Stomach pain after eating chicken is most likely related to food poisoning, if it occurs in an isolated instance. Chicken can become contaminated by campylobacter or salmonella, two common bacteria in affected chicken. If you notice that you develop stomach pain every time you eat chicken, you may have a food intolerance or allergy. Your symptoms need to be reported to your doctor as soon as they develop for effective treatment.
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Food Poisoning from Chicken
Food poisoning from chicken occurs if the chicken is undercooked, has come into direct contact with animal feces or is left out for too long. After eating chicken that is contaminated, you will develop stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and cramping within a few hours. To prevent food poisoning with chicken, wash your hands before and after handling raw chicken, make sure the chicken is fully cooked and that it doesn't come into contact with any surfaces that could be contaminated.
Most cases of food poisoning cause violent and excessive bouts of diarrhea and vomiting, which can lead to dehydration. If you cannot stop vomiting, don't eat or drink for two hours. Food poisoning has no cure and is most effectively treated with rest, changing your diet and drinking more clear liquid. Eat bland foods, such as toast, white rice, bananas, boiled potatoes and carrots until your stools become normal. Avoid foods and beverages that could aggravate the gut, such as caffeine, spicy foods and alcohol.
Allergy and Intolerance
Food allergies and intolerances are two conditions that can cause stomach pain after eating certain foods. Certain chicken dishes are made with food allergens, such as eggs, wheat, milk and soy. For example, fried chicken may contain wheat from the bread crumbs and eggs in the batter. Some processed chicken contains additives, such as lactose and MSG, which can cause symptoms of food intolerance. Food allergies are caused by a defect in the immune system, while food intolerances are a result of the inability of your digestive system to properly process certain ingredients, sugars and proteins.
An elimination diet may be used to identify if chicken causes adverse reactions in your body. Stop eating chicken for two weeks. If you experience any reactions during this elimination period, document which foods triggered the symptoms. After the two weeks, eat an ounce of chicken and record how your body responds to it. Over the next few days increase the amount of chicken you eat by one ounce. Use only plain chicken that is not processed, pre-cooked or seasoned. Talk with your doctor about your findings.
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.