Causes of Butterflies in Your Stomach

November 21, 2019
If the sensation of butterflies in your stomach is accompanied by pain or discomfort, the first thing you need to do is talk to a specialist in order to receive an early diagnosis.

At some point in your life, you’ve probably experienced the feeling of butterflies in your stomach. It’s a feeling we associate with nerves and emotional turmoil, feelings which we often store in our so-called “second brain”.

However, if this feeling persists for a long period of time and is accompanied by pain, it can be a cause for concern.

While problems such as stress can cause more than one type of digestive issue, the sensation of butterflies in your stomach has been linked to a number of diseases.

In this article, we’ll explain some of the main causes to keep in mind. If you are experiencing any discomfort, or you have any doubts, talk to your doctor. They can offer you the best diagnosis and help.

Why do I have butterflies in my stomach?

Sometimes, after eating certain types of food, we experience a burning sensation a short while later. It’s at this point we realize that something hasn’t agreed with us. This can also happen when you’re feeling nervous or anxious, which can “upset” the digestive system. In these cases, you may also experience stomach discomfort, loss of appetite, and diarrhea.

However, when butterflies in the stomach are related to an underlying illness or disorder, they are always accompanied by intense pain. Let’s take a look at some of the illnesses associated with this issue.

Gastritis

Feeling butterflies in your stomach is one of the main symptoms of gastritis. In fact, it may be one of the first symptoms you notice.

The feeling can be so intense, it can make you feel tired, and cause great discomfort. In some cases, it may even make it impossible for you to stay on your feet.

This feeling is due to the irritation of the gastric mucosa, which surrounds the stomach. This condition, which all of us have experienced at some time or other, is caused by an infection.

For example, the bacteria Helicobacter pylori,  has been linked to some types of gastritis.

Alcohol, certain types of fatty food, and even some medication can sometimes cause gastritis.

As such, it’s important to receive proper treatment for your specific case. 

You must also remember that if a child tells you that they are experiencing butterflies or a burning sensation in the stomach, you must take them to see a doctor.

Peptic ulcer

Like we said before, there are many types of stomach pain. Here is one we can identify easily. If you feel butterflies in your stomach one to three hours after eating, it’s likely that you may be suffering from a peptic ulcer.

peptic ulcer feels like butterflies in your stomach

Peptic ulcers happen when our gastric acids wear away part of the stomach lining or duodenum.

This feeling of pain or butterflies comes after eating or late at night, making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

Once again, the most common cause of these ulcers is the bacteria Helicobacter pylori. However, some anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, can cause also them.

It is important to keep in mind that stress and spicy foods tend to aggravate this condition.

How can you relieve the sensation of butterflies in your stomach?

As we’ve already mentioned, the first thing you need to do is talk to your doctor. Once you know what is causing the sensation, you can then figure out how to treat it.

There are also some home remedies which can help to relieve symptoms of both gastritis and ulcers.

aloe vera gel

Here are a few simple examples:

  • Drink a cup lukewarm water (avoid hot or cold water) mixed with a tablespoon of honey (25 g)
  • Drink raw, organic carrot juice.
  • Drinking ginger tea can be very therapeutic, helping to calm the pain and make you feel better.
  • Coconut water is also a good option.
  • Potato juice has been used to treat ulcers since the dawn of time. To make it, simply grate potatoes on a medium grate. Then, squeeze the grated potato to get the juice.
  • Aloe vera is one of the best natural plants for treating these kinds of stomach conditions. You can try drinking aloe tea a couple of times a day.
  • Papaya and pears can also help you feel better if you are suffering from butterflies in your stomach.

Don’t forget to watch your diet. You should make an effort to avoid fatty foods and other foods that aggravate your condition. The sensation of butterflies in your stomach always has an underlying cause, and it’s important to find out what that is.

  • Hunt, R. H., Camilleri, M., Crowe, S. E., El-Omar, E. M., Fox, J. G., Kuipers, E. J., … Tack, J. (2015). The stomach in health and disease. Gut. https://doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2014-307595
  • De Magalhães, A. F. N. (2000). Ulcera peptica. Revista Brasileira de Medicina.