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Symptom Checker

Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.

Understanding New and Severe Abdominal Pain

Your burning or gnawing pain is worsened when you eat food. Although you generate a lot of acid during your meals, it is also a time that the stomach coats itself very generously with protective mucus. The stomach tends to feel less acid-associated pain right after eating, because of the large amount of soothing mucus that it creates. The mucus can also protect the first few inches of your small intestine, the duodenum. Acid, but not much mucus, tends to reflux up into the esophagus most vigorously when the stomach is full. Since you have pain right after you eat, it is likely that your pain is coming from the esophagus. It can also come from a stomach that is sensitive to stretching. It is less likely to come from acid irritation in the stomach.

Another common condition that can be more painful after eating is gallstone disease. It can cause pain where you are having symptoms. Gallstones are usually diagnosed by an ultrasound test.

Click here for more information on gastroesophageal reflux.

Click here for more information on esophagitis.

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