Here's What An Upset Stomach Says About Your Health

Unfortunately, most of us have had an experience with our stomach aching. Maybe after you've eaten your favorite chips and spicy salsa, or after munching on those greasy French fries. It's likely you just ate something that didn't sit right, but if stomach cramps come out of nowhere, it could possibly indicate a health problem. From food allergies to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), there can be many potential issues to consider. "When you're dealing with stomach pain or nausea, your body is trying to send you a message about the problem behind the pain," Dr. Tania Elliott, M.D., told Insider.

Issues with your gut after eating specific foods could mean you have an allergy or intolerance to something you ate. According to Healthline, a common symptom of food allergies are cramps, in addition to vomiting or nausea. If problems arise after you eat wheat, dairy, nuts, shellfish, or gluten, making an appointment with an allergist could help you solve the problem, and keep those gurgles and grumbles at bay.

Abdominal pain can be a cause for concern

Your stomach pain could also be because of IBS. Dr. Saurabh Sethi explains that this is a functional digestive disorder. That means you'll experience symptoms, but your digestive tract will appear undamaged. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of IBS can include abdominal pain, cramping, and bloating.

Discomfort after a high fat meal could also indicate your gallbladder is having issues, according to gastroenterologist Hardeep Singh. In an article for Providence, he noted, "Women are especially prone to gallbladder disease." If you have extreme stomach cramping after eating, you could have gallstones, which are hardened pieces of digestive liquid, blocking its ducts (via Self). This can be extremely painful, so if you experience these symptoms, it's recommended you seek medical help as soon as you can.

However, not all stomach pain is cause for concern. Sometimes abdominal cramps could just signal it's time to eat. Healthline explained hunger pangs are actually the stomach contracting when our gut is empty. Also, it could be that your dreaded time of the month is near. Obstetrician Nancy Cossler told Women's Health, "Hormones cause contractions of the uterine muscle, which causes cramping. It's completely normal if your stomach cramps, causing an upset stomach or diarrhea."