Morning diarrhea is when you pass a watery, loose stool first thing in the morning. Sometimes, diarrhea in the morning is completely normal. But if it occurs consistently or frequently, this could signify an underlying health condition.
Read on to learn about the causes and treatment of morning diarrhea to be more aware of your condition.
5 Possible causes of diarrhea every morning
Some causes of diarrhea in the morning are chronic and related to long-term health issues. Other morning diarrhea causes are temporary, for example, when you’re pregnant. Here are some more common causes of diarrhea every morning:
1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS is among the main causes of diarrhea every morning. It occurs when there’s a problem with your large intestine. Symptoms of IBS include:
- Morning diarrhea
- Abdominal cramps
- Mucus in the stool
IBS is a group of symptoms that occur together. But researchers don’t know the exact causes of IBS.
2. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
IBD is a term for several chronic intestinal conditions, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. And both of these conditions are linked with inflammation of your digestive tract. Symptoms of both of these disorders are similar, including:
- Diarrhea in the morning
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
Untreated viral or bacterial infections can cause diarrhea in the morning and other symptoms. Rotavirus and salmonella are common infections that trigger morning diarrhea.
4. Alcohol consumption or smoking
Late-night alcohol consumption or smoking before bed can cause morning diarrhea. Smoking can contribute to Crohn’s disease, along with other problems affecting your organs. Similarly, alcohol can cause loose stools by irritating your gastrointestinal tract.
5. Some Medications
Some types of medications can cause diarrhea as a side effect. Antibiotics, in particular, are associated with morning diarrhea if you take them before bed.
Treatment for morning diarrhea
In treating morning diarrhea, it’s important to know the exact cause. For this reason, you should see your doctor for a proper diagnosis. In the meantime, here are some at-home treatment options that can provide some relief.
If diarrhea is your concern every morning, try avoiding the following types of food:
- Bread, pasta, cereals, and other gluten-containing foods
- Foods and drinks that produce high-gas, raw fruit, broccoli, cauliflower, and carbonated drinks
- Some types of carbohydrates, including lactose and fructose
Your doctor may prescribe antidepressants if you suffer from IBS. If morning diarrhea is not accompanied by depression, desipramine and imipramine may help. Moreover, anticholinergic medications, such as Bentyl, can help with bowel spasms that cause diarrhea. Anti-diarrheal medication, like loperamide, can help too.
You can also use anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce symptoms caused by inflammation. Your doctor may also prescribe immunosuppressant drugs to help prevent the inflammatory chemicals inside the intestine.
While antibiotic or antiviral medications can treat infections, some of these medications can themselves cause diarrhea. Therefore, make sure you talk with your doctor or pharmacist about the medications. If stress is causing diarrhea every morning, ask your therapist or doctor about how to better deal with the emotional stress or anxiety.