What causes an upset stomach?
The triggers of indigestion can be extremely diverse - in some cases, several causes can even be responsible simultaneously. Even though a digestive tract disease might be to blame, most often it is simply the consequence of enjoying too much food, too fast or being stressed. The most common causes of an upset stomach include:
- Nutrition and Diet: Spoiled, intolerable or difficult to digest foods that are high in fat or sugars can all have the same effect: the stomach is unable to prepare the food optimally for digestion - and would like to rid itself of the disruptive factors as quickly as possible. Similarly, hasty eating, combined with insufficient chewing or taking large bites plays a role.
- Stress: stress can influence digestion as well. Stress hormones can energize the body to limit the functions of the digestive system: the motility (mobility) of the stomach may decrease. As a result, any underlying conditions that cause indigestion can worsen, especially if you add tiredness or a generally unhealthy lifestyle into the mix.
The symptoms of some disorders can be mistaken for an upset stomach, but are actually flare-ups of pre-existing conditions:
- Gastritis: If you suffer from gastritis, an inflammation of the gastric mucosa, it may be that external factors such as bacteria, stress or even the intake of medicines have caused your stomach to not be able to protect itself sufficiently from its own digestive juices. The contained acids can directly attack the gastric mucosa and are thus responsible for your symptoms, which could be mistaken for an upset stomach.
- Irritable stomach: Some people experience persistent symptoms, without the presence of an organic disease. The so-called irritable stomach, or functional dyspepsia, is a functional gastrointestinal disorder (FGID), where the normal processes in the stomach are disturbed – the stomach movements may lose their rhythm, the stomach nerves are hypersensitive and the perception of pain increases. Symptoms, which lead to a feeling similar to an “upset stomach” can be triggered by diet, stress, even the lack of sleep.
Therefore, to root out the trigger of your personal, recurring complaints, you should not hesitate and, if necessary, consult a doctor. By describing your symptoms as clearly as possible and looking in-depth, they can advise you on appropriate treatment recommendations.