Can Overeating Cause Stomach Pain?

Last Updated on June 18, 2018 by Michael Brockbank

Overeating can cause a lot of problems in the body. It does more than just add to your waistline. In reality, gorging yourself can contribute to stomach pain by stretching out the lining as well as pushing against various other organs and muscles.

However, this is just a small part of how much damage you’re actually causing yourself in the long run.

Stomach Pain and Other Ailments

Distending your stomach is only part of the problem when it comes to overeating and stomach pain. There are a myriad of things going on inside that may be adding to the discomfort. Here are a few of the things I experience personally.


The pain in your gut could be caused by severe indigestion. Often times, this is felt as heart burn. However, there have been times when the pain was so bad that it woke me up from a dead sleep early in the morning.

This is because the body is trying to break down the absurd amount of food, which can create a large amount of gas. This isn’t saying anything about the acid build-up that is also literally burning into your stomach lining.

Gas can also accumulate within the stomach and intestinal tract as air is swallowed while eating. This is actually quite a common process, especially since a large portion of your food will contain oxygen as well. It’s when the air is released through digestion is when it begins to fill your stomach.

As a result, a large amount of food could produce an equally large amount of gas.


Many people suffer from diarrhea when overeating. Usually, this is caused when there is an excess amount of fluids within the intestines. It is believed that overeating leads to vast amounts of liquids being released and not properly absorbed by the body.

This can certainly lead to a variety of stomach pain as well as problems within the intestinal tract. If you have frequent bouts with Irritable Bowl Syndrome, overeating can easily cause you to spend more time on the toilet. I usually have this problem regardless of what it is I overate in the first place.

Breaking Down Fats and Oils

The body has a more difficult time breaking down fats, oils and greasy foods. This is why those kinds of edibles cause far more problems in the human body. The more your stomach has to work, the greater are the risks for causing pain.

For instance, the body secretes an over-influx of stomach acids in order to break down those components. This can contribute to stomach pain as well as severe levels of heart burn. Never once have I felt the sting of stomach acid when eating a large salad compared to a greasy cheeseburger.

How to Avoid these Stomach Pains

The most obvious way to avoid stomach pain from overeating is to watch your intake. According to experts, the average human stomach can hold about two cups worth of content. After this amount is reached, it begins to expand. The more it stretches, the greater are your risks for pain. Here are some of the things I do in order to avoid such discomfort.

1. Serve Proper Portion Sizes

Learning proper portion sizes improves your weight, reduces risks to things like diabetes and may take away those pains altogether. Personally, I use MyFitnessPal to monitor my food intake. Using tools like this, you have a visual reminder of how much you’re eating throughout the day.

This can be greatly beneficial if you want to focus on a healthier body.

2. Monitor Types of Food

If you’re going to eat a lot, try to focus more on foods that are not going to give you a hard time. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve never had a problem eating large salads compared to other foods. Reduce your fat, sugar and grease intake any way you can.

This will also help out various internal organs such as your pancreas, the part responsible for determining if you get diabetes or not.

3. Drink Enough Water

Water is more than just a healthy way to keep hydrated. It contributes to the digestion of food and helps you “feel” full. I drink two cups before a meal and two cups afterward. This simple practice has made a profound difference in how I feel after eating.

It’ll help things move smoothly through your intestinal tract while reducing the risk of feeling pain.

4. Don’t Lay Down

A lot of people feel they need to lay down after overeating. Unfortunately, this can make any heartburn condition far worse. This is because the contents of the stomach are going to leave your body one way or another. If the intestinal tract is compacted and full, guess where that leaves? That’s right, your esophagus.

When you lay down, the stomach has a direct path to your mouth – much like tipping over a gallon of milk.

Some experts believe that laying on your right side may actually help an over-full belly. This is because the entryway to the small intestine is on the right side of the body. When laying on your right side, gravity can help move things along.

Identify Before You Overeat

Too many people believe they’ve eaten enough when there stomachs are too full to cram anything else into it. Unfortunately, this idea is false. Remember, the stomach holds two cups worth of food. Sure it can extend to accommodate more, but you shouldn’t rely on this process every time you sit down to eat.

The trick is identifying how much to eat without feeling like your starving to death. This can be caused by a mental problem whether it’s emotional or an actual imbalance within the brain. Regardless of your own circumstance, you need to find where your comfort-level is when it comes to eating.

For those who love food, such as myself, pulling in the reigns can be quite difficult at times. It’s all about keeping your intake within tolerable levels for the body. If you suffer from problems which relate to overeating, the best course of action is to stop.

Don’t be afraid to ask someone for help. Eating disorders are just as common place as drug and alcohol addictions. In some ways, they can be just as deadly as well.[template id=”3591″]

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Michael Brockbank

Since 2015, Michael has put in the effort to lose more than 80 pounds by gamifying fitness and eating proper portion sizes. He conducts extensive research into various health and fitness products to provide the best answers possible according to his own experience and knowledge.

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