Burning in the stomach from eating food is a sign of a medical condition that needs to be evaluated and diagnosed by a medical professional. Because digestive conditions cause similar symptoms from eating food, blood and stool tests will need to be performed to diagnose your condition. Once diagnosed, your doctor will provide a modified diet because most gastrointestinal disorders are treated with a change in diet. If the burning in your stomach become severe or you notice blood in your vomit or stool, call your doctor immediately and go to the emergency room.
Indigestion is a condition that occurs after you eat foods that are greasy, high in fat or are spicy. Overeating can also cause indigestion as an isolated instance. Some conditions can lead to chronic indigestion, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, cancer or peptic ulcer disease. Aside from burning in the stomach, common symptoms include the feeling of fullness, pain in the lower portion of the stomach and burning in the back of the throat. Other symptoms that may occur with indigestion include nausea, bloating, diarrhea and vomiting. Indigestion that occurs often needs to be discussed with your doctor.
An intolerance to a certain food or ingredient in a food can cause stomach burning shortly after consuming that food. Food intolerances occur when your body experiences a chemical reaction after ingesting certain foods or ingredients or is the result of a lack of producing the appropriate enzymes. Common ingredients that trigger food intolerance symptoms, such as burning in the stomach, include fructose, histamine, MSG and additives. Lactose and gluten intolerance can also cause burning in the stomach from lack of digestion.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
If you have irritable bowel syndrome, also called IBS, eating food can cause burning in your stomach. Some foods that are more likely to cause digestive complications and symptoms, such as alcohol, chocolate and dairy products. IBS is still not understood, but symptoms always include chronic diarrhea or constipation. It's believed that IBS is caused by abnormal movements muscles found in the lining of the large intestines. IBS is not the result of a defect in the digestive system and symptoms do not cause any long-term damage.
Some foods contain chemical compounds that can trigger a sensitivity, leading to burning in the stomach. Salicylate is a naturally occurring chemical preservative found in fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, hard candy and some beverages, such as coffee, tea, fruit juice, beer and wine. Sulfite sensitivity is another common cause of burning in the stomach. Sulfites are used as a flavor enhancer in dried fruits, potato chips, gravy and jam.