Stomach & Back Pains After Eating Popcorn & Sunflower Seeds

Various conditions can cause stomach and back pains after eating popcorn and sunflower seeds. Both are high in fat and difficult for some people to digest. Most back pain that develops after eating is the result of referred pain that begins in your stomach and reflects in your brain to your back. Common conditions that can lead to stomach and back pains from digestive complications include indigestion, gastroesophageal reflux disease, gallbladder disease and pancreatitis. Consult with your doctor to determine the cause.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.


Because popcorn and sunflower seeds are difficult to digest for some people, you may develop indigestion shortly after eating them. People commonly confuse indigestion with heartburn because the result of indigestion is typically heartburn, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Indigestion is the feeling of fullness and burning or pain in your abdomen that you also might feel in your back. Indigestion occurs when stomach fluids enter your esophagus. You may also develop bloating – trapped gas in your digestive system that can cause your stomach to distend.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Also known as GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease is reoccurring or chronic heartburn that develops more than twice a week, according to If diagnosed with GERD, your sphincter muscle malfunctions and either doesn’t close or sporadically opens during digestion. Your sphincter is a muscle-flap that separates your esophagus from your stomach. Excessive stomach acid can cause pain, burning and excessive scar tissue in your throat. Certain foods, such as popcorn and sunflower seeds might trigger your symptoms.

Gallbladder Disease

Two of the most common symptoms of gallbladder disease include upper-abdominal pain and pain felt between the shoulder blades or in the right shoulder. If you have gallbladder disease, your gallbladder is either inflamed, infected or contains gallstones, clusters of cholesterol deposits. Eating foods high in fat will trigger your gallbladder to secrete bile, which can cause severe pain. Doctors surgically remove most infected gallbladders.


Your pancreas works with your gallbladder during digestion. Your gallbladder provides bile to help digest fat, while your pancreas provides enzymes that break down the proteins, carbohydrates and sugars in the food. The enzymes in your pancreas remain inactive until released in your stomach. If they prematurely activate, your pancreas will become inflamed, causing significant pain in your stomach and back. This condition is commonly confused with gallbladder disease and requires your physician’s diagnosis.