Why Do I Get Indigestion After Eating White Bread?

Stomach discomfort after eating takes the pleasure away from a normally enjoyable experience. Your symptoms may be an indication of disease or a temporary inability to digest certain ingredients. If you feel stomach pain after eating white bread, it can be an indication of your body's intolerance to certain ingredients. Noting if other foods cause similar reactions can help you identify the triggers for your symptoms. If your stomach issues persist or worsen, consult your doctor for further investigation.

Slices of white bread. (Image: PeJo29/iStock/Getty Images)

Gluten Intolerance

One explanation for your indigestion may be that you are gluten intolerant. You may be experiencing an abnormal immune system response to gluten found in the flour of the white bread you have eaten. In gluten-intolerant individuals, the body attacks gluten as if it were an infection by producing antibodies to attack it. This action results in damage to structures within the small intestine. Common symptoms include stomach distention and bloating, gastrointestinal distress and abdominal cramping. These symptoms are most common in children though adults may also experience them.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made through a simple blood test. The test looks for the presence of an antibody that attacks gluten. This means that you should eat a normal diet with gluten-containing foods such as white bread until you have been diagnosed. Otherwise, your test will yield a false negative. Your doctor may confirm your diagnosis of celiac disease with a biopsy of the small intestine.

Alternative Ingredients

To avoid issues with indigestion, you can trying baking bread using alternative, gluten-free flours such as white rice, brown rice or amaranth flour. This way, you can still enjoy eating bread without the stomach upset. Making your own bread gives you better control of the gluten content. In addition to flour, other gluten-containing ingredients may include baking powder, food starch, dextrins or natural flavorings, ingredients you may encounter with commercially-produced products.

Avoiding Indigestion

If you are not gluten intolerant, another possible cause of your indigestion may be the fiber count of the bread you are eating. White bread typically is low in fiber. However, if you are eating a bread with added fiber or oats, you may find you are increasing your fiber intake too quickly which can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort. Introducing fiber slowly in your diet to give your body time to acclimate to your new diet. By listening to the clues your body provides, you can enjoy a healthy diet without unpleasant side effects.

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