Morning Diarrhea: Causes, Treatment and Prevention (2022)

Morning Diarrhea: Causes, Treatment and Prevention (1)Morning diarrhea is described as the urgent need to have a bowel movement upon waking up in the morning as well as having stool that is loose and watery. In some cases, the need to go to the washroom early in the morning wakes a person up. There could be a simple reason for diarrhea in the morning or it could be a sign of a more serious health condition.

People experience diarrhea from time to time and it is often due to diet or even a temporary illness. However, if you experience urgent diarrhea every morning, you should consider seeking medical attention to determine the cause.

Lifestyle reasons for morning diarrhea

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Bowel movements tend to occur during the day when people are active. Normal bowel activity usually slows down when a person is at rest. A healthy person feels the urge to have a bowel movement shortly after waking up and moving around, but with morning diarrhea, there is an urgent need to have a bowel movement upon waking.

There are a number of lifestyle reasons for diarrhea in the morning, including those listed here:

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  • Circadian rhythm changes: When the body clock or circadian rhythm is interrupted, certain physical processes happen at unusual times.
  • Hormone levels: Changes in the body during waking hours that keep the body more alert can impact bowels. This includes hormonal changes or changes in nerve activity.
  • Physical activity: If a person is really physically active just prior to going to bed, it could mean the bowels activate earlier than expected.
  • Midnight snacking: Eating late at night can take a toll on the body.
  • Bacterial activity: Bacteria can increase since the contents are stagnant while people are sleeping and sometimes, digestive enzymes are not reaching the lower bowels.
  • Milk or juice: These are common drinks that can irritate the stomach, especially in those who are lactose intolerant or those who suffer from fructose malabsorption.
  • Caffeine: Consuming a lot of caffeine has a tendency to increase bowel activity.
  • Eating upon waking: Some people eat as soon as they wake up or even eat in bed. Foods first thing in the morning can stimulate defecation reflexes.
  • Food poisoning: Consuming contaminated food leads to morning diarrhea. For example, the bacteria known as e-coli can lead to diarrhea that for some reason tends to be worse in the morning.

What causes morning diarrhea?

If diarrhea is temporary, then it is more likely that a lifestyle issue is a cause. If someone has morning diarrhea for months, it is probably something much more serious.

In the vast majority of cases, diarrhea in the morning can be attributed to an infection or a virus. Influenza is an example. Influenza is a worldwide illness that you can get when you are in close contact with someone else who has it. In less developed countries, the flu can lead to death. In industrialized countries, death is more likely among those who are over the age of 65. For the most part, the flu is manageable and temporary.

The following causes of morning diarrhea are not temporary; in fact, many can be classified as chronic.

Irritable bowel disease (IBS)

This bowel disorder involves abdominal pain, bloating, and either constipation or chronic morning diarrhea. IBS diarrhea tends to be worse when the sufferer is under a lot of stress or consumes certain foods.

Related: IBS back pain: How irritable bowel syndrome causes back pain and what to do about it

Inflammatory bowel disease

IBD essentially means that a person has a disorder characterized by inflammation in the bowel wall. There are two types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). One is Crohn’s disease, and the other is ulcerative colitis. In these cases, diarrhea can be watery with mucus and blood. In severe cases, a person may wake up several times during the night to go to the washroom.

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Antibiotics

Antibiotic-associated diarrhea can happen after someone takes the medication. Some research suggests as many as one in five people who take antibiotics get diarrhea.

Substance abuse

Both nicotine and alcohol can lead to irritation of the bowel. Sometimes, these substances are used in excess during the evenings, creating the perfect intestinal conditions for diarrhea first thing in the morning.

Pregnancy

When pregnant, a woman experiences high levels of hormones such as estrogen and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). It is believed that these hormones are linked to typical morning sickness, but can also cause morning sickness diarrhea in pregnancy. While the diarrhea can occur at any time during the day or night, morning tends to be worse.

Psychological stress

When a person is stressed, it can cause diarrhea. The bowel eases when a person is relaxed or asleep; however, when someone wakes up and is feeling intense emotions, it can trigger the bowel and thus diarrhea.

Allergies

Food allergies can cause cramps, bloating, and diarrhea. Peanuts, dairy products, wheat, eggs, and fruits are the most common food allergies.

Dehydration or electrolyte imbalance

Electrolytes, such as potassium, phosphate, sodium, magnesium, calcium, and chlorine give off an electric charge. Our body depends on electrolytes to control cell membrane strength and to transport electrical charges that our muscles need in order to contract. Dehydration happens when electrolytes are too low or too high. An imbalance can lead to either constipation or diarrhea.

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Medications

There are some medications that have been linked to morning diarrhea. Antibiotics are an example. For some reason in the case of diarrhea, the problem is more common in the morning.

Candida infection

When someone is impacted by candida or a parasite, diarrhea is common. The fungus that grows in the gut is called candida albicans, but there are several parasites that are also known to cause diarrhea. Entamoebea histolytica and cryptosporidium are examples.

Treatment for morning diarrhea

Once a person determines the cause of diarrhea, treatment can begin. There are many different treatments available, including those outlined here.

  • Eliminating allergies and food intolerance: Keeping a close watch on what foods might be leading to diarrhea can be an easy fix if diet is the main reason for the problem. Allergies and food intolerance can be determined through bio-energetic testing, bioanalysis, meridian stress assessment, diet elimination tests, or bio-meridian testing. Going forward, minimizing or eliminating the specific food from the diet might be all that is required.
  • Probiotics: These are beneficial bacteria that can restore intestinal flora. Probiotics tend to protect against infections that can cause diarrhea. Supplements of probiotics have been known to help prevent diarrhea that is caused by taking antibiotics.
  • Acupuncture: This is considered a healthy and safe option for treatment of diarrhea. Research has demonstrated that it has been effective for many people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Tormentil root: The extracts of this root are known to shorten the duration of diarrhea that is caused by a virus. Tormentil is a small growing herb that is also known as Barren Strawberry.
  • Homeopathy: This has been known to decrease the duration of diarrhea and the number of stools in children who are suffering from acute diarrhea. Aloe socotrina is one homeopathy remedy said to be effective when it comes to curbing diarrhea.
  • Berberine herbs: Plants like barberry, goldenseal, Oregon grape, and goldthread contain alkaloid berberine, which can be helpful in the treatment of infectious diarrhea.
  • Herbal remedies: There are many different herbs known to treat various digestive-related health problems, including morning diarrhea. Peppermint oil, oregano oil, milk thistle, black walnut, red raspberry, aloe vera juice, and ginger are some examples.
  • Supplementation: Activated charcoal, vitamin A, digestive enzymes, betaine hydrochloride, colostrum, L-glutamine, lactase, and vitamin C are supplements that can help treat morning diarrhea.

Prevention of morning diarrhea

Whether you suffer from diarrhea only in the morning or throughout the day, there are ways to prevent future attacks. For instance, aromatherapy, which is basically the use of essential oils, can be helpful. Some essential oils contain antispasmodic properties that are able to relieve stomach cramps and morning diarrhea. Lavender oil and chamomile oil are examples.

Diarrhea can lead to dehydration, so it is important to make sure you are getting plenty of fluids. This doesn’t just include water: it could be fluid in the form of fruit, bone broth, or vegetable juices. Of course, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, which are substances that tend to trigger the digestive tract and can cause diarrhea, is wise.

Diarrhea can be draining. It not only forces you to run to the washroom several times, it can lead to fatigue, dehydration, as well as severe cramping. Maintaining a healthy diet as well as a regular sleep schedule can keep your body in rhythm and give you a better chance of having a healthy gut. Yes, there are circumstances where diarrhea is brought on by a disorder like IBS. In these cases, the symptoms should not be ignored and medical attention is important.

(Video) What Are the Causes of Chronic Diarrhea

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Related:

What is osmotic diarrhea? Causes, symptoms, treatment, and home remedies

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FAQs

Morning Diarrhea: Causes, Treatment and Prevention? ›

If you often experience morning diarrhea, it's important to discover its cause. It could be a sign of a chronic health problem, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Or you may have a bacterial infection or simply a dietary pattern that needs to change.
...
IBS
  • bloating.
  • gas.
  • constipation.
  • abdominal cramps.
  • mucus in the stool.
Nov 22, 2017

How do I stop having diarrhea in the morning? ›

Similarly to many other conditions, morning diarrhea is less likely to affect people who lead a healthful lifestyle, eat well, and exercise regularly. Making positive lifestyle changes to reduce gut irritation, such as stopping smoking or reducing drinking, are good ways of preventing morning diarrhea.

Is it normal to have diarrhea in the morning? ›

Occasional morning diarrhea (watery or loose stool) is completely normal and usually not something to worry about. However, if diarrhea is happening frequently or consistently (which is called chronic diarrhea), there could be something more going on.

Why do I have diarrhea but not sick? ›

A wide range of problems can cause chronic diarrhea; some of the most common causes include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis), malabsorption syndromes in which food cannot be digested and absorbed, and chronic infections.

What can I do to stop Diarrhoea? ›

How to treat diarrhoea and vomiting yourself
  1. stay at home and get plenty of rest.
  2. drink lots of fluids, such as water or squash – take small sips if you feel sick.
  3. carry on breast or bottle feeding your baby – if they're being sick, try giving small feeds more often than usual.

Why do I have diarrhea in the morning and at night? ›

Chronic nocturnal diarrhea can be a sign of a more serious health condition, such as diabetes, a bowel disorder, or an infection. Persistent diarrhea can also interrupt sleep and affect the quality of life. Treatment depends on the severity of the symptom and its underlying cause.

What cancers cause diarrhea? ›

Certain cancers can cause diarrhea. These include neuroendocrine tumors, colon cancer, lymphoma, medullary thyroid cancer and pancreatic cancer.

What are the 4 types of diarrhea? ›

It can be divided into three basic categories: watery, fatty (malabsorption), and inflammatory. Watery diarrhea may be subdivided into osmotic, secretory, and functional types. Watery diarrhea includes irritable bowel syndrome, which is the most common cause of functional diarrhea.

What are the main causes of diarrhea? ›

Diarrhea may be caused by many things, including:
  • A bacterial infection.
  • A virus.
  • Trouble digesting certain things (food intolerance)
  • Food allergy (such as celiac disease, gluten allergy)
  • Parasites that enter the body through food or water.
  • A reaction to medicines.
  • An intestinal disease, such as inflammatory bowel disease.

What antibiotic treats diarrhea? ›

Table 2-11. Acute diarrhea antibiotic treatment recommendations
ANTIBIOTIC1DOSEDURATION
Azithromycin 2,31,000 mgSingle or divided dose 4
500 mg daily3 days
Levofloxacin500 mg daily1–3 days 4
Ciprofloxacin750 mgSingle dose 4
4 more rows

Why do I have diarrhea in the morning and at night? ›

Chronic nocturnal diarrhea can be a sign of a more serious health condition, such as diabetes, a bowel disorder, or an infection. Persistent diarrhea can also interrupt sleep and affect the quality of life. Treatment depends on the severity of the symptom and its underlying cause.

How do I stop IBS morning rush? ›

To prevent or manage IBS, here's what you can do:
  1. Avoid trigger foods. Avoid eating foods that trigger IBS, like coffee, beans, spicy foods, or dairy. ...
  2. Eat smaller meals. Large meals stimulate the intestines, potentially causing IBS.
  3. Avoid high-fat foods. ...
  4. Eat slowly. ...
  5. Exercise regularly. ...
  6. Reduce stress. ...
  7. Get enough sleep.
Jul 13, 2021

What can I do to stop Diarrhoea? ›

How to treat diarrhoea and vomiting yourself
  1. stay at home and get plenty of rest.
  2. drink lots of fluids, such as water or squash – take small sips if you feel sick.
  3. carry on breast or bottle feeding your baby – if they're being sick, try giving small feeds more often than usual.

Why is my stomach so upset every morning? ›

Morning stomach pain is usually not anything to worry about. Some common causes of stomach pain in the morning include indigestion, IBS, IBD, constipation, and peptic ulcer. If your stomach pain persists or worsens, or if you are experiencing additional worrisome symptoms, seek medical attention.

Why is IBS worse in the morning? ›

Our bodies produce melatonin throughout the night to help us sleep, but with IBS there is a miscommunication between our brain and our gut which can negatively affect the production of melatonin from our intestines. This can affect sleep quality and duration, as well as induce IBS symptoms first thing in the morning.

Videos

1. Foods You Should and Shouldn't Eat When You Have Diarrhea
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2. Chronic Diarrhoea - causes, treatment & prevention (Hindi)
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3. 10 Causes of Loose Stools: How to treat and home care? - Dr. Rajasekhar M R | Doctors' Circle
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4. Loose motion, stool in Hindi. Chronic Diarrhea (Diarrhoea). Causes & treatment, By Dr Vikas Singla.
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6. Living with and managing irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea
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