ZocdocAnswersWhat are causes of stomach pains after eating?

Question

What are causes of stomach pains after eating?

I traveled to Egypt in November and since returning to the US I have been experiencing stomach pains every time I eat. As soon as food hits my stomach I feel sharp, shooting pains/aches and sometimes gurgling. I have had no change of stool patterns. Multiple blood and stool sample tests have been negative and dietary restrictions have not helped. I have been diagnosed with gastritis, but am still seeking the primary cause and/or cure for my ailments. Any ideas?

Answer

Stomach pain is a concerning symptom. I would recommend that you see your primary care doctor. It is also advisable that you see a gastroenterologist (GI doctor) who is the specialist in this area. There are many causes of pain with eating (known as prandial abdominal pain). Probably the most common is gastritis, as you suggest you have been diagnosed with. This is an inflammation of the stomach lining, often from an excess of acid in the stomach. Medicine like prilosec (omeprazole) can decrease the acid and help symptoms. Severe gastritis can cause ulcers-- which can be dangerous. There are more concerning causes. One to consider is cholelithiasis (or more commonly known as gallstones). This causes abdominal pain after eating, specially after eating fatty meals. An ultrasound of the gallbladder can help diagnose this. Another common cause is infection. Stomach viruses are common. I would be concerned about Schistosomiasis -- a common parasite that can cause abdominal pain. This is concern because of your recent trip to Egypt. I think you would need this to be ruled out by blood and stool tests. Another common condition is gastroparesis -- which is when the stomach doesn't move the food so become full early. Rarer causes include cancer of the stomach. Please talk to your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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