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Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Eating apples causes stomach pain?


 amp1220 - Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:42 pm

I am a 51 yr. old female who is in relatively good health. However, in the past month, I have had 2 attacks of stomach pain in the middle of the night. The pain hits about a hand's width above my navel and is often accompanied by pain in my middle back as well. The pain usually occurs about 4-6 hours after I've eaten and lasts about 4 hours. Last night, I was awake from midnight until after 2:30 a.m. Last month, I had pain from 10 p.m. until well past 2:30 a.m.

In the past few years, I've discovered that I get stomach pains after eating a raw apple, so I've stopped eating raw apples. Baked apples did not seem to affect me, but I think they may be the cause of my stomach pain now, since this is the only food I've eaten on both occasions.

I have a few questions. Why does the pain come on long after I've eaten? Why does the pain last about 4 hours? Why do I have back pain in addition to stomach pain? Why can't I tolerate baked apples anymore? Your comments would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
 John Kenyon, CNA - Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:51 pm

User avatar Hello --

For some reason raw apples, in particular, probably because of their high fiber content, are a common cause of epigastric pain, especially nocturnally. This last is easier to understand, since while lying horizontal in sleep our stomachs tend to not empty so quickly and if we have GERD or hiatal hernia things can actually back up quite easily. Apples are one food which tends to just sit there, so this is probably a good thing to avoid, especially late in the evening.

Baked apples are less difficult to digest, but still are made out of the same stuff, essentially, and both raw and baked ones contain pectin, which while generally beneficial is, like most fiber, a digestive challenge for some.

The reason this pain radiates to your back is because the epigastrium (the area where you're feeling most of this pain) actually lies close to the nerves servicing the area immediately behind it as well as in the center and is fairly thoroughly innervated, so quite sensitive.

I hope this answers your question adequately. If the problem seems to progress, please get back to us. Hopefully you've solved the problem and won't have to deal with this anymore.

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