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Why Does My Stomach Hurt Every Morning

by Clara Wynn
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Why Does My Stomach Hurt Every Morning

Why Does My Stomach Hurt Every Morning

Why Does My Stomach Hurt Every Morning? Your morning routine is probably pretty predictable: You wake up at the same time each day and do what you have to in order to get ready for work or school. If your commute takes more than twenty minutes, then chances are good that you’re driving yourself somewhere.

And if you live with other people, there’s a very real chance that they’ll start getting ready before you. When this happens, you may find yourself being left alone with whatever thoughts pop into your head, which is usually some variation on “Man, I’m so bored.”

While having nothing to do in the mornings can actually cause anxiety and depression, even those who enjoy their daily routines know that boredom is not an ideal way to spend one’s days. So what should you do when your morning consists of waking up, eating breakfast, showering, dressing and heading out?

There are literally hundreds of things that you can choose from. Some people like to exercise first thing in the morning; others prefer to meditate. Still others opt to read the paper while drinking coffee. But no matter how much you might want to try new things, there will always come a point where you realize that your usual morning ritual isn’t working anymore. One of the most common complaints among people dealing with chronic illness is that they feel tired all the time.

This makes sense because chronic illnesses tend to limit our ability to move around, take part in physical activities, and engage in normal hobbies. As such, many patients find themselves feeling completely worn down after a full day at home. It’s also possible that fatigue comes from medications used to manage these conditions. For example, certain antidepressants can make us drowsy.

But sometimes we just don’t feel well enough to go about our normal daily schedule. In fact, the symptoms associated with chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, fibromyalgia, arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), multiple sclerosis, lupus, Parkinson’s, migraine headaches, chronic infections, auto-immune disorders, allergies, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, hypertension, stroke, etc., are often vague. Patients with any of these conditions can experience fatigue, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, bloating, flatulence, constipation, shortness of breath, chest pains, backaches, joint pain, swelling, weakness, dizziness, ringing ears, tinnitus, numbness, sore throat, coughing, wheezing, difficulty swallowing, changes in vision, hearing, speech, personality, memory loss, confusion, mood swings, insomnia, nightmares, hot flashes, sweating, dry mouth, urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, hair loss, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, low blood sugar, and weight gain. The list goes on and on.

Because of this, many people assume that they must simply wait until the symptoms fade away, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that everything will return to normal once the acute phase ends. Many of these conditions cause long-term problems, meaning that relief from symptoms does not equate to cure or recovery.

One of the reasons why we feel bad every morning has to do with how we eat. Our bodies need specific nutrients to function properly, and without them, our cells are unable to perform their jobs correctly. These nutrients include carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, proteins, fiber, water, and salt.

Unfortunately, our modern lifestyle tends to deprive us of essential foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and lean meat. We consume too little protein, and instead rely heavily on junk food, refined flours, sugars, alcohols, caffeine, sodas, and processed meats. All of these substances contain chemicals that trigger inflammation within our gastrointestinal tract, causing digestive issues such as constipation, gas, bloating, and indigestion. This leads to feelings of discomfort, lethargy, fatigue, and general malaise.

In addition to poor nutrition, stress caused by our everyday lives can also lead to poor health. Even though we’d like to think that we can control our environments through willpower, unfortunately, we cannot. Stress causes hormones to release rapidly and uncontrollably, resulting in elevated levels of adrenaline and cortisol.

Since our adrenal glands produce both of these hormones, overproduction can result in serious health risks. Cortisol disrupts healthy blood flow throughout the body, making it difficult for the immune system to fight off infection. Adrenaline promotes muscle tension, leading to tight muscles and spasms. Both of these hormones affect blood pressure, heart rate, metabolism, blood clotting, digestion, liver functioning, insulin production, and brain chemistry. Elevated levels of cortisol can also increase our appetite, leading to obesity and increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Chronic stress can also contribute to high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and sleep apnea.

If you’ve been experiencing unexplained aches and pains since last night, then it’s likely that your stomach is hurting. Your gut contains trillions of microorganisms known as probiotics, which help regulate the immune system and aid in digestion. Probiotic bacteria reside in the lower intestine and colon, and they play an important role in helping to break down complex molecules, including carbohydrates and starches. Without sufficient amounts of beneficial bacteria, our guts become overrun with harmful organisms such as yeast, fungi, parasites, and viruses. This results in intestinal imbalances that leave us vulnerable to bacterial infections, autoimmune disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, metabolic disorders, allergies, asthma, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, celiac disease, hepatitis, herpes, yeast infections, tuberculosis, and even cancers.

To prevent this from happening, we need to consume adequate levels of soluble fibers, which keep our bowels clean and free from pathogens. Fiber also helps to absorb vitamins and minerals, slows gastric emptying, prevents excess fat absorption, reduces cholesterol, regulates blood sugar, and improves insulin sensitivity. Proper digestion helps to maintain proper blood circulation and nutrient uptake, and it plays an integral role in maintaining overall wellbeing.
Stress can also negatively impact our intestines. High levels of stress activate the hypothalamus gland located in the brain stem, triggering the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine.

Epinephrine stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, raising blood pressure and heart rate. Norepinephrine acts directly upon smooth muscles in the walls of arteries and veins, tightening them up. This increases resistance to blood flow and impedes oxygen delivery to tissues. Long-term exposure to epinephrine can damage organs such as the kidneys and lungs. Similarly, norepinephrine causes the muscles surrounding small airways to relax, narrowing the bronchial tubes and reducing airflow. Overdoing it on catecholamines, especially for extended periods of time, can eventually lead to organ failure.

The human stomach houses a number of different types of microbes that help to process our food. Image Credit: Shutterstock

So now you understand why you feel ill every morning. Next, let’s explore the options available to relieve your discomfort.

Options for Relief

There are several ways to reduce the amount of stress in your life and improve your health. Here are three tips that anyone can use.

1) Exercise regularly. Regular exercise keeps our bodies strong and flexible, and it relieves stress. Although strenuous workouts can induce stress, moderate aerobic exercises such as walking, hiking, swimming, dancing, biking, running, and yoga can provide significant mental and emotional benefits. Studies show that regular exercise not only helps to promote longevity, but it can also prevent dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. However, it’s important to note that exercising too hard or for too long can cause injury, exhaustion, dehydration, muscle strain, and burnout. A balanced approach that includes strength training and stretching is best.

2) Meditate. Meditation is considered effective therapy for a variety of psychological ills, including anxiety, stress, insomnia, and depression. Practicing meditation can help to calm your mind and slow down your racing thoughts. Research shows that meditation can alter activity in parts of the brain responsible for controlling breathing, attention, emotions, thought processing, and perception. By doing so, meditation can significantly decrease stress levels and improve cognitive performance.

3) Eat right. Poor dietary choices can leave us fatigued, sick, and depressed. Eating nutritious meals rich in protein, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and omega fatty acids can enhance immunity, protect against cancer, and ward off chronic diseases. Foods rich in fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, folate, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, selenium, vitamin C, B6, and B12 can strengthen bones, regulate blood sugar, and prevent birth defects. Certain foods can even prevent ulcers, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and gout.
As you can see, a change in diet and a reduction in stressful situations can improve your overall health and quality of life.

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