What Causes Stomach Pain and Bowel Urge After Eating and Drinking?

If you experience stomach pain and an urge to move your bowels after eating, you're probably wondering what's going on. Many people use the term "stomach pain" not only to describe pain in the stomach, but also in the abdominal area, too. See your doctor if stomach pain and bowel urges concern you.

A woman with stomach pain. (Image: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Lightwavemedia/Getty Images)


If you have stomach or abdominal pain and the urge to move your bowels after eating, you might be constipated. You might also experience bowel movements that are less frequent than normal for you, or stools that are dry, hard and difficult to pass. If you're not getting enough fiber -- 25 to 30 grams per day -- or drinking enough fluids, ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement, not getting regular exercise, or if you're traveling, and your normal diet and routines are disrupted, you're at risk for constipation. It can also result from medications, such as narcotic pain killers, calcium, iron, antacids, diuretics and antidepressants, according to Drugs.com.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a disorder characterized by a group of symptoms -- diarrhea, constipation, alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea, stomach or abdominal pain, the urge to move the bowels with no results and feelings of fullness or distension in the belly. It is suspected that IBS is caused by the way the brain and the gastrointestinal system interact. Treatment -- medications, stress management and behavioral therapy -- typically focuses on the symptoms because the cause is not yet known, according to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD -- ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease -- is characterized by repeated incidents of inflammation in the intestines that cause symptoms, including abdominal pain, multiple daily bowel movements, blood in the stools, stomach pain after eating -- especially in the lower right side of the abdomen -- and an urgent need to have a bowel movement with little or no results. Ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon, while Crohn's disease may involve the entire gastrointestinal tract.

Colon Cancer

Colon cancer, the third most common cancer in the U.S., happens when cells in the colon or rectum grow out of control and affect normal function. Colon cancer is curable 90 percent of the time when diagnosed early, according to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. In addition to stomach or abdominal pain and an urgent need to move your bowels after eating, symptoms include rectal bleeding or blood in your bowel movements, a change in the shape or size of your bowel movements, ongoing diarrhea, and an urgent need to have a bowel movement without results.

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