If you experience stomach cramps after eating normal amounts of food that is not too spicy, then this could be an indication of the existence of some other underlying problem.
These conditions may include lactose or gluten intolerance, food poisoning, allergies, and stomach infections. Other possible triggers may include chronic conditions such as ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
The reason for stomach cramps that occur after eating may thus include one of these reasons or a combination of the listed problems or some other unlisted problems. But read on to understand more about the top causes of the stomach cramps and how they may affect your stomach after meals.
Food intolerance (Gluten and lactose intolerance)
Lactose intolerance is a problem that leads to stomach pain whenever you eat foods that contain lactose. These include ice cream, milk, yogurt, and cheese. These are foods, which are mainly derived from milk-based ingredients. Lactose in milk may also lead to stomach pain that may cause diarrhea, flatulence, and bloating.
On the other hand, gluten intolerance, also known as celiac disease is a type of sensitivity to foods, that contain gluten, mainly found in wheat food products. Apart from wheat, your digestive system may also react to food products made from rye or barley. If you have a digestive system that is intolerant to gluten, then your stomach may perceive the food as a threat and begin an adverse immunological response that may lead to stomach cramps.
What food are you allergic to? Well, different people are allergic to different foods. If you take foods, that you are allergic to, your body’s immune system gets triggered to make defensive reactions. These ‘fight mode’ reactions may cause extreme stomach pain after such foods are ingested. Apart from stomach ache, the foods may also lead to other mild to severe body reactions such as shortness of breath and swelling of the body. Some common foods, that may trigger adverse allergic reactions include shellfish, peanuts, and fish.
Food poisoning is often a result of eating food that has been contaminated by virus or bacteria. Apart from causing stomach cramps food poisoning may also lead to fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. B. cereus and E. coli are some of the micro-organisms that may cause such conditions. Common foods associated with food poisoning include raw foods and meat.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS causes pain in the abdominal region, which may also involve altered bowel syndromes. A diet with insufficient fiber or excessively fatty foods may be the reason behind the IBS problem. Artificial sweeteners, caffeine, and overindulgence in food consumption may be part of the factors contributing to the problem.
Gastric or peptic ulcers denote conditions in which your stomach gets wounded on the outer part. The stomach wounds are often caused by H. Pylori and other reasons such as the excessive consumption of alcohol or by the regular use of certain medicines such as aspirin and Ibuprofen. The stomach cramps are often caused by acidic digestive juices, which are released from the gastrointestinal lining.
Crohn’s disease leads to inflammation of the bowel as well as the entire gastrointestinal tract. The condition may cause cramping and pain, which may be severe or mild. This condition also causes a decline in appetite and fatigue, and it may, in the end, lead to the loss of weight. The condition may be worsened by fatty foods, which are hard to digest or meals with a lot of fiber.
Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease
If the gastrointestinal pain is near the abdominal region (between the upper stomach and the lower chest) then it could be an indicator of GERD. The condition often worsens when you eat acidic or fatty foods. The condition is caused by the existence of a weak valve connection between the esophagus and stomach.