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What Would Make Your Stomach Feel Full Without Eating?

author image Derek Buckner
Derek Buckner has been writing professionally since 2005, specializing in diet, nutrition and general health. He has been published in "Today's Dietitian," "Food Essentials" and "Eating Well Magazine," among others. Buckner is a registered dietitian and holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition and food science from Drexel University.
What Would Make Your Stomach Feel Full Without Eating?
Multiple medical conditions can make you feel full without eating.

Certain medical conditions can give a feeling of fullness without eating a single bite of food. This typically occurs with conditions related to your stomach and liver. Other conditions, such as gallstones or gallbladder disease, can make you feel full after only a few bites of food. If you have a feeling of fullness without eating, talk to your health-care provider right away.

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Peptic Ulcers

Peptic ulcers are located in your stomach. Symptoms commonly associated with peptic ulcers include a feeling of fullness, pain or discomfort, bloating, belching and regurgitation. Peptic ulcers typically cause the same type of pain as gastric and duodenal ulcers. The pain may radiate from your back or in your chest behind your chest bone. Ulcers can cause hidden bleeding, which can lead to conditions such as anemia, and you may experience shortness of breath and fatigue. Severe symptoms include black, tarry or bloody stools, severe abdominal pain and intense vomiting that may contain blood.


Gastroparesis is also referred to as delayed gastric emptying. Gastroparesis is a disorder in which your stomach does not empty as it should, and it takes a much longer time to do so. Typically, your stomach contracts, which moves food to your small intestine during the digestion process. A nerve called the vagus is responsible for carrying out stomach contracting. When the vagus nerve becomes injured or damaged and does not work properly, your stomach takes much longer to empty. This creates a feeling of fullness when you haven’t eaten for a long time because your stomach is still trying to empty the contents from the last meal that you consumed. Causes of gastroparesis include surgery on the vagus nerve, infections, smooth muscle disorders and metabolic disorders such as hypothyroidism.


Indigestion can cause you to feel full without eating, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Other symptoms associated with indigestion include burning or pain in the upper abdomen, and you may feel full without eating or shortly after beginning a meal. Indigestion is often a symptom of another underlying condition, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, cancer or abnormality of the pancreas or bile ducts. It’s also possible to have indigestion and not be able to identify the cause; the indigestion may dissipate on its own.

Liver Disease

Your liver is vital for life; without it, you could only live a few days. Your liver helps store vitamins, release bile for your gallbladder and it helps to filter waste products, medications and poisonous substances from your blood. Drug abuse and alcoholism are common causes of liver disease. Symptoms include jaundice, cholestasis, liver enlargement and portal hypertension. Cholestasis, or reduced or stopped bile flow, can create problems such as feeling full without eating, enlarged gallbladder, easy bleeding, pale stool, dark urine, enlarged spleen, chils and fluid in the abdominal cavity.

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