Back pain that follows a meal is usually a sign of problems in your gastrointestinal tract. These problems usually only cause a minor discomfort but should be attended to at the soonest opportunity to prevent them becoming severe conditions. To properly resolve the issue requires proper diagnostic approach, proper treatment and certain lifestyle adjustments.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Back pain after eating is usually caused by ulcers in the back wall of the stomach or the back wall of the beginning of the small intestine, which is called the duodenum. These conditions are caused by excess stomach acid, poor blood circulation and insufficient mucous production. These problems can be brought about by an unbalanced diet, smoking, stress and a bacterial infection.
A physician diagnoses this problem by conversing with a patient, using an ultrasound and utilizing a gastroscope, a camera that is lowered into your stomach and intestine through your mouth and esophagus. The gastroscope can also be used to take samples of the tissue in and around the ulcer 2.
The treatment of ulcers that cause back pain after eating is the use of anti-acid medications or antibacterial medications if bacteria is determined to be the cause. Avoid things that increase stomach acid production such as smoking, stress, eating greasy or spicy foods and alcohol consumption.
If the treatments listed above are not successful and the ulcer is reoccurring, close to perforating or has shown signs of becoming cancerous, surgery is the only option left to physicians. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. During the surgery the portion of the digestive tract that contains the ulcer is removed.
An individual who has personal or family history ulcers anywhere in the digestive tract should enact many lifestyle changes. Medical research has shown that excess use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin have been known to cause ulcers that can cause back pain after eating.
- "Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine 16th Edition"; Lawrence Madoff, James Macguire, Kenneth Brandt, Bruce Gillaind, Scott Thaier; 2005
- "Principles of Pharmacology;" David Golan and Armen Tashjian; 2005
- Mayoclinc.com:Health: Peptic Ulcers
- Aaron Graubart/Digital Vision/Getty Images