7 Common Causes of Diarrhea in the Morning

You may be experiencing the rapid bowel movement every morning and the urgent need to pass feces in the morning hours. Maybe, the same thing is even disrupting your sleep in the morning hours. However, when you visit the toilet to pass the feces, the discharge is watery. You need not to worry because this condition is affecting many people. While this condition is not an indicator of a particular condition, it may be associated with a number of gastrointestinal conditions. Some of the conditions include the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

What Causes Diarrhea Every Morning?

1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Being one of the most common causes of morning diarrhea, IBS is the first condition that the doctor will diagnose for if you complain of diarrhea. The condition occurs when the intestines fail to contract as they are supposed to and is mainly caused by dietary problems. IBS may also be caused by allergic reactions to certain goods.

As such, a simple change in your eating habits, such as eating healthier or having your evening meals earlier, can actually solve the problem. While suffering from this condition, you should also consider including bananas and yogurts with active and live cultures in your diet.

2. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

IBD is a rather chronic infection, affecting the bowel wall. There are two main types of the IBD, the ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The infection causes the walls of the bowels to become inflamed. Some of the symptoms associated with this infection include a watery diarrhea with traces of blood or mucous. IBD normally occurs in acute episodes and may worsen at certain times. While the condition may not worsen in the morning, the diarrhea will start from the time you wake up. The diarrhea may even interrupt your sleep in the morning.

3. Bacteria and Viruses

In other cases, diarrhea every morning may be a result of a bacterial or viral infection. These mainly enter the body through contaminated food. While such bacteria and viruses, such as E. coli, or even standard food poisoning may lead to both diarrhea and vomiting throughout the day, the problem is more rampant during the morning hours. This is particularly the case when the infection is mild or if you ingested the contaminated food or drink before going to bed the previous day.

4. Reactions to Medication

There are certain medications, specifically antibiotics, which may be associated with morning diarrhea. Diarrhea resulting from the reaction by the body to a certain medication may occur any time of the day. However, the problem is more common in the morning. While sleeping, most of the body organs tend to go to a dormant state. After waking up, the various organs become active and may react to a medication that had been circulating in the bloodstream the whole night. This is likely to cause diarrhea in the early hours of the day.

5. Substance Misuse

Abusing certain substances may also result in diarrhea every morning. Some of the substances that are known to irritate the bowel are alcohol and nicotine. Additionally, the condition may also be a result of various illicit drugs. The majority of these substances are abused at night, especially during social events. As such, diarrhea in the morning hours after drinking with your friends the previous night should not be a surprise. The cases are also isolated, unless you abuse drugs and substances regularly.

6. Pregnancy

Pregnancies are known to cause morning sickness in many ladies. This is mainly because of the elevated levels of hormones, such as the human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) and estrogen in the body. In addition to morning sickness, this elevated hormone levels may also lead to diarrhea during the early hours of the day.

Again, nausea and vomiting due to a pregnancy are a common occurrence and may occur any time of the day. However, these two problems, accompanied by diarrhea, tend to be more common in the morning during the first trimester of the pregnancy. There are certain contraceptives that may lead to this condition as well.

7. Psychosocial Stress

Though not a common occurrence, psychosocial stress may also lead to diarrhea every morning. While sleeping bowel movements resulting from this stress will be minimal. However, the movements may worsen in the morning, if you get up with intense emotions and may lead to diarrhea during the early hours of the day. This condition should ease once the situation leading to stress is dealt with.

8. Other Causes

There are other minor causes of this condition:

  • Changes in the circadian rhythmThis is essentially the body clock and can lead to this condition, if interrupted. When the clock is working normally, bowel movements are minimal in the evening and more rampant starting from around 8 AM. When the rhythm is interrupted, bowel movements may occur at any, unpredicted time.
  • Hormone imbalance and nerve activityTo keep the body active and alert, nerve activity and hormone levels change after waking up. This change may also lead into increased bowel movement, hence diarrhea.
  • Eating in the morningTaking breakfast very early in the morning may stimulate defecation reflexes, also known as duodenocolic and gastrocolic reflexes in the body. This may result in diarrhea in the morning. A breakfast comprising of either fruit juice or milk may also trigger this condition. Such items will irritate the gut, especially in the lactose and fructose intolerant people.

How to Deal With Diarrhea Every Morning

Owing to the many causes of this condition, it may be a problem for you to tell what exactly the cause is. As such, you should visit a doctor for diagnosis. To diagnose the problem, the physician will seek to learn more about your diet, exercise patterns and stressful situations. The physician may also take stool and bowel tissue samples for testing in the laboratory. If the condition is chronic and occurs almost every morning, the physician may need to take a look at the colon and bowels by inserting a microscopic camera into the system. This procedure is known as colonoscopy.

While there is no specific cure for this condition, there are certain measures that can help contain the situation, such as:

  • Probiotics are administered to restore the intestinal flora to its normal condition.
  • Moderate fiber consumption helps if you are having chronic diarrhea.
  • Avoid irritant drinks and foods that irritate the intestinal system, such as alcohol, spicy foods, fruit juices, dairy and caffeinated beverages.
  • Anti-diarrheal medications like loperamide can be taken to ease the condition until the real cause of the diarrhea is ascertained.
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