Can oranges cause stomach pain?

9 April 2016
Comments: 0
9 April 2016, Comments: 0

Oranges are known to provide essential vitamins and minerals, but due to their high acid content, stomach pain can also occur among those who have sensitive stomachs. In case the individual has a condition such as inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome or peptic ulcer, eating oranges can disrupt the digestive tract.

Depending on the condition that involves stomach pain, a doctor should be consulted regarding proper treatment and if oranges must be avoided.

Possible causes of stomach pain after eating oranges

Irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition that can be aggravated by stress that can lead to stomach pain, diarrhea, gas and constipation. The condition occurs once the digestive tract could not properly work. The colon or large intestine abnormally contracts which disrupts with digestion that leads to pain and other symptoms.

Even though it is not clear why, oranges seem to bother individuals who have irritable bowel syndrome. If the individual is diagnosed with the condition, a doctor must be consulted if there is a need to avoid oranges.

Stomach pain

Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition that can be aggravated by stress that can lead to stomach pain, diarrhea, gas and constipation.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs once acidic elements from the stomach evade the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and returns back into the esophagus. Normally, the LES allows the stomach juices to flow via the esophagus. This condition can develop in both children and adults with signs and symptoms such as the following:

  • Heartburn
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing

If the individual has GERD, the doctor might recommend limiting or eliminating acidic foods to prevent damage to the esophagus. Oranges and other fruits in the citrus family are very acidic.


Acidic foods do not cause peptic ulcers which are sores that grow in the lining of the stomach. On the other hand, ingesting oranges or other citrus fruits can aggravate the stomach and trigger symptoms among those who have peptic ulcer disease.

Other indications of peptic ulcer disease include belching, heartburn, nausea and even vomiting. Always bear in mind the peptic ulcer disease typically responds to antibiotics that target the bacterial infection. In case these symptoms occur repeatedly, a doctor should be consulted for proper testing and treatment.

Inflammatory bowel disease

Individuals who have inflammatory bowel disease might have difficulty consuming oranges. This condition involves systemic inflammation and development of sores in the GI tract.

On the other hand, an individual with inflammatory bowel disease should not eliminate oranges from his/his diet unless a doctor is consulted first. Those who have the condition often end up with severe nutritional deficiencies and even weight loss. Any restrictions on the diet can aggravate these issues. If there is a need to limit oranges since they trigger symptoms such as stomach pain, a doctor must be consulted first.

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