Can caffeine trigger stomach pain?

25 March 2016
Comments: 0
25 March 2016, Comments: 0

Caffeine does not typically trigger stomach pain in many individuals. If the individual develops occasional stomach pain after consumption of caffeine-based products, it might be due to indigestion or consuming excess caffeine.

Always bear in mind that the stomach pain that occurs every time caffeine is ingested might be an indication of serious underlying conditions. Allergies, ulcers and other food-related conditions might be the cause of the stomach pain. It is vital to stop the intake of caffeine until a doctor is consulted.

What are the possible side effects?

Caffeine is commonly added to various foods and beverages. It naturally occurs in a variety of foods such as tea, chocolate and coffee. Caffeine is also found in some medications and energy beverages.


The stomach pain might be due to an allergic reaction to caffeine or a component in a food or beverage that contains caffeine.

Stomach pain is not a usual side effect of caffeine as long as it is used in moderation. The usual side effects that can occur include the following:

  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling jittery
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Rapid pulse rate

Always bear in mind that bloating are one the uncommon side effects of caffeine.

Allergic reactions

The stomach pain might be due to an allergic reaction to caffeine or a component in a food or beverage that contains caffeine. A reaction is the result of hypersensitivity of the immune system to a particular substance it perceives as a threat.

During an allergic reaction, chemicals are released that can instigate inflammation that develops in the digestive tract which results to abdominal cramping, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and bloating. Most of the allergic reactions can trigger various symptoms all over the body, not just in the digestive tract.


If an individual develops an ulcer or sore opening in the lining of the esophagus, stomach or small intestines, drinking caffeine can trigger stomach pain. There are certain substances such as caffeine, tobacco and alcohol that can aggravate the ulcers.

Always bear in mind that an ulcer is the outcome of an infection in the digestive tract but it can also be caused by drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, using tobacco or regular use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). In most cases of ulcers, they are managed with antacids and antibiotics.

Considerations to bear in mind

The stomach pain might be an outcome of other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance or Crohn’s disease. When it comes to lactose intolerance, it involves inability to properly digest sugar present in milk which results to bloating, gas and stomach pain.

Irritable bowel syndrome is another common digestive condition that can be instigated by consumption of caffeine. As for Crohn’s disease, it is a condition that can cause chronic inflammation in the intestines that can be aggravated by consuming caffeine.

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