Irritation to the stomach by food, including by acidic citrus fruit, can cause stomach pain. However, stomach pain can also be inherent of a more serious condition, such as a stomach ulcer or gastritis. For this reason, if citrus fruit aggravates your stomach and causes pain when you eat it on a consistent basis, it is important to see your doctor.
Citrus fruit contains a lot of acid, which can cause heartburn and aggravate acid reflux. Acid reflux involves food and acid from the stomach coming back up into the esophagus. It is usually accompanied by pain, as well as other symptoms.
If citrus fruit is hurting your stomach, there is a chance you have a stomach ulcer. Christopher Theberge, R.D., advises avoiding citrus fruit juices like orange and grapefruit juice if you have a peptic ulcer because with this condition, they can cause a burning sensation and upper abdominal pain after eating them. He notes that you can try citrus fruit sections to see if they irritate your stomach or not. Talk to your doctor to determine whether you have an ulcer.
Citrus fruit can also irritate gastritis, which is categorized by inflammation in the lining of your stomach. This is accompanied by stomach pain, indigestion, heartburn and other symptoms. Although gastritis is often caused by bacteria, food can also cause or irritate it. The citric acid in citrus fruits is known to aggravate gastritis; talk to your doctor if you have this problem.
It is also possible that you are allergic to citrus fruit, causing a reaction like stomach pain. Citrus is also a possible trigger of irritable bowel syndrome, which can result in stomach pain and other symptoms.
- Pediatric/Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Association: Careful Eating – What to Feed Your Infant to Teen With Acid Reflux
- Pediatric/Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Association: What Is GER?
- The Nutrition and Food Web Archive; Peptic Ulcer and Non-Ulcer Dyspepsia Diet; Christopher Theberge
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Gastritis
- "American Family Physician"; Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome; Susan K. Hadley, et al.; Dec. 15, 2005