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Causes and Treatment of Full Stomach

It is very normal to feel full after eating a heavy meal. But, if a person’s stomach feels full frequently even if eating is not the cause, it may be a symptom of an underlying condition. There are numerous causes of a full or a tight stomach including stress, eating habits, lifestyle factors, hormones, and conditions that affect digestion.

Causes and Treatment of Full Stomach

Causes and Treatment of Full Stomach

Many factors can end up in a person feeling full in the stomach. These include the following.

  1. Eating Habits

    Eating very fast, overeating or eating while stressed can make a person feel very uncomfortable and full.

    There are certain foods that can lead to bloating after meals. These if eaten by a person in large quantities can give a feeling of fullness. These foods include carbonated drinks, cabbage, beans, and onions.

    Fullness due to eating habits can be corrected by adjusting the diet and behavior, which can be achieved in the following ways:

    • Eating slowly and mindfully
    • Eating smaller portions
    • Stopping eating when satisfied
    • Regularly exercising
    • Avoiding acidic foods
    • Drinking enough fluids
    • Avoiding excessive salt in the diet
  2. Indigestion

    Indigestion leads to pain and burning sensation in the stomach, gas, nausea, bloating, growth in the stomach, and a feeling of fullness.

    In some people, indigestion gets triggered by acidic foods such as tomatoes and orange juice.(1) Other triggers of indigestion include:

    Lifestyle changes or avoiding the triggers can be helpful in keeping away indigestion and related symptoms. Sometimes treatment may be required if indigestion occurs frequently.

  3. Constipation

    A person is said to be constipated if he has fewer than three bowels in a week.(2) This can make him feel full and uncomfortable along with:

    • Difficult and painful bowel movement
    • Hard and lumpy stool
    • Incomplete bowel movement

    Constipation is a very common condition and can be corrected by increasing fiber intake, drinking water, and being physically active. It can also be treated by an over-the-counter laxative.

  4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

    Irritable bowel syndrome includes the following symptoms:(3)

    The causes of irritable bowel syndrome include:

    • Bacterial infections in the digestive tract
    • Bacterial overgrowth that occurs due to gut flora overgrowth in the intestine
    • Food intolerance and sensitivities
    • A history of trauma, depression and anxiety

    The treatment of irritable bowel syndrome includes dietary and lifestyle changes. Also, treating the underlying mental health condition can help in easing the symptoms. Medications are prescribed by doctors to help with some of the symptoms.

  5. Stomach Ulcers

    Stomach ulcers occur due to the infection of H. Pylori which causes damage to the stomach lining.(4) The stomach lining is affected due to the long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics. Zollinger Ellison syndrome is another condition that leads to tumors and growth in the small intestine.

    Stomach ulcers lead to dull and burning pain in the stomach especially when it is empty. The other symptoms of stomach ulcers include:

    Treatment of stomach ulcers depends on the cause and is mostly treated with proton pump inhibitors, antibiotics, antacids, and bismuth.

  6. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

    Long-lasting acid reflux may indicate gastroesophageal reflux disease. People with gastroesophageal reflux disease show the following symptoms:

    • Bad breath
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Burning in the epigastric region and chest
    • Respiratory issues
    • Wearing away of teeth

    Gastroesophageal reflux can occur due to pregnancy, obesity, hiatal hernia, smoking, and some medications.

    The symptoms can be eased by avoiding foods that trigger the symptoms, eating at least 3 hours before bedtime, quitting smoking, and maintaining weight.(5) Medications prescribed by doctors include antacids, H2 blockers, proton pump inhibitors, and prokinetics.

  7. Gastroparesis

    Gastroparesis is a condition in which there is delayed gastric emptying, which means the stomach does not empty into the small intestine leading to a feeling of fullness. Other symptoms of gastroparesis include:

    Treatment includes gentle exercising, reducing fat intake, eating smaller frequent meals, avoiding carbonated drinks, and avoiding lying 2 hours after eating.(6)

Symptoms of Full Stomach

Having a feeling of a full stomach makes a person feel that he has eaten a lot of food. The stomach may feel tight and stretchy giving an uncomfortable feeling.

The other symptoms include:(7)

  • Bloated and distended feeling
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Stomach ache and cramps
  • Discomfort in abdomen
  • Changes in bowel movement
  • Belching and gas

A person with a full stomach may find relief by adjusting diet and lifestyle changes. However, if it is frequent with no apparent cause, consulting a doctor is important to get to the root cause and to get the condition treated.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 3, 2022

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