Severe abdominal pain after eating

Updated June 13, 2017

It’s a concern when you develop severe pain after eating. Severe pain from eating may be related to different conditions, but it could be a digestive disorder that needs to be evaluated by your doctor. Anytime you develop severe pain, you need to call your GP immediately to prevent any further complications. Do not use any over-the-counter medications to treat your symptoms without first talking with your GP.

Chronic digestive conditions

Chronic digestive conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and celiac disease can cause severe abdominal pain after eating. IBS is a condition that primarily affects your colon, producing chronic diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, gas, stomach pain and cramping, according to PubMed Health. Crohn’s disease is a genetic condition in which, for reasons that are unclear, the lining of the intestines is easily inflamed from eating. Celiac disease occurs when your body has an adverse reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barely and rye. Gluten causes an autoimmune reaction, leading to permanent damage of your intestines.

Food intolerances

Food intolerances are a common cause of stomach pain. Whilst about 25 per cent of the American population believe that they are allergic to a certain food, only about 2 per cent of the adult population has a food allergy, according to the University of Maryland Medical Centre. The other 23 per cent are more likely to be intolerant to certain foods. Intolerance is the inability to digest certain foods, such as fructose, lactose, histamine and MSG. Food intolerances can cause stomach pain within a few minutes or up to a few hours after ingesting the food.

Food allergies

Severe abdominal pain accompanied with other symptoms located throughout your body may be a sign of a food allergy. Food allergies are caused by a hypersensitivity of the immune system to certain proteins found in some foods. states that the most common foods that trigger an allergic reaction include wheat, soy, milk, eggs, fish, tree nuts and peanuts. If you’re allergic to a food, you may develop abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, cramping, nasal congestion, skin rashes, hives, facial swelling and asthma.


Not all abdominal pain may be related to one of these conditions. Less serious causes of abdominal pain may include heartburn, indigestion and ulcers. If you notice blood in your stool or vomit, call your doctor right away.

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About the Author

Diane Marks started her writing career in 2010 and has been in health care administration for more than 30 years. She holds a registered nurse license from Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts in health care education from California University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in health administration from the University of Pittsburgh.