Food and your abdominal pain

One of the great pleasures in life is enjoying a tasty meal with your family and friends. But overeating and drinking, or eating foods that are spicy and high in fat, can cause pain in your belly and ruin the moment. Is your diet the culprit of your abdominal pain?

Situations

How your eating habits affect abdominal pain

Eating your favourite food truck tacos can sometimes turn into a foodie nightmare. Has this ever happened to you?

Ícono de sandwich de varios pisos de alto.
Overeating

Your meal was delicious! You left your plate spotless, but you ate too much and now you’re experiencing stomach cramps. 

Ícono de plato con tres tacos y unos limones al lado.
The attack of high-fat foods

Eating foods that are heavily processed and/or high in fat, such as fried food, soda or pizza, requires your belly to work harder and can cause pain.

Ícono de  barra de chocolate.
A busy day

You're running around stressed, with a thousand errands to take care of and you're eating on the go. This combination can cause discomfort in your belly along the way.

How can food cause abdominal pain?

Understand your pain, take care of your belly

What you eat can cause cramps and discomfort in your belly, throwing your day off track. However, not all belly pain is the same. In order to address your symptoms, it's important to understand your pain and the other factors that could affect it.

Tips and suggestions

Tips for a healthy belly

For many abdominal pain sufferers, one of the first things they look at when trying to manage their symptoms is their diet. Advice on the food types to avoid is readily available, but it can be quite confusing as trigger foods may differ from person to person.

Strike a balance

It’s good to eat regular meals and take time to eat. Try to avoid skipping meals or leaving long gaps in between. 

Know your limits

Listen to your body. Pay attention to how your belly feels to know when you’ve eaten enough. Eating large meals can cause stomach pain. Take smaller bites, since taking large bites leads to swallowing air, which adds gas to your stomach.

Prepare your lunch

Grabbing fast food is often an easy fix, but you can't control or don’t always know the quality and types of ingredients used. Preparing your lunch or snacks for on-the-go with more whole, nutritious foods is a great habit. 

Hydrate

Grabbing fast food is often an easy fix, but you can't control or don’t always know the quality and types of ingredients used. Preparing your lunch or snacks for on-the-go with more whole, nutritious foods is a great habit. 

Exercise

Physical activity has been shown to reduce abdominal pain and discomfort. Exercising may seem like the last thing you want to do when you are experiencing abdominal pain, but it may in fact be the remedy!

Recommendations

Buscopan®, your ally against abdominal cramps, pain and discomfort

Learn more 

Additional questions about food and abdominal pain

    If you feel frequent, persistent pain or pain that intensifies over time, see your doctor. If you feel pain that is severe and unexplained, seek medical attention immediately, as this may be a sign of a more serious condition.

    The digestion process produces gases in your belly. Sometimes gases can make you uncomfortable when they're trapped or have difficulty passing. Sometimes cutting down on fiber-rich foods like beans, as well as fatty foods and dairy can help avoid cramps and discomfort. We do not recommend cutting out whole food groups without talking to your doctor or healthcare professional first.

    To reduce pain while at home, try taking a hot bath or placing a warm compress on your belly, drinking plenty of fluids, and getting some rest. If the pain continues, see your doctor.

    Abdominal cramps are caused by sudden, strong tightening of the smooth muscles in the gut. Buscopan® is an antispasmodic medication that offers targeted relief of abdominal cramps, pain and discomfort in the stomach and gut (intestines and bowel) by relaxing the tight muscles – it acts where the pain develops, in the abdomen.

    Moving after a meal: One possible cause of abdominal pain is gas, which can cause bloating and discomfort. If you experience gas-related pain or bloating after a meal, try going for a slow walk after you eat. Research has shown that this helps to move food through the stomach more quickly, allowing gas to move from the stomach to the small intestine, where it is less likely to cause distress.

    Regular exercise as a remedy for abdominal pain: Increased physical activity has been shown to reduce abdominal pain and discomfort. Walking and cycling have both been shown to help improve abdominal pain.

    Yoga for abdominal pain: There is some evidence that yoga can help to reduce abdominal pain. You may want to experiment with different types of yoga classes to see what works for you.

 Related content

*Buscopan® is a substance that blocks the effect of acetylcholine (neurotransmitter). Side affects are generally mild and limited.