frequent symptom of food poisoning.

One of the key signs of food poisoning is a stomach pain. Other symptoms include nausea or fever. Symptoms may appear a few hours after ingestion, but they might take weeks or days to surface. Food poisoning normally only lasts a couple of days and can usually be treated at home with some good rest and lots of fluids.


7. Acidic foods

Acidic foods that may irritate the gut include fruit juices, processed cheese, and tomatoes. Finding alternatives, like substituting fruit juices with water or tea, may help to decrease stomach pain.


8. Spicy foods

Chili peppers are often used to flavor food. They contain capsaicin, a chemical that results in the burning or hot sensation. Capsaicin may irritate sensitive areas of the body, including the stomach.


9. Indigestion

Someone can endure indigestion after drinking or eating. In addition to stomach ache, they may feel bloated or ill. The stomach contains acid to break food down. At times, this can irritate the stomach lining and cause indigestion. Rich or fatty foods, caffeine, carbonated beverages, and alcohol can make indigestion worse. Over the counter, a non-prescription medication called an antacid is available online, which may help if cutting out certain foods and beverages makes no difference.


10. Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee and tea. It may irritate the stomach lining that consequently causes major discomfort for some. People are able to choose alternatives and enjoy hot drinks. Decaffeinated tea and decaffeinated coffee are available on the internet. Hot water with a slice of lemon may help people stay hydrated throughout the day.


11. Alcohol

Alcoholic drinks can lead to bloating. This is particularly true if they're carbonated, such as beer or sparkling wine. They might also create heartburn worse. Drinking soft drinks or water can help decrease alcohol consumption.


12. Eating too much

Overfilling the gut on a regular basis isn't great for health or your weight. Discomfort after ingestion may be an indication that one is eating too much. Individuals can find advice on healthy portion sizes in the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.


13. Medical conditions

Here, we give a number of the medical conditions that could also make a person's stomach hurt after ingestion.


- Gastritis

Gastritis causes the lining of the gut to become inflamed. It can cause stomach pain, illness, vomiting, and stomach upset.

Mild gastritis can be treated with changes to your diet. Cutting acidic foods and eating smaller meals throughout the day might help.


- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a condition affecting the digestive tract that can't be cured, but symptoms can be managed. In addition to constipation and nausea, it can lead to stomach cramps and bloating. Symptoms may last from days to months, and might not always occur after eating. Although there's no cure, lifestyle changes can help. These include a healthy diet and exercise. You also should be eating slowly and avoiding alcohol.


- Heartburn

Heartburn or acid reflux is merely a symptom of some other problem, such as GERD. It is a burning sensation in your chest and throat area as the acid if forced the wrong way into your food pipe. Additionally, it may cause a burning sensation in the gut. A healthy diet, without spicy foods or alcohol, and losing weight if necessary, may help control heartburn.



See: What does heartburn feel like

Summary

Eating is supposed to be pleasurable, so in the event that you experience gas, bloating, pain, brain fog, and IBS, it is time to consider what's in the source of your symptoms.

Top reasons you might feel nauseous after you consume include possible undiagnosed food sensitivity, chronic stress, or not chewing your food correctly.

Eating food provides fuel for the body and the nutrients it needs to maintain the health of your organs and tissues. Food keeps your cells running correctly and also provides you with the energy you need to live your life to the fullest. However, if you are continually feeling sick after eating, then it is time to take a critical view of what it is you are eating. 

There are many reasons for why you feel sick right after eating. It is only by making some healthy alterations to your dietary habits and overall lifestyle that you will be able to break free from the discomfort you experience after eating. If you do not find any change happening even after making the required changes, then it is time to consider consulting a doctor.

See: Acupuncture treatment for GERD

References

1. Taché, Y. and Bonaz, B., 2007. Corticotropin-releasing factor receptors and stress-related alterations of gut motor function. The Journal of clinical investigation, 117(1), pp.33-40.

2. Bennett, E.J., Tennant, C.C., Piesse, C., Badcock, C.A. and Kellow, J.E., 1998. The level of chronic life stress predicts clinical outcomes in irritable bowel syndrome. Gut, 43(2), pp.256-261.

3. Campbell, I., 2012. The mouth, stomach, and intestines. Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine, 13(2), pp.56-58.

4. Franke, A., Harder, H., Orth, A.K., Zitzmann, S. and Singer, M.V., 2008. Postprandial walking but not the consumption of alcoholic digestifs or espresso accelerates gastric emptying in healthy volunteers. Journal of gastrointestinal and liver diseases: JGLD, 17(1), pp.27-31.

5. Cuomo, R., Sarnelli, G., Savarese, M.F. and Buyckx, M., 2009. Carbonated beverages and gastrointestinal system: between myth and reality. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, 19(10), pp.683-689.

See: Low FODMAP Diet For Irritable Bowel Syndrome IBS Relief

Get a Consultation
(650) 539-4545
Get more information via email