Caffeine does not commonly cause stomach pain in most people 1. If you develop occasional stomach pain after consuming caffeinated products, it may be the result of indigestion or consuming too much caffeine 1. Stomach pain that develops every time you ingest caffeine may be a sign of a more serious digestive condition 1. Ulcers, allergic reactions and other food-related conditions may be the cause of your stomach pain. Stop using caffeine until you can see your physician 1.
Caffeine is the drug most commonly added to foods and beverages 1. It naturally occurs in various foods, such as chocolate, tea and coffee. Caffeine also may be found in certain medications and energy drinks 1. Stomach pain is not a common side effect of using caffeine in moderation 1. The most common side effects include:
- feeling jittery
- trouble sleeping
- a fast heart rate
Drugs.com notes that stomach and abdominal bloating are rare side effects of caffeine 1.
Allergic Reactions to Caffeine
If you have an ulcer -- an open sore in the lining of your esophagus, stomach or small intestine -- consuming caffeine will cause stomach pain every time you ingest it 1. Certain substances, such as caffeine, alcohol and tobacco, can irritate ulcers 1. An ulcer is the result of an infection in your digestive system, but it also may be caused by drinking too much alcohol, using tobacco or the regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Most ulcers are treated with antibiotics and antacids.
Stomach pain may be the result of an allergic reaction to caffeine or an ingredient in a food or beverage that contains caffeine 1. An allergic reaction is the result of a hypersensitivity of the immune system to a substance it identifies as dangerous. During an allergic reaction, chemicals are released that can cause:
- inflammation to develop in your digestive system
- leading to stomach pain
- abdominal cramping
Most allergic reactions cause varied symptoms throughout the body, not just in the gastrointestinal system.
Caffeine & Back Pain
Stomach pain may be the result of other conditions, such as lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease. Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest the sugar found in milk, leading to gas, bloating and stomach pain. Irritable bowel syndrome is a common digestive condition that can be triggered by the consumption of caffeine 1. Crohn’s disease causes chronic inflammation in your intestines, which may be made worse when you consume caffeine 1.
- Stomach pain may be the result of other conditions, such as lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease.
- Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest the sugar found in milk, leading to gas, bloating and stomach pain.
Allergic Reactions to Caffeine
Caffeine & Back Pain
Can Caffeine Cause Hives?
Congestive Heart Failure & Caffeine
How Does Caffeine Affect the Bowels of a Person Who Has Acute Chronic Gastritis & Diverticulitis?
Caffeine and Loose Stools
Can Excess Caffeine Cause Rashes?
Can the Ingredients in Apple Cider Cause a Stomach Ulcer?
Gall Bladder Symptoms & Caffeine
Can Coffee Trigger Stomach Virus Symptoms?
- Drugs.com: Caffeine
- FamilyDoctor.org: Ulcers
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- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alcohol and Caffeine. Updated October 23, 2018.
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- Lyngsø J, Ramlau-Hansen CH, Bay B, Ingerslev HJ, Hulman A, Kesmodel US. Association between coffee or caffeine consumption and fecundity and fertility: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis. Clin Epidemiol. 2017;9:699-719. doi:10.2147/CLEP.S146496
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Pure and Highly Concentrated Caffeine. Updated September 21, 2018.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction. Updated July 2018.
Diane Marks started her writing career in 2010 and has been in health care administration for more than 30 years. She holds a registered nurse license from Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts in health care education from California University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in health administration from the University of Pittsburgh.