My Stomach Feels Weird but no Pain: 8 Causes Explained.
Our content is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice by your doctor. Use for informational purposes only.
Weird stomach feeling without pain results from various organic and functional abdominal conditions. Common causes include functional dyspepsia, food intolerance, stress, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.
1 . Functional dyspepsia (indigestion).
Functional dyspepsia (FD) is used when you have weird feelings in the upper stomach, such as fullness, early satiety, or discomfort.
Functional dyspepsia is one of the most widespread diseases worldwide. About 20% (one in every five persons) of the world population have FD.
The cause and the mechanism of functional dyspepsia are not well understood. In addition, it affects people without apparent cause, such as gastritis, peptic ulcers, or IBS.
Consider functional dyspepsia if your stomach constantly feels weird after eating without apparent disease.
Unfortunately, no lab test or imaging technique diagnoses functional dyspepsia. The condition is diagnosed only on symptom-based criteria after excluding its mimics (mainly gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, and GERD).
- Discomfort or weird feeling in the upper middle stomach area.
- Sometimes, pain or burning in the upper stomach area.
- An early feeling of fullness (satiety) when eating.
- A sense of nausea after meals.
- The abnormal (weird) feelings or pain may or may not be related to meals. In a small subset, pain or discomfort is relieved by meals.
- Functional dyspepsia DOES NOT cause vomiting.
- Functional dyspepsia is NOT relieved by passing gas or stool.
- The symptoms should be for at least three to six months for functional dyspepsia to be diagnosed.
Your doctor diagnosed functional dyspepsia based on two things:
- First is the presence of a characteristic symptom pattern of functional dyspepsia
- The second is excluding other diseases such as gastritis and peptic ulcer disease (often, endoscopy is needed to exclude peptic ulcers).
The weird symptoms, such as permanent fullness or early satiety, are often severe enough to affect your daily activities.
Who are at higher risk of having functional dyspepsia?
- Being female.
- Anxiety or depression.
- Use of certain medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Other psychological stressors such as childhood abuse.
- H. Pylori infection.
Consult your doctor if you constantly have weird stomach feelings such as stomach fullness or early satiety (and sometimes, pain or burning).
Best treatments and remedies for functional dyspepsia:
- Get diagnosed: the first step, especially if you’re older or the symptoms are severe enough to affect your eating or weight.
- Avoid trigger foods: excessive amounts of milk, caffeine, fatty or fried foods, alcohol, mint, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and spicy foods.
- Avoid large meals: instead, eat smaller and more frequent meals.
- Be physically active, walk, or do light exercise after meals.
- Lose weight.
- Use acid-reducing medications such as H2 blockers (such as Pepcid), Proton Pump inhibitors (such as Nexium), or an antacid (such as Gaviscon).
- Use a motility-regulating medication: such as Domperidone (Motilium) or Metoclopramide (Reglan). Ask your doctor about the best medicines for your condition. Don’t take any medication without medical permission.
- Try natural remedies for dyspepsia, such as Peppermint (capsules or tea), Chamomile tea, Apple cider vinegar, Ginger, and Fennel seed.
2. Faulty diet & eating habits.
Sometimes, the weird feeling in your stomach results from:
- The type of food you eat.
- The amount of food you eat.
- And how and when you eat them.
Diet and eating issues are common sources of stomach discomfort without disease or condition.
Examples of faulty diet and eating habits that cause abdominal discomfort or weird feeling:
- Eating too much fat (indigestion of a large fatty meal).
- Over-eating: overeating almost anything can result in digestive issues and weird stomach feeling without pain. Try to eat in moderation.
- Excess gassy foods. The complete list of gas-producing food is HERE.
- Excessive air swallowing: eating too fast, talking while eating, smoking, or too many carbonated beverages.
- Eating before you sleep.
- Eating too much lactose or fructose (most humans are generally intolerant to excess lactose in milk and dairy products and fructose in most fruits and honey).
The weird stomach feeling is often temporary and is related to the faulty habit/diet consumed. The symptoms usually continue for hours or a few days.
Review the previous meals, fruits, and the amount of food you ate before having this weird stomach feeling. If a faulty diet or habit is present, wait for it to resolve. And try to avoid these acts in the future.
The weird feeling in your stomach is unlikely due to diet if it’s constantly present for extended durations (weeks, months, or years). However, you should consider a doctor consultation if you are experiencing the weird feeling for longer durations.
3. Food intolerance (lactose intolerance).
Food intolerance is difficulty disgusting certain foods resulting in weird and unpleasant stomach feelings.
Food intolerance is more widespread than you think. An estimated 15 to 20% of people have a food intolerance.
The most common form of food intolerance is lactose intolerance. Lactose is the primary sugar present in milk and dairy products.
Lactose intolerance is shockingly common; about 65% of the world’s lactose is intolerant (reference). The highest rates are among African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and Asians.
The symptoms of lactose intolerance range from mild symptoms (weird stomach feeling without pain) to severe abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea.
Common symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain or weird discomfort feeling after taking lactose.
- Distension and excessive passing of gas.
- In children, the stools are bulky, frothy, and watery.
- Vomiting is common among adolescents with lactose intolerance.
- Restrict lactose from your diet.
- Calcium and vitamin D supplementation.
- Lactase enzyme supplementation.
- There is no need to avoid lactose-containing food; Restricting the amount you eat works as your body can tolerate smaller amounts.
4. Mild infections.
Gut bugs are very common. The typical symptoms of digestive system infections are abdominal pain and diarrhea.
However, Mild acute infections and chronic infections may cause mild symptoms such as:
- Loose stool instead of watery diarrhea.
- Mild nausea.
- Weird stomach feeling or discomfort somewhat instead of abdominal pain or cramps.
Typical acute gastroenteritis has more prevalent symptoms, such as watery diarrhea, severe abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting.
However, vague abdominal discomfort and indigestion is also a feature of:
- Minimal or mild acute gastroenteritis.
- Recovery stage of an attack of gastroenteritis (it can last for weeks).
- Chronic mild gut infections.
- Viral (commonest) as norovirus, rotavirus, and astrovirus.
- Bacterial (acute infections are often severe with fever and abdominal pain; however, chronic bacterial infections such as salmonellosis, C. Difficile, and others can cause weird stomach feeling without pain). Diarrhea may or may not be present.
- Protozoal infections such as giardiasis can also turn chronic.
- Parasitic infestations (especially in children) such as Ascaris and Enterobius vermicularis can lead to digestive issues, weird stomach feelings without frank abdominal pain, or diarrhea.
Mild gut infections are often acute and are expected to resolve within a few days. Consult your doctor if you constantly get weird stomach feelings for weeks or months.
5. Ulcer-related dyspepsia.
Stomach and duodenal ulcers are not rare. Ulcers are a break in the lining of the stomach or the duodenum.
The two most common causes of peptic ulcers are:
- H. Pylori: a stomach bug that causes chronic gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Ulcers are known to cause severe upper central abdominal (epigastric pain). However, not all ulcers are painful.
- Asymptomatic or weird stomach feeling without pain in 70% of the cases (reference).
- Pain in the epigastric area (upper middle part of your abdomen).
- The pain is burning, aching, or gnawing in nature.
- With chronic gastritis and stomach ulcers, the pain starts shortly after eating.
- With duodenal ulcers, the pain is relieved by eating!
- Nausea, sometimes vomiting after eating.
- Fullness or tight band sensation in the upper abdomen or the chest (below breasts).
- Chronic gastritis usually follows an intermittent course with the recurrence of symptoms for months and years.
- With peptic ulcer disease, the symptoms are the same but more extreme.
- PUD can cause vomiting of blood (hematemesis) or passage of dark blackish stool (melena) when it bleeds.
6. Stress and anxiety.
Tension and stress can profoundly affect your digestive system, abdominal muscles, or both.
Stress and anxiety are tightly related to digestive symptoms such as abdominal pain or discomfort.
Also, many functional digestive system diseases are related to stress and anxiety. Most commonly, functional dyspepsia and stress.
Consider stress as a cause of your weird stomach feeling when:
- These feelings relate to stressful situations such as exams, public speaking, etc.
- Feeling nervous, restless, or tense without apparent cause.
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic, or doom.
- Constant feeling of weakness or tiredness.
- Being the type of person who worries too much about different things.
Other symptoms and effects of anxiety on your stomach (abdomen) include:
- A sense of a tight band around the belly.
- A feeling of “butterflies” in the stomach.
- Frequent passage of gas (flatulence).
- Nausea and upset stomach.
- A sense of fullness after eating very little.
- Irregular bowel movements (diarrhea).
For more information, see this in-depth article about anxiety and stomach pain.
7. Female hormones.
Females’ hormonal fluctuations are tightly linked to abdominal symptoms, whether physiological or pathological hormonal changes can cause weird stomach feelings (especially in the lower abdomen).
- Premenstrual syndrome.
- Diseases such as polycystic ovaries or ovarian cysts.
The hormonal imbalances result in symptoms that are often cyclic if related to menstruation.
- Weird feelings in the lower stomach area or frank pain.
- Mood swings.
- Nausea and lack of appetite.
- Breast tenderness.
- Tiredness and oversleeping.
8. Others (less common).
- Gastroparesis (especially with diabetes.
- Hiatal hernia.
- Celiac disease.
- Enlarged abdominal organs such as the liver and the spleen.
- Medications such as Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, metformin, antibiotics, etc.
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
- Inflammatory bowel disease.
- SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
- Gallbladder conditions such as gallstones.
- Fatty liver disease.
- Intraabdominal tumors such as colorectal cancer.
- Endocrinal diseases such as hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, etc.