If you only develop stomach pain after eating breakfast, assess what you're eating on a daily basis that could potentially cause irritation to the stomach. Pain in the stomach is caused by a food-induced condition, most likely food intolerance, food allergy or irritable bowel syndrome. Talk with your doctor about what foods you currently eat for breakfast, the type of symptoms you have and the longevity of the symptoms. You may have a serious gastrointestinal complication that needs to be evaluated by a gastroenterologist.
Before you meet with your doctor, keep a record for two weeks of what you eat for breakfast and how it affects your body. Write down everything you eat and drink. Keep a record of how much of each food you eat and the timeframe between eating the food and when symptoms develop. Attempt to eat the most common foods that you have in your daily life within the two week period where you're journaling your breakfast items. Take your food journal with you to your appointment to discuss the possibilities.
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Food intolerances are a common cause of stomach pain. They occur because your digestive system is unable to digest certain sugars or proteins found in some foods. For example, if you're lactose intolerant, your intestines fail to produce enough lactase, the enzyme that digests lactose. Lactose intolerance will cause stomach cramping within 20 to 30 minutes of ingesting any form of dairy. Other food intolerances include milk intolerance, fructose intolerance, MSG intolerance and intolerances towards food additives.
An allergic reaction to certain foods is another consideration, although less likely than food intolerance. Food allergies will cause stomach pain but they will also trigger symptoms in other parts of your body. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, wheezing, chest pain, swelling in the face, lips or tongue, sinus congestion, sneezing or postnasal drip. Food allergies are different from food intolerances because they are caused by a malfunction in the immune system, not in the digestive system. A food allergy can lead to serious complications and needs to be diagnosed and treated by an allergist.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
If you have irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, eating certain foods for breakfast can trigger IBS symptoms. Consuming dairy, fruits and caffeine in coffee can trigger stomach pain, bloating and gas. IBS causes chronic diarrhea of constipation as a result of the condition. IBS is primarily treated through a modified diet and reduction of stress.
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.