Reasons for Your Aching Stomach and What To Do About Them

a person with a stomachache

• Overeating is a common cause of an aching stomach, resulting in indigestion, pain, bloating, and gas.

• Food allergies or sensitivities can also result in an aching stomach.

• Acid reflux, constipation, stomach flu, and food poisoning can all cause digestive issues and an aching stomach.

• If your stomach ache is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever—it’s likely due to stomach flu/food poisoning.

• A poor diet, chronic stress, digestive conditions, certain medications, and tooth loss all interfere with digestion.

An aching stomach can come out of nowhere and ruin your whole day. But what’s even worse is not knowing why your stomach hurts in the first place. Is it something you ate? A virus? Or could it be something more serious? The truth is, there are lots of reasons for an aching stomach. And unfortunately, most of them are pretty common. So if you’re dealing with a tummy ache right now, chances are one of these reasons is to blame:

You ate too much too fast

Overeating is one of the most common reasons for an aching stomach. Eating more than your stomach can handle can cause indigestion, leading to pain, bloating, and gas. If you want to avoid an aching stomach after meals, try eating smaller portions and chewing slowly and thoroughly.

You have food allergies or sensitivities

If you often have an aching stomach after eating certain foods, you may be allergic or sensitive to them. Common offenders include dairy, gluten, soy, eggs, nuts, and shellfish. If you think food allergies or sensitivities may be to blame for your tummy troubles, talk to your doctor about getting tested.

You have acid reflux

Woman with acid reflux

Acid reflux occurs when digestive acids from your stomach flow back up into your esophagus (the tube that connects your throat to your stomach). This can cause heartburn, chest pain, and a sour taste in your mouth—as well as an aching stomach. If you suspect you have acid reflux, talk to your doctor about possible treatments.

You’re constipated

Constipation happens when you have trouble passing stool or if your stool is hard and dry. This can lead to bloating and pain in your abdomen—particularly if you’re also dealing with gas or indigestion. To ease constipation and get things moving again, ensure you’re drinking plenty of fluids and eating high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You may also consider taking a stool softener or laxative if home remedies don’t do the trick.

You have the stomach flu or food poisoning

If you have an aching stomach along with other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever—it’s likely due to the stomach flu or food poisoning. These conditions usually go away on their own within a few days (although the stomach flu can last up to two weeks). In the meantime, drink lots of fluids and try not to eat anything that will worsen your symptoms (like greasy or spicy foods). If vomiting lasts longer than 48 hours or if diarrhea is accompanied by severe abdominal pain or blood in your stool—call your doctor right away, as these could be signs of dehydration or a more severe condition like appendicitis.

You’re not digesting food properly

Stomach ache

If your stomach often aches after meals, it could be a sign that you’re having trouble digesting food. Here are reasons why this could happen:

You have a poor diet

Eating too much processed food, refined carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats can contribute to digestive issues like bloating and pain. Instead, focus on eating a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

You’re dealing with chronic stress

When you’re stressed out, your digestive system can slow down and make it harder to break down food. To address this issue, try to find ways to relax and manage your stress levels. Things you can do include journaling, practicing yoga or meditation, and going for a walk.

You have an underlying digestive condition

Conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease can all cause digestive issues. If you believe you have either of these, talk to your doctor. They can help you find ways to manage your symptoms and get back to feeling better.

You’re taking certain medications

Certain medications, including antibiotics and steroids, can interfere with your digestion. If this is the case for you, talk to your doctor about alternative treatments.

You have missing teeth

Missing teeth can make it difficult to chew your food, leading to indigestion and an aching stomach. If this is the case for you, consider getting tooth implants immediately. Tooth implants can help restore your ability to chew and enjoy food properly. They also look and feel like natural teeth, so talking and smiling won’t be a problem.

An aching stomach can be caused by various factors, ranging from overeating to food allergies and sensitivities. Whatever the source, the key to relieving your discomfort is understanding why it’s happening in the first place. Doing so, you’ll be better equipped to find the right treatments and lifestyle changes needed to get your digestive system back on track.

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