What problems can overeating cause?
Weight gain is common when you eat a binge. Two-thirds of people with overeating conditions are overweight.
You add on extra pounds in a short amount of time by eating tons of food and not burning off the calories with exercise. Being overweight or obese can also raise the chances of having long-term health problems like:
- weight gain
- various forms of cancer
- heart disease
- type 2 diabetes
- sleep apnea (breathing that stops many times during the night)
- high blood pressure
- high blood sugar
- high cholesterol
Heart palpitations after eating too much
Overeating often increases your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. All of these can cause heart problems in the long term.
It is quite possible that your heart skips a beat or beats too heavily after eating too much. Especially after eating greasy or sugary foods. Too much caffeine, alcohol, or chocolate also can cause palpitations.
Occasional heart palpitations after having a large meal can be normal. However, if you experience heart palpitations after eating regularly, you should talk to your doctor.
Heart palpitations with sharp chest pain, pain that radiates into the arms, shoulders, back, neck, or jaw, shortness of breath, dizziness might indicate a heart attack and need immediate medical help.
Why does your chest hurt after eating too much?
Chest pain is a typical symptom that is experienced when you feel pain in the front area of your body between the upper abdomen and the neck. It may show any kind of pain or discomfort in your neck or abdomen and may occur at any time.
This pain or discomfort is most commonly experienced by middle-aged people who may be ill, have an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, have acid reflux, or have problems with the heart or lungs.
Experiencing chest pain after eating is a sure sign that you either have eaten too much or have eaten the wrong kind of food.
The following are some of the most common food components that cause chest pain:
Too much sugar
Too much sugar intake can cause a lot of difficulties for our bodies, such as heart disease, obesity, dental problems, heart palpitations, diabetes, chest pain, and many other conditions.
Stomach cramps can also occur hours after consuming too much sugar. Too much sugar consumption can also induce uncomfortable body heat.
Sugar helps your body produce tons of water, leaving you dehydrated. Stomach cramps may warn you the heat can exhaust you.
Too much oily food
When we eat fatty foods like fried foods, the sheer volume of fat puts a lot of pressure on our digestive system.
Fat is very slowly digested, and it requires enzymes and digestive juices to break down. Everything from medication to stress can lower the levels of these digestive juices, so many people are deficient to start with. Add fat, and your digestive system will work overtime, often leading to bloating, nausea, and chest discomfort.
Too much junk food
Junk food causes chest pain when the food isn’t properly digested, which happens easily, as junk foods usually contain a lot of fat or sugar or both. It’s also very easy to eat too much when eating junk food.
Chest discomfort can also happen when the acidity of junk food combines during digestion with the acidity of your stomach acids as it enters the intestines triggering acid reflux – often called “heartburn”.
Most junk foods contain lipids (fat molecules), which are larger molecules than protease and carbohydrates, which means that junk food is the most common cause of acid reflux.
Stomach pain after eating too much
Abdominal pain after binge eating is quite frequent.
The reason for the stomach pain might be simple indigestion. When food is not properly digested in the stomach before entering into the intestines, it can cause stomach cramps, bloating, or diarrhea.
However, experiencing sharp stomach pain, pain that radiates into the back or shoulders is never a good sign. This might indicate an underlying problem with one or more of the digestive organs.
Gallbladder, pancreas, kidney, or liver inflammation can be the culprit.
If stomach pain happens with fever, nausea, dark urine, or any other symptoms that worry you, you should call a doctor right away!
Coughing and sore throat after eating too much
These symptoms are usually associated with laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR, or silent reflux).
This condition is like acid reflux when stomach acids can flow back to the food pipe. However, in the case of LPR, acids can go even higher, into the voice box and throat.
Chest pain, sore throat, coughing, and phlegm in the throat after eating usually indicate a reflux attack. Lying down often makes the symptoms worse.
What to do after eating too much?
If overeating is causing you severe symptoms, like sharp chest or stomach pain, you should contact your doctor right away!
However, in most cases, the symptoms are less severe and there are several things you can do to relieve the chest or stomach pain:
- Take a short walk. Mild physical activity can make your digestion faster, reduces bloating, and enhances gas clearance.
- Probiotics can help digestion, you can try buttermilk or yogurt.
- If you have heartburn, a teaspoon of honey might provide instant relief.
- You can also try a few small sips of water. Be careful, too much water makes heartburn worse.
- Cold foods and beverages can slow down digestion, avoid them.
- Avoid strenuous exercises, especially bending over.
- Don’t lie down right after eating, it can make your symptoms worse.
How to prevent overeating?
While you can do a lot to relieve the symptoms of eating too much, the best thing is to eat the right amount of food and avoid overeating completely:
Chew your food well and eat slowly. Your brain needs some time to realize that your stomach is full. Eating fast makes it more likely that you eat too much.
Fill your plate with healthy foods, such as leafy vegetables, which do not increase your calories, but have fiber and make you feel sated.
In addition, there are a lot of protein-rich foods, such as eggs, cheese, lean meat, fish, and beans, rather than foods that are mostly carbohydrates.
These foods stay longer than carbohydrates in your system. Too many carbohydrates can increase the level of glucose in your system and then drop. This tends to make you feel hungry again, leading you to overeat.
To prevent this from happening, at any time you eat carbs, make sure you also include a large amount of protein so that the glucose levels in your body are balanced.
Most chest problems caused by overeating are related to acid reflux. Read our article about diet for acid reflux to see what you can do to eliminate the root cause of reflux.
Is overeating an addiction?
The effects of certain foods on the brain make it difficult for some people to avoid them. Food addiction is similar to other types of addictions. That’s why some people can’t control themselves about certain types of food, no matter how hard they try.
Although they do not want to, they may repeatedly find themselves taking large amounts of unsafe food.
Eating too much can cause several short-term and long-term health issues.
Weight gain, diabetes, heart problems are some of the long-term issues. In the short term, eating too much can cause chest pain, stomach pain, sore throat, gas, bloating, etc.
There are several things you can do to help your body digest the extra amount of food you had, but it is far better for your health if you stick to a normal size meal.
Frequenlty asked questions
This might be a food intolerance symptom or a problem with one of your digestive organs.
You should consult a dietitian or a doctor to find the exact cause.
Some light physical activity can help your body digest food faster. Walking is probably the best, but you can also try some easy yoga poses.
Avoid hardcore workouts, sudden movements, and lying down.
Heavy meals may trigger heart attacks. If you experience some of the common warning signs of heart attack, get medical help immediately!
However, if your heart is healthy, it is not likely to get a heart attack from eating too much. Acid reflux and heartburn may be causing you chest pain.
Yes, overeating can cause shortness of breath or hyperventilation. Some of the possible causes are acid reflux, heart attack, allergic reactions.
If you have breathing problems after eating, you should discuss this with your doctor.