The word stomach cramp is nonspecific and refers to ‘n’ number of varied signs or sensations rather than a true stomach muscle cramps. People commonly refer to this word to explain pain in the abdominal area. Apart from this, women especially pregnant women often complain about peculiar stomach cramps at night which may include pregnancy-related stomach cramps like baby stomach cramps at night or period related issues.
In the wake of these uncertainties, let us see what is a stomach cramp and how stomach cramps at night can be prevented.
What Are Stomach Cramps?
If you have ever had a sudden, hysterical, tight feeling in the stomach muscles then most probably you would have had stomach cramps. Stomach cramp is unbearable pain in the stomach and surrounding region of the body which at times may hurt. Both men and women can get it but women have specific and exclusive reasons that men don’t have such as child stomach cramps at night.
The majority of these cramps aren’t serious and don’t require any diagnosis. However, if they happen often and last more than a day then it is an uncommon sign and you should visit your doctor.
Symptoms Of Stomach Cramps At Night
It is really difficult to define symptoms as the causes are different and varied. However, below are the symptoms but remember symptoms differ with the cause.
- Sleeping disorders
- A severe or ongoing pain
- Difficulty in breathing
- Unknown weight loss
- Inflammation or swelling of the stomach and surrounding region
- A painful feeling when the abdomen is touched
- Yellowing of eyes and skin
- Ongoing vomiting or nausea
- Poop with blood
- Pain that happens during pregnancy
- Muscle and joint aches
What Causes Stomach Cramps At Night?
The causes are different like stomach cramps at night pregnancy to the below;
- Digestive problems are the most common cause according to doctors. Eating close to bedtime means getting close to indigestion.
- Acid reflux, this condition causes the stomach acids to travel up into the food pipe leading to burning sensation and stomach pain.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is also one more major cause of stomach pain at night. Food pipe inflammation condition intensifies at night.
- Stomach and intestinal, or peptic, ulcers lead to inflammation, and this inflammation increases at night.
- Gallstones and associated symptoms can easily worsen at night when heavy and fatty food is taken.
- Few people complain about nighttime stomach cramps associated with irritable bowel syndrome.
- Celiac disease often leads to small intestine inflammation which further leads to stomach cramps and abdominal pain.
- Crohn’s disease, a type of IBD inflames the lining of the digestive tract that leads to abdominal pain at night.
- Menstrual cramps or endometriosis is also one of the leading causes of stomach cramps at night in women.
- Food allergies or intolerances for people who can’t digest a few foods often experience stomach cramps.
- Lactose intolerance-a food intolerance leads to stomach pain and cramping.
- Constipation and strained tissues also lead to stomach cramps at night.
Lower Stomach Cramps At Night
Although lower stomach cramps at night for men are due to indigestion and other existing health conditions, in women the causes are mostly related to reproductive organs and are as below;
- Ovarian cysts
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Ectopic pregnancy
How To Stop Stomach Cramps At Night?
A sudden wake up at night due to pain is not a sentence for life. You likely can get relief quickly and easily. However, to get to that point you must diagnose the issue and make certain changes based on the diagnosis. Before hitting a doctor make the below changes and see if you can for yourself be the change.
1. Maintain A Journal
If you are experiencing stomach pain frequently at night and is the cause of your sudden wakeup, start a diary. Jot down your intake, what symptoms they aroused. Maintain this for a week and you can know what is triggering it. Maybe your bad lifestyle, maybe your food or maybe a few other things. You can know these maybes and avoid them.
2. Try Primary Treatments
OTC options include upset stomach medicines and antacids. First, make use of them and if there’s a relief then you are done.
3. Check Your Lifestyle
Your lifestyle determines to keep stomach cramps in control. Maybe smoking, drinking, and overeating could be causing it. At times not sleeping enough also triggers it, so check for the exact reason and act accordingly.
When To See A Doctor?
In the majority of the cases, stomach cramps at night don’t need a doctor’s intervention and they need one when you have tried all the above methods and are still present. Seek doctor intervention if it is present for more than a week.