What Can Cause Abdominal Pain Only At Night: How to Treat It?

Abdominal pain is a common symptom experienced by all of us sometime or the other. Adults and children both can have derangement of stomach, where the symptoms may range from pain, vomiting, to serious conditions such as fever, diarrhea etc.

Abdominal pain can arise from organs located in the abdomen, or it may also radiate to the abdomen from adjacent organs outside the abdomen. There are instances when pain in abdomen is experienced at night, while in day time the patient is free from abdominal pain. Abdominal pain at night may be due to some local cause or it can arise from systemic disorder.

Let us know some of the causes for abdominal pain at night.

Causes Of Abdominal Pain At Nighttime

Pain in the abdomen at night can be due to following causes:

  • Indigestion of food: If you overeat or eat heavy food at night it may cause discomfort and pain in the abdomen after some time. It is one of the commonest causes of abdominal pain at night. There may be bloating sensation along with pain in abdomen.
  • Hiatus hernia: It is hernia of the lower part of the esophagus or the food pipe. When you lie down at night, the food and gastric juice moves towards the esophagus.
    In normal person the esophageal sphincter prevents the gastric juice to enter into the esophagus, but in hiatus hernia, the juice together with gastric acid enters into the lower part of the esophagus giving rise to pain and discomfort at night in the lower portion of the chest bone.
  • Duodenal ulcer: Nocturnal abdominal pain after eating food is common in duodenal ulcer. It is a discomforting pain which wakes you up from sleep. This usually occurs 3 to 4 hours after you eat your dinner.
  • Kidney stone can cause abdominal pain at night. However, kidney stone can also cause pain during day time.
  • Food poisoning: It is caused when you eat food contaminated with bacteria and viruses. Pain in abdomen with vomiting, diarrhea and fever with chills are generally associated with it.
  • Gallstone colic can arise at night.
  • Pain in the abdomen at night in women can be due to menstruation.
  • Abdominal pain at night can arise from appendicitis, however the pain continues during the daytime.
  • Angina and heart attack can sometime give rise to pain in the upper portion of abdomen with pain in chest.

 Treatment For Abdominal Pain At Night

Abdominal pain even if it mild should not be neglected as it can cause complications later on. If you are certain that the pain is due to overeating at night, herbal teas can relive the symptoms. However if the pain is of greater intensity, it needs immediate medical attention.

  • If the abdominal pain at night, is due to GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), and hiatus hernia, it can be relieved with adjusting the sleeping position and use of conventional medicines such as H2 antagonist.
  • If the abdominal pain at night is due to duodenal ulcer, you need a regular treatment after consulting your physician.
  • Severe abdominal pain should be considered as emergency even if it occurs at night. The person needs immediate hospitalization for diagnosis and treatment.
  • Severe pain in abdomen can arise from appendicitis, gallstone, kidney stone etc.