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Digestion Problems in the Morning

author image Linda Ray
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."
Digestion Problems in the Morning
Pregnancy can leave you with morning digestive problems.

Waking up with an upset stomach or diarrhea may indicate an underlying medical condition such as irritable bowel syndrome, according to Family Gastritis, ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease or gall bladder disease also can cause indigestion and stomach problems in the morning. A night of heavy drinking can leave you with digestive disorders the morning after. If digestive problems persist you should consult your doctor before trying any home remedies to prevent additional complications.

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Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a chronic disease that causes food to move too quickly through your intestines. While the condition does not create lasting damage in your colon, it can cause pain and discomfort, emotional distress and diarrhea first thing in the morning. IBS symptoms seem to appear more frequently when you're under stress or change your routine. If you've had a restless night, wake up worried or wake to new surroundings, you may have digestive problems that can range from watery diarrhea to gas and bloating or abdominal cramps. Adding fiber to your diet can help prevent symptoms, and relaxing before you go to bed may lead to calmer mornings.


Gastritis occurs when your stomach lining becomes inflamed. A night of excessive alcohol use can lead to a bout of gastritis in the morning, while alcoholics often develop chronic gastritis. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, heartburn and indigestion. An autoimmune disease or overuse of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can cause gastritis as well. Smoking before you lie down can cause gastritis, as can excessive coffee drinking and stress. You are at risk for developing the disorder that can cause indigestion in the morning as you age. Avoid the substances that cause morning discomfort to prevent morning digestion problems.


Morning sickness can strike at any time of the day, according to the Mayo Clinic, but the digestion problems are more common when you first get out of bed in the morning. The condition usually doesn't pose a risk to your pregnancy, though the nausea is uncomfortable and annoying. Vomiting is the most common side effect of morning sickness; it can be relieved by keeping crackers by your bed and eating a few before you get out of bed in the morning. A dry piece of toast first thing also may relieve the symptoms, which usually pass after the first trimester. Talk to your doctor about the frequency and severity of your morning digestive problems to make sure you don't become anemic or develop other complications.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also called GERD, can cause you digestive discomfort in the morning because the condition is exacerbated when you lie down. The bile from your stomach backs up into your esophagus and cannot drain sufficiently when you're prone. Heartburn and stomach pain may even awaken you. The burning sensations caused by the acid can lead to more serious problems such as scarring in your esophagus or ulcers. Losing weight can help you wake more refreshed when you have GERD because your stomach won't be under excessive abdominal pressure. Elevate the head of your bed or sleep on an incline to reduce the morning symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux.

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