Stomach pain at night


Stomach pain is popularly referred to as pain in the middle upper abdomen, directly below the breastbone. The stomach is a very common cause of this, but not the only possible cause. Pain caused by the pancreas or parts of the small intestine can be felt in the same place. In general, stomach pains are one of the most common complaints in humans. If they occur particularly or exclusively at night, this can be an indication of the cause and clearly narrow down the range of possible diseases. Some of these, if left untreated, can have serious consequences. Therefore, if you have severe or long-lasting nocturnal stomach pain, you should take it early doctor to be visited.


Stomach pain at night is typical of several diseases. In the case of mild complaints, the cause is sometimes never found - they are then triggered by hunger, for example, and are completely harmless.

A very common known cause is improper eating habits before bed. For example too large meals or foods that cause gas like Brussels sprouts, beans, or peas can cause pain and gas. Alcohol is also a common culprit - especially after partying, a night-time hangover with severe stomach pain is not uncommon. In addition, various food intolerances, for example to milk or cereals, can be noticed especially at night.

If the symptoms have existed for a long time, other causes are in the foreground. One of the most common diseases in Germany is the so-called Reflux disease, which causes stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus, causing pain in the stomach, chest and throat. Because gastric acid reflux is increased when lying down, the pain often occurs at night. The gastric mucosal inflammation (gastritis) and the ulcer of the duodenum, also known as the small intestine or duodenal ulcer, are common causes of recurring nocturnal stomach pain.

The Small intestine ulcer (stomach ulcer) typically causes pain after several hours without ingestion of food - especially at night or during prolonged periods of hunger. The stomach pain occurs at night very suddenly and are accompanied by very severe abdominal pain, a board-hard stomach or chest pain with shortness of breath, can also be a Heart attack or a disease that requires surgery such as a Gastric perforation behind it.


To diagnose nighttime abdominal pain, the doctor uses the same methods as for epigastric complaints of any kind. At the beginning there is inquiries about further complaints, the Taking medication and more. A physical examination joins. Depending on the suspected disease, a Blood test, a Abdominal ultrasound or one Gastrointestinal reflex be performed. If a food intolerance or allergy is suspected, the person concerned is often asked to keep a diary of food and pain. Becomes an emergency like a Heart attack or one Gastric perforation considered possible, the patient is usually examined and treated in hospital as an emergency.

Concomitant symptoms

A number of accompanying symptoms are possible, depending on the underlying disease causing the nocturnal stomach pain. Nightly pain almost always goes through that frequent waking up With Difficulty sleeping through the night This is why it is advisable to see a doctor quickly if the symptoms recur. At Food intolerance or improper eating habits can cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and heartburn. The Reflux disease is usually associated with heartburn, which can be felt behind the breastbone and in the throat.

Ulcers in the stomach or intestines can cause nausea, stomach discomfort and discomfort Blood in the stool to lead. The blood in the stool is often not red, but pitch black through the intestinal passage. Is there a bleeding or a Inflammation of the stomach lining Longer on, it can lead to anemia, too anemia called, come. This manifests itself in general weakness, tiredness, weakness and paleness. If a heart attack is responsible for the symptoms, it can also lead to chest pain, shortness of breath, circulatory problems and great anxiety. If the pain is very severe and the stomach is tense, a disease that requires surgery can be like a Gastric perforation exist.


Vomiting associated with nighttime stomach pain can have several causes. Often the stomach is irritated simply because of a food intolerance or a meal that is too large, too fatty, too sweet or too spicy, or an excess of alcohol, which triggers vomiting. If the vomiting stops quickly, there is nothing to worry about. If it lasts for a long time, if it recurs for days or weeks with the stomach pain, or if it contains blood, a doctor should be asked for advice in order to diagnose and treat diseases such as a stomach or small intestinal ulcer or an inflammation of the stomach lining. Over-the-counter tablets or suppositories with anti-vomiting agents can be used to relieve nausea.

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Sweating is with any kind of pain not uncommon. Activation of the involuntary nervous system activates the body, which can lead to sweating, an increased pulse and increased blood pressure. If sweating is accompanied by circulatory problems such as tremors, black eyes or fainting, anemia may have occurred due to a stomach disease. In this case, an emergency doctor must be notified. Heavy sweating at night, in which even the pajamas or bedclothes have to be changed because of the wetness, should be taken seriously: it can generally speak for a tumor disease and, in connection with stomach pain, for stomach cancer - especially if weight has been accidentally lost and you have an unexplained fever.

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Back pain

Back pain is not typical in connection with nighttime stomach pain, however, occur in rare cases. In principle, all painful diseases of the stomach or upper small intestine can cause pain in the middle back. Back pain in connection with pain in the stomach area is also possible with inflammation of the pancreas, with a heart attack or diseases of the abdominal artery.

It should be noted that both back pain and stomach pain are very common complaints and can coexist, without being causally related.

Treatment / therapy

In the case of mild, recently existing nocturnal stomach pain, an attempt can first be made to avoid and to eat fatty, spicy, very sweet and salty foods Light food like boiled potatoes, carrots or pretzels. If you have an upset stomach, it often helps not to eat solid food for 12 hours to 2 days. Many other gastric diseases such as reflux disease or an ulcer of the stomach or small intestine can result Acid inhibitors how Omeprazole and Pantoprazole be brought to heal completely. Acid inhibitors are very common drugs with rare side effects. Often, however, a gastroscopy must be performed to rule out stomach cancer and other diseases. There is no need to be afraid of a gastroscopy: it rarely leads to side effects and is quickly over.

A Inflammation of the stomach lining can have various causes and sometimes has to be treated with antibiotics for several weeks. A life-long substitution with vitamin B12 may also be necessary. If a life-threatening, acute illness such as gastric perforation is responsible for the stomach pain, surgery usually follows.

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Nocturnal stomach pain can last completely different lengths of time depending on the underlying illness. If the stomach is upset, they usually stop after just a few hours or a day at most. If the cause is an ulcer of the duodenum, they can recur for years, but often get better after eating. Even with inflammation of the gastric mucosa, they can recur until the underlying disease is treated. Suddenly kick very severe stomach pain up at night shouldn't wait longuntil they stop - severe pain is often a sign of serious illness and should be checked as soon as possible!

Lying down at night

Can lie down, especially after a large, high-fat meal, too heartburn to lead. Whether at night or during the day, stomach acid flows into the esophagus when lying on your back, causing pain in the upper abdomen, behind the breastbone and often in the throat. Furthermore you can Flatulence, technically as Meteorism be the cause of night stomach pain, which occurs mainly when lying down.

Gases build up increasingly after eating foods such as beans, various types of cabbage, peas, cheese, unripe fruit, and more. They can put a lot of pressure on the intestines, causing pain all over the abdomen. How strong which food has a bloating effect differs from person to person. Which body position leads to improvement is also different for everyone - while some like to stand, for others lying down is good for a bloated stomach.

The therapy of Flatulence is often unsatisfactory if no cause is identified and should be discussed with a doctor if self-therapy is unsuccessful. Important non-drug remedies against increased gastrointestinal gases are a change in diet and a lot of physical activity. Fennel and caraway tea, yoghurt or herbal products such as Iberogast and peppermint oil can also lead to improvement.

During pregnancy

In principle, the diseases already mentioned in this article can also be the cause of nighttime stomach pain during pregnancy. However, upper abdominal pain is more common in pregnant women than in the rest of the population. The reason for this is on the one hand the Hormonal changeswhich also changes digestion in the gastrointestinal tract, on the other hand Pressure of the uterus on the intestines, Stomach and other abdominal organs.

In many women, this occurs during pregnancy increased gases in the intestine and lead to pain faster, especially in late pregnancy due to the lack of space in the abdomen. Furthermore, the increased pressure in the abdomen increases the risk of gastric acid flowing back - this is why many pregnant women complain, especially at night and when lying down heartburn. It is also believed that stretching various ligaments in the pelvis and abdomen, as well as children's movements, can cause pain. These sometimes depend on the position of the body and can occasionally occur especially at night.

If there is slight nocturnal stomach pain during pregnancy, there is no reason to worry. Usually you can change from Body position, Move and one Diet change to be improved.

After eating

Nocturnal pain in the stomach area occurs in many cases under Food intolerance, Allergies or after eating spoiled food. Sufferers should first try to observe which foods trigger the pain in order to narrow down the range of possible causes.

Flatulent foods can also cause pain at night due to increased gas formation in the intestine. If frequent stomach pain is relieved at night by eating, a small intestinal ulcer may be present. This should early presented to a doctor.