Stomach pain after eating fried foods

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What do fried foods do to your body?

Fried foods are usually very high in fat, calories, and salt. They have been known to affect the body negatively and are associated with severe health problems such as:

Additionally, fried foods are high in cholesterol as frying the food alters their quality and increases their caloric content. Fried foods are typically cooked in hydrogenated oils, which are very high in trans fats.

Even though fried foods cause the food to have a good taste, they are not good for your health as they raise the levels of bad cholesterol in your body and reduce good cholesterol levels.

Fried chicken and french fries
Eating fried chickens and french fries might cause stomach pain

As this bad cholesterol builds up in your body, it starts to negatively affect you by altering various body functions, lowering your immunity, and making your blood pressure increase.

There is also a harmful chemical that is usually produced when food is being fried at high temperatures. Acrylamide forms when asparagine in the food reacts with sugars and has a cancer risk associated with it.

In the short term, fried foods seem to be fine, as they have a great taste and usually don’t cause any short-term symptoms. However, some people might have certain symptoms within a short time after eating fried foods.

Such symptoms are usually related to the digestion system and can mean stomach or chest pain.

Stomach pain after eating fried food

Since fried foods contain a lot of fat, they are hard and slow to digest. This might cause symptoms for several reasons:

Too much fried food

Because of the slow digestion process, your brain might think you are still hungry when your stomach is already full of fried foods. This means it is very easy to eat too much fried food, which contributes significantly to stomach problems.

Too much fried food can easily upset the stomach and you might feel dull stomach pain for a few hours after eating. If this happens occasionally, it can be perfectly normal, just try to cut back on the amount of french fries and fried chicken.

Right side stomach ache

Abdominal pain on the right side of the body after eating fatty foods – like most fried foods – is often a symptom of gallbladder or liver problems, such as:

This is because the liver and gallbladder help in the digestion of fat. Eating too much fat makes them work harder, which might cause symptoms for those who have an underlying medical issue with these organs.

The pain often radiates into other body parts, mostly on the right side: shoulder, neck, arm, and back can all hurt when having gallbladder problems.

Left side stomach pain

Left side stomach pain after eating is often associated with pancreatitis, the inflammation of the pancreas.

This gland produces digestive enzymes that help break down food. Fried foods make the pancreas work overtime, which might cause symptoms.

Pain might radiate into other body parts:

  • left side of the chest
  • left shoulder
  • left arm
  • left part of the back

When experiencing stomach pain regularly, or feeling a sharp abdominal pain that lasts for several hours, you might have an underlying medical condition, that needs to be diagnosed.

What causes sharp stomach pain after eating fried foods?

Sharp stomach pain, especially if it lasts for several hours, should never be ignored, and you should consult about it with your doctor!

If fried chicken or french fries cause you a sharp stomach ache, it usually means a more serious problem than simple indigestion.

The most likely causes of such pain are gallbladder, pancreas, or liver problems. All these organs play an important role in the digestion process and the high fat content of fried foods makes them work super-hard.

In case you have diseases like gallstones or inflammations, digesting fried foods might result in sharp stomach pain.

Pain on the right side of your abdomen might indicate gallbladder or liver problems, pain on the left is more likely caused by the pancreas. However, this is the point where you should stop guessing what the cause might be and see a doctor for a proper diagnosis!

Some other common symptoms of problems with your digestive system:

  • nausea, vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • back pain or right shoulder pain (in some cases stomach or chest pain can radiate into the back or shoulder)
  • bloating

If you experience very intense pain, have a fever, or yellowish skin, call medical care right away.

You might have some unexpected symptoms after eating fried food, like chest pain and sore throat.

Why do fried foods cause heartburn?

Fried foods can trigger acid reflux as they typically prevent the lower esophageal sphincter from fully tightening and blocking acids that flow back upwards. As such, the chances of stomach acids seeping into the esophagus are increased.

When the strong stomach acids irritate the lining of the esophagus, you feel a burning sensation in your chest. This is called heartburn.

Eating fried foods in huge quantities can easily make you gain extra weight. Obesity is a risk factor of acid reflux, just like eating too much.

Symptoms of eating too much fried food

Stomach and chest pain are the most common symptoms after eating too much fried food.

More often than not, indigestion because of too much food upsets the stomach, however, in some cases there might be an underlying condition that causes symptoms. Such health issues might be gallbladder or liver problems, reflux, sometimes heart problems.

Other possible symptoms when eating a large amount of fried food:

  • sore throat
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • gas, bloating

Sore throat after eating fried food

A sore throat might be a surprising symptom of eating fried foods, but some people do experience it.

This symptom is often related to the stomach acids escaping the stomach and flowing all the way up to the larynx (voice box).

This condition is called laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) or silent reflux and besides sore throat the two other common symptoms are:

Nausea from fried food

Fat malabsorption caused by gallbladder, pancreas, or liver problems might make you nauseous after fatty foods.

Other common causes are acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Less common causes might be food allergies or infection.

Diarrhea after eating fried foods

Fatty foods are known to trigger diarrhea even in healthy people. IBS sufferers are far more likely to experience this unpleasant symptom.

Gas, bloating, and fried foods

During the slow digestion of fat, gas may be trapped in the stomach, which might trigger bloating.

This is another symptom that people with IBS are more likely to have.

What to do after eating too much fried food?

The critical fact to remember is that you should boost digestion at this moment to help get rid of the fried foods from your system faster.

These tips might help you avoid the unpleasant symptoms fried foods may cause:

  • Take a walk after eating fried foods. This will promote healthy digestion and ensure that all the food has been digested properly.
  • Drink lukewarm water or probiotics – like yogurt or buttermilk – to activate the digestive system and allow it to break the nutrients into smaller forms. You can also try probiotic or digestive enzyme capsules.
  • You might want to skip your next meal to allow your body to regain its balance.
  • Certain fruits and vegetables are also good for your body when you have eaten a lot of fried food as a good supply of essential nutrients will counter the fried foods.
  • Have a good sleep to allow your body to recharge and relax. However, do not go to bed immediately after eating, but allow for at least four hours before going to bed. Sleeping directly after eating fried foods means that your digestive system will not have worked its magic to offset the amounts of fatty foods in your system.

Final thoughts

Because of the high fat, calorie, salt, and acrylamide content fried foods are considered unhealthy. To make it even worse, it is easy to eat too much of them.

In the long term eating fried foods can cause heart problems, diabetes, and a number of other serious diseases. In the short term, they might cause problems related to the digestive system to some people.

Try to limit the amount of fried foods in your diet. Eat baked, not fried foods.