Waking up in the morning with stomach ache is not a good way to start your day. Different types of stomach pain can include bloating or a burning feeling, sometimes with nausea. If you have met the similar condition, you may wonder about what causes it and how to deal with it? Well, there are a number of different reasons for a stomach ache in the morning, and some of them involve seeing your doctor.
Why Does My Stomach Hurt in the Morning?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
This is a common cause for a stomach pain in the morning. IBS is when the intestines are constantly inflamed, causing the stomach issues. Lack of sleep and stress are common IBS triggers. Other symptoms include cramping, gas, bloating, alternating diarrhea or constipation and more.
Gas can build up in your intestines while you sleep, causing cramping and discomfort. Typically gas fades pretty quickly after you wake up and become active for the day. Not eating food right before going to sleep can contribute to the gas pains when you wake up.
Celiac Disease and Lactose Intolerance
Celiac disease is autoimmune disease which does not allow your digestive system to properly digest gluten that is common in many grain-based foods. It can cause constant stomach pain if you eat foods containing gluten. A doctor can confirm a celiac diagnosis through tests. Avoiding gluten is the best way to stop stomach pain for this reason. Similarly, being lactose intolerant means you have trouble digesting dairy products, and avoiding those is the way to decrease stomach issues.
These could also be many other reasons for a stomach ache in the morning, including menstrual cramps, constipation, food poisoning, stomach virus, ulcers, acid reflux, kidney or gallstones, or a hernia.
Then How to Relieve a Stomach Ache
Use the Bathroom
More often than not, the stomach ache is caused by something going on in your intestines. It’s typically a sign from your digestive system that it’s kicking into gear after sleep. Usually the cramping can be relieved after a bowel movement. But if the cramping and pain persists, talk to your doctor as it may be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome.
Make a Doctor's Appointment
Since having a stomach ache when you wake up in the morning could mean a large number of illnesses or conditions, talking to your doctor can help you narrow down what you might be dealing with. The location and type of pain are usually telling for your doctor. You can either call them and see if your symptoms need an appointment, or if your symptoms have been bothering you for a while or are getting worse, just make an appointment to get an answer.
Make Some Food
If you have a stomach ache in the morning without other symptoms (including nausea), eating can actually be helpful. But don’t eat anything heavy or greasy that will make your digestive system work harder. Eat bland foods like dry toast or plain oatmeal. If you do have some nausea, eating saltines can help in absorbing excess stomach acid. Yogurt can help with indigestion and also help get “bad” bacteria that may be causing stomach issues out of your system. Applesauce has plenty of fiber which can help with stomach pains related to constipation. Other helpful fruits to eat in the morning include papaya, cherries, apricots, raisins and prunes.
Get Liquids in Your System
Whether or not you have a morning stomach ache, drinking plenty of water is always a good idea. Adding lemon can help further calm stomach pains.
Ginger tea is another good option that neutralizes excess stomach acids that will calm your stomach down.
Pure coconut water contains electrolytes that will replace any you lost with excessive vomiting or diarrhea.
Avoid coffee for the time being, as it can contribute to acid reflux. The caffeine also makes your intestines work harder, which can cause additional digestive problems.
Getting some exercise is an easy and natural way to help get your digestive tract back in order. Going for a light jog or walk may help relieve some cramps. Don’t do anything too strenuous that might make your symptoms worse.
A heating pad can be a quick and easy way to help calm stomach cramps, especially if you suffer from chronic pain from IBS.
There are many over-the-counter medications that can help with a stomach ache in the morning.
Medications like Prilosec or Nexium reduce stomach acid by blocking the release of an enzyme in the stomach walls. They are generally effective and safe, though they should not be taken for more than two weeks.
If your cramps are caused by gas, OTC anti-gas medications will help break up the gas and can be taken multiple times a day.
If you know acid reflux is a problem, taking antacids will provide quick relief for not very severe issues.
Reduce the Stress
If you’re anxious about something, that stress can manifest itself in stomach cramps and digestive problems, including nausea. While letting go of anxiety is easier said than done, try deep breathing techniques or meditation to help your muscles relax and your mind feel less stressed.
Do Some Stretching
Depending on what position you sleep in, your muscles can be tight when you wake up. For a quick fix, lie on your stomach and push your arms towards the sky while arching your back towards the ceiling. This helps relieve tension in the abdominal muscles quickly.