Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do I feel tightness in my stomach after eating?"
After I eat I get a tight feeling on the right side of my stomach. It doesn't feel like indigestion, but more like my ab muscles are tight. Is this the sign of something serious? Should I go to the doctor?
When you feel stomach tightness or pain especially after meals, you should not take it lightly. Tightening in your stomach commonly arises from inflammation and irritation of the lining of your digestive system (gastritis). Do you have other accompanied symptoms? Abdominal tightness may be caused by a number of conditions, many of them minor in nature such as constipation. Of course, it can be caused by several things as well: food poisoning or intolerance, allergic reactions to preservatives in food products, and irritable bowel syndrome. That being said, you should always take any unusual symptom seriously, as it may also be a sign of a serious medical condition that will need to be assessed by your doctor. There are many causes that can give your symptom, which is sometimes deceptive, and you can miss some serious underlying cause. Gallbladder disease such as gallstone, peptic ulcer disease, or gastroenteritis can lead to feeling of abdominal tightness and pain after meals. There are more sinister causes of abdominal pain or early satiety that can be a result of a mass occupying lesion in or near the stomach, as in the case of a gastric adenocarcinoma or gastrointestinal stromal tumor. It is difficult to pinpoint the specifics of the brief description of your symptom. I have more important questions. When did your symptom begin? Did it occur suddenly or gradually? I only know that your symptom is localized (the right side of your stomach), which is concerning. If your abdominal tightness or pain comes on suddenly and is sharp and localized, does not subside, is chronic and accompanied by fever, you need to see your doctor right away. There is a host of other less common conditions. It is important when it comes to stomach problems like cramping, tightness or pain, you need to be prepared to tell your doctor all the specifics so that your stomach problem can be accurately diagnosed. I would recommend that you visit a primary care physician soon to rule out any serious condition as well as to be accurately diagnosed and treated.
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