Abdominal pain at night is a very common symptom that many people experience. However, the cause behind this symptom is not known.
Waking up in the middle of the night with a stomach ache is something no one wants. According to experts, although nocturnal abdominal pain is a common symptom, it can also be a warning sign of many health risks. Let’s find out with easyhealthylive.com what causes your stomachache at night.
What causes stomach pain at night?
Abdominal pain is a common symptom of many medical conditions. If you want to determine the exact cause and get the right treatment, you need to know what accompanying symptoms you are experiencing besides abdominal pain. Oftentimes, nocturnal abdominal pain can be caused by:
- Bloating: This is a fairly familiar situation. In addition to abdominal pain, when you have gas, you may also experience symptoms such as cramping, sharp pain in the upper abdomen.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Each person will experience different symptoms, but some people will experience occasional abdominal pain. In addition, there are common symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, constipation …
- Stomach ulcers: The characteristic symptom is a burning pain in the abdomen. The pain may get worse after eating or when hungry. Therefore, the night is the time when you are most susceptible to stomach pain due to stomach ulcers.
- Diverticulitis: A condition in which small pockets of tissue bulge on the lining of the digestive system. In addition to abdominal pain, diverticulitis can also cause symptoms such as nausea, fever, abdominal pain, and changes in bowel habits.
- Acid Reflux: Causes of this condition can be due to being overweight, drinking too much alcohol, sleeping right after eating, eating too much (especially near bedtime), eating a lot of foods that cause indigestion such as: spicy, fatty, fried, eat chocolate or drink coffee. If you have acid reflux more than once a week, see your doctor. If left for a long time, it can lead to many complications such as inflammation, ulceration, and bleeding in the esophagus.
- Gallstones: The gallbladder is a small organ, below the liver, that is responsible for releasing bile. When bile accumulates a lot, it will form hard stones. The nocturnal abdominal pain you experience may be due to an obstructing gallstone. A high-fat meal can make gallstone symptoms worse.
If abdominal pain comes on suddenly at night, it could be due to 4 reasons:
Abdominal pain is a common symptom of many diseases
- Kidney stones: As the stone moves into the ureter, you may experience sharp pain in your back. This pain can spread quickly to the stomach and abdomen. Usually, the intensity and location of the pain will change as the stone moves through the urinary tract.
- Viral gastroenteritis: If you have a viral infection, you may experience abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, fever, and other symptoms.
- Food poisoning: Common symptoms are vomiting, nausea, diarrhea or abdominal pain. These signs usually appear within hours of eating contaminated food.
- Heart-related diseaes: Abdominal pain from this cause is rare, but certain cardiovascular conditions can cause abdominal pain, such as myocardial ischemia. Accompanying abdominal pain are symptoms such as neck and jaw pain, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath.
How to treat colic at night?
The treatment of this condition completely depends on the cause. For example, acid reflux can be relieved with over-the-counter (OTC) antacids. If you have frequent abdominal pain at night without any apparent cause, take a moment to see your doctor.
Abdominal pain at night: When to see a doctor?
If you have abdominal pain more than 1-2 times a week, this could be a warning sign of an underlying disease. You can try over-the-counter treatments like antacids and pain relievers. However, if there is no improvement after a few days, you should see a doctor. Although many causes of abdominal pain are easily treatable, you still need to follow your doctor’s instructions.
If you are having stomach pain, what should you do?
Waking up at night with an upset stomach is very common and shouldn’t be something to worry about. You can fix this situation easily and quickly by following these tips:
Record your symptoms
If you’ve been waking up with a stomach ache lately, start jotting down what you’ve eaten, what symptoms you’ve experienced during the day, and how you feel when you wake up. This record will make it easier for your doctor to diagnose the cause and prescribe appropriate treatment.
Treatment with over-the-counter drugs
You can use over-the-counter medications such as antacids and stomach upset medications to help. If symptoms do not improve, see a doctor.
If symptoms persist despite medication and lifestyle changes, see your doctor to determine the cause.
If your stomach pain is caused by acid reflux, limit habits that can cause this condition, such as overeating, drinking alcohol, or lying down after eating.
Go to the doctor
If your symptoms don’t improve despite medication and lifestyle changes, see your doctor to determine the cause. The sooner you go to the doctor, the less likely you are to suffer from nocturnal abdominal pain.
Besides the above tips, to prevent stomach pain at night, it’s best to eat healthy and maintain a regular exercise regimen every day. You can choose gentle subjects such as yoga, meditation or gentle cardio exercises to exercise. And don’t forget to download easyhealthylive.com to your device for exercise guidance by a professional personal trainer and additional useful health information.
What’s Causing My Stomach Pain at Night? https://www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health/stomach-pain-at-night Accessed date: 6/10/2020
John Alen was born in 1971 and is a doctor in the healthcare and psychology fields with many years of experience. He is currently working at easyhealthylive.com, a leading health and psychology blog. Having studied at Y1 National Medical University named after IM Sechenov, John Alen is using his knowledge and experience to help improve the physical and mental health of people in the United States.