Pain in the abdomen at night

  • Pathologies caused by increased acidity of gastric juice
  • Pathologies leading to reflux
  • Other causes
  • How to eliminate pain
  • Related videos

Abdominal pain can develop both day and night, the time of day infrequently has a diagnostic value. But with some diseases are characterized by night pain in the stomach.

To find out the exact cause of the symptom, it is necessary to undergo a gastrointestinal examination. Treatment of severe night pain in the stomach can include taking medications, surgery, and psychotherapy. It is compulsory to follow a diet.

Severe stomach pain at night can appear due to various pathologies that cause:

  • disruption of the bowel and stomach;
  • increased acidity of gastric juice;
  • inflammatory response of mucous tissues;
  • contraction of smooth muscles( spasm);
  • thrombosis.

With ulcers and cholelithiasis, gastritis, abscess and pancreatitis, the pain is permanent, but if in the daytime the person concentrates less on sensations, at night the discomfort does not allow to fall asleep why the pain seems an order of magnitude stronger. In some cases, the stomach hurts at night due to objective reasons.

Pathologies caused by increased acidity of the gastric juice

"Hungry" abdominal pains occur at night, as the concentration of hydrochloric acid in the gastric juice increases and the process of autolysis begins, that is, self-digestion of the walls of the stomach. Acid-dependent diseases include the following pathologies.


Normally, the walls of the stomach are protected from aggressive mucus secretion. With adverse factors, this protection is destroyed and the inflammatory process begins in the mucosa.

Against the backdrop of inflammation, erosions appear, which can regenerate in a favorable current for three days, and if they become unfavorable, they are transformed into an ulcer. Expression within two weeks can heal, otherwise a chronic peptic ulcer develops.

Peptic ulcer

When a disease on the stomach or duodenal mucosa appears. There is a pathology due to the toxins released by Helicobacter, the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, heart disease, lungs, liver, stress effects.

There is an ulcer due to the fact that against the background of deterioration of the evacuation function of the gastrointestinal tract, the protective function of the mucosa is violated and the aggressive environment of gastric juice( hydrochloric acid, pepsin, bile) acts on it.

In the period of exacerbation there is pain in the epigastric region( under the spoon), which can spread to the left side of the back, breasts, scapula, waist, sometimes the soreness starts from the center of the spine. If the ulcer develops in the gatekeeper, often pain occurs at night or late pain( 3-4 hours after eating), and their intensity increases.

Also, with peptic ulcer, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, bloating, stools, bad breath, tongue plague occur. Vomiting usually appears at the peak of pain and brings relief. Artificial provocation of vomiting leads to the development of the disease.

Functional dyspepsia

Develops as a result of increased secretion of hydrochloric acid, infection with Helicobacter pylori infection, drug therapy, eating disorders, hypovitaminosis. With unfavorable factors, the sensitivity of the visceral receptors of the gastric mucosa increases, which leads to a violation of motor and secretory function.

The disease manifests with pain at the top of the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, a feeling of early satiety. When the ulcerative form of the disease there are severe nocturnal or "hungry" pains, which manifest themselves against the background of emotional overstrain. The symptom stops after eating or taking antacids.

Often in patients during an attack, there is fear and obsessive thoughts about the incurability of the disease.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease

In pathology, the walls below the esophagus are inflamed, as the acidic and intestinal contents of the stomach are reversed. The disease occurs due to a violation of the ability of the canal to evacuate food into the stomach and reduce the protective function of the mucous tissue.

Causes of stomach pain after eating

An aggressive environment irritates the esophagus mucosa, which leads to profound manifestations and increases the risk of cancer many times over.

Symptoms of reflux are heartburn, eructation, pain behind the sternum. If this occurs more than twice a week, then a survey should be conducted.

As a rule, these pains pass if you eat. To avoid reflux, it is recommended to take food every 3-4 hours in small portions and not later than three hours before bedtime, avoid taking medications that affect the functions of the esophagus and act aggressively on the mucosa, raise the head of the bed by 15 centimeters.

In case of peptic ulcer, pain can be removed by applying a cold pad or antispasmodic

To reduce the production of hydrochloric acid, antacids( magnesium carbonate, magnesium oxide, aluminum phosphate, aluminum hydrochloride), H2-histamine blockers, proton pump inhibitors are prescribed. The patient is recommended to follow a diet and adhere to the diet, do not overeat and do long breaks between meals. After a meal you can not go to rest, you need to move.

Pathologies leading to reflux

Night pain in the abdomen can develop and because all the organs of the digestive tract are on the same level. Pain and heartburn occurs, because the contents of the stomach are easier to penetrate into the esophagus. For this reason, often the pain appears at night due to the following pathologies.

Achalasia of the Cardia

The pathology of the esophagus, in which the peristalsis and muscle tone changes during swallowing, which leads to disruption of ingestion of food from the esophagus into the stomach. As there is no reflex relaxation of the sphincter, there are difficulties in swallowing food( at an early stage hard, late hard even to drink), regurgitation.

The ingestion of food from the esophagus into the mouth can occur during meals or after 2-3 hours. Sometimes this happens in a dream( night regurgitation), which causes a "night cough", as food enters the respiratory tract. Pain occurs on an empty stomach or during a meal.

Localize behind the sternum, can give to the jaw, neck, the area between the scapulae. The disease is characterized by paroxysmal pain that occurs during excitement, at night or under physical exertion, lasting from two minutes to an hour.

Diaphragmatic hernia

A pathology is formed when a part of the organ is displaced to the thoracic region, which should normally be under the diaphragm. The disease provokes retrosternal pain, heartburn, regurgitation, swallowing, hiccups, arrhythmia.

Soreness is localized in the epigastric region, spreads through the esophagus, delivers into the area between the shoulder blades or back, can be shingled. There is pain in the prone position, with physical exertion, coughing, after eating.

Acquired hernia is formed as a result of loosening of the esophageal ligament. Increases the risk of the disease systematically, a sharp increase in intra-abdominal pressure( constipation, severe vomiting, bloating, obesity, blunt trauma, lifting heavy, sharp slopes).

Even if there is no pathology of the sphincter, casting can occur with slopes, physical exercises, at night.

To avoid stomach pain at night, it is recommended not to eat 3 hours before bedtime and raise the head of the bed so that the head is slightly above the stomach. Pain in achalasia occurs after vomiting, food intake into the stomach, and the ingestion of antispasmodics.

If the cause of the pain is diaphragmatic hernia, then it will pass after belching, deep inhalation, vomiting, changing the posture, taking the liquid.

Other causes of

Severe spasmodic pain may appear at the bottom of the abdomen due to increased gas formation, causing stretching of the intestinal wall, nervous tension and stress, and also due to disturbance of peristaltic waves. In a dream, the motor activity of the intestine is reduced, since the nervous stimulation decreases.

Therefore, for some diseases associated with evacuation function of the intestine, the symptoms may worsen at night. Signs of diseases caused by a slowing of peristalsis are constipation, false urges to defecate, heaviness in the abdomen, lack of vitamins and trace elements.

In the evening, the level of the hormone of the adrenal cortex( glucocorticoid), which suppresses the inflammatory process and the pain caused by it, reaches a minimum, so any discomfort associated with inflammation increases.

See also:
Why does the abdomen hurt when driving?
Pain in the stomach after alcohol

Often it is at night or at dawn that pains begin to ache with acute inflammation of the appendix. At first, aching, dull pain does not have a clear localization and spreads over the entire abdomen, and then shifts to the right side under the ribs. Increases sensation when coughing, laughing, moving.

The pain is so strong that a person takes a forced pose, as a rule, if you lie on your right side, then the symptom fades away. In addition to pain, nausea, vomiting, and fever may occur. Acute appendicitis develops rapidly, and within three days a rupture of the appendix and the exit of the contents into the abdominal cavity may occur.

The child can develop an abdominal migraine, which is characterized by pain in the area near the navel or abdomen, nausea, vomiting, pallor, circles under the eyes. The etiology of the disease is not fully understood, it is believed that this is psychogenic pain. In an adult, the disease is almost never found.

Often asked if inguinal hernia can hurt the stomach at night. Most likely, the pain is caused by either another pathology or complication. Since inguinal or umbilical hernia begin to ache during physical exertion, straining, coughing, and in the prone position they disappear.

Often abdominal pain occurs at night due to malnutrition of the

. About 3-4 hours after eating, food enters the intestine, where it should split into simpler joints. If there are no enzymes, then the food appears in the large intestine in an unchanged form and during the decay a lot of gas is released.

If a person has an individual intolerance to certain foods( eg milk), the pain occurs three hours after they are consumed. Intolerance can be congenital and occurs in children already at an early age or acquired.

Discomfort can be felt after a fatty, spicy, salty meal, with a rumbling in the abdomen, increased gas formation, a feeling of heaviness. Symptoms go away after bowel movement.

Babies with abdominal pain may develop from switching to artificial feeding or to adult food. This is due to the fact that the enzymes are still low in activity and there is no necessary microflora in the intestine.

If the stomach hurts at night, then the cause may be in endocrine disorders. Often, pregnant women complain of pain, as there is a restructuring of the hormonal background. The "pregnancy hormone"( progesterone) relaxes the smooth muscles, therefore the peristalsis of the intestine is broken, heartburn may occur due to reflux.

Abdominal pain can be caused by stretching the ligamentous apparatus supporting the growing uterus and fetal pressure on the internal organs. Physiological pain in the abdomen during pregnancy is aching, drawing character.

How to eliminate pain

If the pain at night has arisen after a dense supper, drinking alcohol, then most likely, the reason for this is indigestion. To help digestion, it is recommended to drink an enzyme preparation that contains substances that stimulate the pancreas.

But if the pain is acute, dagger, then there is a chance that pancreatitis has developed. To reduce the production of hydrochloric acid, proton pump inhibitors or H2-histamine receptors are prescribed. Spasm will help to eliminate spasmolytic drugs( No-Shpa, Drotoverin).

Enterosorbents( activated carbon, Smecta) will remove toxins from the digestive tract. Eliminate accumulated in the intestinal gases defoamers, for example, Espumizan, Simikol. Normalize the digestive function of prebiotics and probiotics, which are taken courses in 3-4 weeks.

If the abdomen hurts heavily, while there has long been no bowel movement, then you need to take a laxative and add to the diet foods rich in fiber.

If the abdominal pain lasts more than an hour, this indicates serious pathological processes taking place in the stomach.

. Even if pain does not appear every night, you still should not postpone visiting a doctor. To treat self pain is forbidden, because some groups of drugs are aggressive to the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract and their administration will only exacerbate the situation.

It is possible to find out the causes of severe night pain in the abdomen only after the examination, which starts with blood tests, ultrasound examination of the abdomen, X-ray with contrast, CT, MRI.Independently to determine why the stomach hurts at night, it will not work, because diseases of the digestive tract have a similar clinical picture( pain, nausea, vomiting, weakness, fever, stools).

Description of intensity and localization of discomfort is also not enough, as there may be irradiating pains or pain in the duodenum can be perceived as a gastric. That's why if the stomach hurts at night, then you should consult a doctor.

Timely diagnosis will stop development and avoid complications of pathology. The doctor will not only prescribe medications that can eliminate the disease or prolong remission, but also tell you what to do in order to avoid relapse.

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