All about the fitness and health lifestyle
All about the fitness and health lifestyle

Possible Reasons You Feel Sick After Eating

Last Updated:
May 2, 2024
Kaylin Ging

A young woman sitting at the kitchen table while clutching her stomach in discomfort after eating take-out sushi.

Feeling sick after eating happens to everyone at some point in their lives, and the issue can be chronic for some people. Whether you consistently feel bad after eating or have had a few terrible experiences, identifying the root cause is helpful if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Here are five possible reasons you feel sick after eating, along with insights to help you tune into your body’s signals and make necessary adjustments.


Eating nutritious foods supports overall health and combats illness naturally, but overconsumption of even the healthiest foods can make you feel bad. After all, your eyes want to eat more than your stomach.

Overeating puts excessive strain on your digestive system. It also disrupts the normal process of digestion, leading to discomfort, bloating, and nausea. Listening to your body’s cues and learning to stop when you’re full can prevent these symptoms.

Food Intolerances

Food intolerances or sensitivities occur when your body struggles to digest certain foods, leading to these unpleasant symptoms:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Nausea

Common culprits include lactose, gluten, and specific types of carbohydrates known as FODMAPs. If you regularly feel sick after meals, then start keeping a food diary. Over time, you will be able to link certain ingredients in meals to times when you feel sick.

Eating Too Quickly

Some people eat quickly out of habit, and others eat quickly because they wait until they’re extremely hungry to eat. Neither are good tendencies to have because eating too quickly can cause you to swallow air, leading to bloating and discomfort.

Furthermore, it doesn’t give your stomach enough time to signal to your brain that it’s full, often resulting in overeating. Taking the time to chew thoroughly and eat more slowly can mitigate these issues.

Food Poisoning

Consuming food that’s contaminated with harmful bacteria, viruses, or parasites can lead to food poisoning. The symptoms of food poisoning might appear within a few hours, days, or weeks—yes, weeks—of eating a contaminated meal.

To minimize your risk, ensure food is fresh, properly stored, and cooked to the appropriate temperature. When you go out, eat only at places with strict sanitation and food safety measures.

If you feel sick after eating, now you know possible reasons behind the unfortunate state. Though you can’t avoid getting sick occasionally, you can use this information to lower your risk and adjust your habits if chronic issues are your case.

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