Stomach aches in the morning are usually brought on by an underlying condition, such as acid reflux. They can also result from the natural muscle spasms that occur when you eat.
It’s important to see your doctor for a diagnosis and to find a treatment that works for you.
If you’re unable to take medications, your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to help reduce muscle pain.
Muscle spasms can be caused by multiple factors, including:
- An overactive nervous system (hyperthyroidism)
- An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Certain medications, including anti-inflammatory drugs
- Certain diseases, such as diabetes
Stomach pain after eating
If you have a stomach ache after eating, it’s usually a sign of an underlying issue.
Some causes include:
- Eating too quickly or too quickly
- Eating too much
- Eating fatty foods
- Eating foods that are hard to digest, such as raw vegetables
- Drinking alcohol
- Eating certain foods, such as spicy foods, chocolate, or curry
Stomach pain may also be a sign of food poisoning. This is a type of infection that occurs when you ingest food contaminated with harmful organisms, such as bacteria or viruses.
In some cases, food poisoning can lead to a life-threatening condition.
Symptoms may include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Diarrhea, especially in infants
When to see your doctor?
If you have a stomach ache that lasts more than a day or two, see your doctor.
You should also see your doctor if you have other symptoms. These may include:
- Pain in your abdomen
- Blood in your stool
- Severe abdominal pain
- Severe pain in your upper stomach
- Stomach tenderness
- Unexplained weight loss
Tests you should consider
Your doctor may order a variety of tests to determine the cause of your stomach ache.
One of the most common tests used to diagnose stomach pain is an upper endoscopy. This procedure involves using an instrument to remove a small piece of tissue from your upper digestive tract, including your stomach, small intestine, and part of your esophagus.
If your doctor is able to identify the cause of your pain, they’ll use this tissue sample to test for the presence of an infection.
Other tests your doctor may use include:
- Blood tests to check for anemia
- Blood tests to check for other conditions, such as cancer
- Imaging tests, such as an X-ray
- Stool tests
- Gastric emptying studies
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
Treatments for stomach aches
Treatment for stomach pain depends on the cause of your condition.
If your stomach pain is caused by an infection, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics.
In some cases, your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter medication to help manage pain. These may include:
- Ibuprofen (Advil)
- Naproxen (Aleve)
If your stomach pain is a result of a food allergy, your doctor may recommend a hypoallergenic food. This includes:
- Gluten-free foods
- Dairy-free foods
- Sugar-free foods
If the cause of your stomach pain is stomach acid reflux, your doctor may recommend:
- Changing your diet
- Removing foods from your diet that are high in acidity
- Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking
- Medications, such as proton pump inhibitors (such as Prilosec and Nexium)
Your doctor may also recommend taking anti-inflammatory medications, such as:
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
- Aspirine (Aspir)
After you’ve been diagnosed, your doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan for your condition.
You may also need to see a gastroenterologist, which is a doctor who specializes in digestive conditions. This is because many problems can have a similar cause.
Your doctor may prescribe medications that are used to prevent or treat stomach acid reflux, such as:
- H2 blockers (Zantac, Tagamet)
- Proton pump inhibitors (Prevacid, Prilosec)
- Antacids, such as Alka-Seltzer
Your doctor may also recommend antispasmodics, such as:
- Phenazopyridine HCl (Pyridium)
- Phenazopyridine (Pycnazid)
- Propantheline (Senokot)
- Tricyclic antidepressants (Clomipramine, Imipramine)
- Antidepressants, such as Wellbutrin (Belsomra)
Alternative treatments for stomach pain
You may also be able to treat your condition with alternative treatments. This includes:
- Natural remedies, such as ginger, peppermint, and turmeric
- Herbal remedies, such as a cup of hot lemon water
- Relaxation techniques, such as yoga
- Bioidentical hormones, such as L-T4 or T3 (Levothyroxine)
Complications from stomach pain
If your stomach pain is severe, it can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Gastric perforation
- Stomach cancer
If you have any of the above symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
Outcome from stomach pain
Depending on the cause of your condition, your doctor will treat your condition in a variety of ways.
Some of these treatments include:
- Medications to help with pain
- Dietary changes
- Lifestyle changes
In some cases, you may be able to treat your condition with alternative treatments. These include:
- Natural remedies, such as ginger, peppermint, and turmer
- Relaxation techniques, such as meditation
- Biofeed back
After your symptoms are resolved, your doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan for your condition.
Prevention of stomach pain
Preventing stomach pain is important when it comes to treating stomach ache.
To do this, you should:
- Avoid foods that cause pain, such as spicy foods.
- Eat smaller meals throughout the day.
- Avoid eating or drinking certain foods.
If your stomach ache is severe, you may want to stop eating or drinking alcohol. If you’re in pain, you should seek emergency medical attention.
What’s the outlook?
Stomach aches in the morning are often caused by an underlying condition. If the cause is identified, your doctor can prescribe an appropriate treatment.
If the cause of your stomach pain is not identified, your doctor will likely recommend a variety of treatments and alternative treatments. These treatments may include:
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