Diet,  Health Literacy

What’s Causing Your Upset Stomach?

Stomach Ache

Maybe you woke up in the morning with a stomach ache or a rumbling tummy, or maybe you ate something and quickly thereafter your stomach started to feel upset. An upset stomach can mean many things to many people, from simply having indigestion to having diarrhea. What type of upset stomach you are having it’s likely you really want to know the culprit it if you don’t already.

Since there are many things that can cause an upset stomach unless you have a specific diagnosis for something like celiac disease or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) you might be unsure of what it is that’s causing your stomach problems or diarrhea. Here are just a few things that could be causing your stomach problems and why.

Food Poisoning

If you suddenly start to feel sick, whether you are vomiting or having diarrhea, or you just seem to be having some major stomach cramps, one thing that it could be is food poisoning. Food poisoning can happen as soon as one hour after eating bad food and as late as 10 days from eating that food.

While these symptoms could be food poisoning, it could be something else as well. Take some time to look back at what you ate, and where. If your issue persists after 24 hours you may want to contact your doctor. If they get really bad you might want to visit the emergency room.


There is still not a lot known about IBS, but there are different triggers for different people, which can include stress and certain foods. It seems that it is caused by an issue with digesting foods and maybe even a miscommunication between the brain and the stomach.

Like other stomach problems, IBS causes things like diarrhea and cramping, as well as stomach spasms and even nausea.

Food Allergies

Your stomach problems could be caused by a food allergy. There are many foods that are allergens two people, and the best way to find out if you have a food allergy is to visit your doctor and get recommendations for an allergist. You can also start the process on your own by keeping a food journal, in which you track the foods that you eat and any kind of side effects do you have after eating them, while possibly even cutting certain suspect foods out of your diet for a period of time.

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is not a food allergy, but is an inability for the body to properly digest certain gluten containing foods. These include wheat, rye, and barley. people with celiac disease, as opposed to those with a wheat allergy, can actually damage their intestines and other digestive internal organs by continuously eating foods containing gluten.

Other Medical Issues

There could be numerous other medical issues that could be leading to your stomach discomfort. There are prescriptions that can cause diarrhea and other issues, it could be a woman’s time of the month that is causing stomach discomfort and cramping, or a myriad of other things. If your stomach problems are bad enough and last long enough it is imperative that you see your doctor.

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Anna Johansson is a freelance writer, researcher, and business consultant from Olympia, WA. A columnist for, and more. Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends. You can follow her on LinkedIn.

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