Health and MedicineDiseasesSensation of emptiness in the stomach: causes to consider

Sensation of emptiness in the stomach: causes to consider

Having the sensation of having an empty stomach is a common symptom of a condition or disease in the stomach. Therefore, discovering its causes is useful to know why it appears

The stomach stands out precisely for being the main organ of digestion, thus becoming the largest part of our digestive system. It has the shape of a kind of elastic bag, which has the ability to increase or decrease in size depending on the amount of food it contains.  Regarding its shape, appearance and structure, it has two openings: one of them communicates with the esophagus and is precisely where the food we eat enters (cordials); while another of these openings leads said food to the intestines once they have been digested (pylorus).

Its main function is to digest the food we eat. In fact, the food we eat is mixed, dissolved and stored in it after remaining in the stomach for the necessary time, forming a kind of porridge known as cinchona that will finally pass into the small intestine little by little. In turn, the stomach has a very hard mucosal lining that fulfills a basic function: to protect it from gastric juices, an important utility since otherwise it would digest itself.

But sometimes this lining wears down and digestive juices tend to irritate the stomach lining. In turn, certain conditions and disorders of the stomach can occur which, among many other symptoms; can result in the appearance of having the feeling that we have an empty stomach. Knowing what causes can cause this symptom is very useful, especially for those who suffer from it regularly and do not know why it arises.

What are the causes that cause the feeling of having an empty stomach?

Although the feeling of having an empty stomach tends to be related to only when we are hungry and have not eaten for a few hours (for example, when we are at work or school or following a diet that leads us to eat less of food and space them throughout the day), the truth is that we are actually facing a common symptom in certain conditions, disorders and diseases that affect the stomach.

Peptic ulcer

When there is a peptic ulcer in the stomach, the feeling of having an empty stomach usually arises, a sign that is felt especially between 1 to 3 hours after meals. This ulcer forms when the lining that protects the stomach or small intestine from the stomach’s strong gastric acids breaks down, causing erosion.

In fact, having the feeling of an empty stomach is not the only symptom, it is common for other signs to also occur, such as the following: feeling of fullness especially when drinking liquid, abdominal pain that can wake us up at night while we sleep, weight loss, fatigue, discomfort that is located both in the upper and central part of the abdomen, mild nausea and black and sticky or bloody stools.

On the other hand, there are a certain number of factors that can influence the formation of peptic ulcers: the most common is due to an infection by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. They also appear as a result of regularly taking certain medications (acetylsalicylic acid, ibuprofen or naproxen), excessive consumption of caffeine and/or alcohol, stress and anxiety or following a diet low in fiber.


Gastritis is also a common cause of having the feeling of always being on an empty stomach. It basically consists of the irritation and inflammation of the gastric mucosa, which is the layer that lines the stomach from the inside and protects it precisely from the tremendous acidity of the different gastric juices.

Its causes are equally varied, and as occurs with peptic ulcer infection by Helicobacter pylori or nervous and emotional tensions that cause excessive stress and anxiety (this is what is traditionally known as gastritis nervosa) also influences. In turn, there are other causes: regular consumption of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, abusive consumption of alcohol…

In addition to having the feeling of an empty stomach, other symptoms also appear, such as burning that is located in the pit of the stomach (at the beginning), pain and discomfort, gas in the form of belching, nausea, vomiting and the presence of blood in the stool. Or in vomit.


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