A morning diarrhea might have various causes. It is considered normal to experience occasional episodes of loose stools in the morning. On the other hand, if it occurs regularly over a span of several weeks, it is best to consult a doctor.
Aside from loose stools and frequent bowel movement, a serious case of morning diarrhea can be accompanied by:
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blood-streaked stool
If an individual experiences morning diarrhea often, it is vital to pinpoint the cause. It might be an indication of a chronic health issue such as irritable bowel syndrome. In addition, it might be a bacterial infection or dietary pattern that should be modified.
What are the usual causes?
Remember that some of the causes of morning diarrhea are chronic while others are temporary. Some of the usual causes include:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – this is one the common causes of morning diarrhea in which the large intestine is affected.
- Inflammatory bowel disease – this includes chronic disorders of the intestines such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. These conditions are defined by inflammation of the digestive tract.
- Infections – viral or bacterial infections that were left untreated can result to morning diarrhea along with other related symptoms.
- Medications – various drugs can cause diarrhea as a side effect, especially some antibiotics.
- Alcohol or smoking – drinking alcohol late at night or smoking more than usual before going to bed can trigger morning diarrhea.
- Emotional stress
Management of morning diarrhea
Proper treatment of morning diarrhea is based on the root cause. In most cases, the treatment might involve a combination of drugs and dietary changes.
Certain foods that must be avoided include:
- High-gas forming foods and beverages such as raw fruit, carbonated beverages, cauliflower and broccoli
- Cereals, breads, pasts and foods containing gluten
- Foods made from FODMAPS which are various forms of carbohydrates including lactose and fructose
Medications that are given for IBS include antidepressants. Anticholinergic medications are also given to lessen the bowel spasms that causes diarrhea. In addition, anti-diarrheal drugs such as loperamide is also beneficial.
What is the outlook?
In case the cause of morning diarrhea is temporary such as an infection or pregnancy, it can be effectively managed.
If the issue is associated to the diet, smoking or alcohol use, lifestyle changes are necessary to prevent future problems. Nevertheless, if the cause is a chronic condition such as IBS, it requires further treatment.