Stomach spasms or abdominal muscle spasms may be described as contractions of the abdomen. They are extremely unpleasant and painful because during the abdominal spasms the muscles are tense and your stomach is sensitive to touch.
There are various causes of stomach spasms and the majority of them is benign. However, in rare cases stomach spasms may be an indication of a serious condition. Therefore, try to detect the culprit of your abdominal spasms as then it is easier to prevent and cure them.
Read the article and find out what the most common causes of stomach spasms are, how they are diagnosed and treated by doctors, and check the best remedies to abdominal spasms, which you can try at home.
What Are the Causes of Stomach Spasms
A number of stomach spasms causes may be enumerated, however, the most important is their frequency and intensity of the pain. For example, if you suffer from abdominal spasm only from time to time and you can easily deal with them using over-the-counter painkillers or home remedies, then it is probably nothing serious.
However, if your stomach spasms are so strong that you can barely move or the painkillers do not help you, then you should consult the matter with your doctor. Nevertheless, have a look at the most common causes of stomach spasms.
1. Dehydration and Electrolyte Imbalance
The most trivial but at the same time one of the most common causes of stomach spasms. Generally, most of us do not drink enough water and when you also add to it diarrhea, vomiting, or excess sweating, then it is very easy to dehydrate your organism, which leads to muscle spasms not only in your stomach, but in other body parts too.
Dehydration is often accompanied by the deficiency of minerals and electrolytes. Your body needs magnesium, potassium, calcium, and other compounds to function properly. Therefore, if you often suffer from unexplained stomach spasms, try to increase water intake and supplement the most important electrolytes for some time.
2. Gas Accumulation
The accumulation of gas in your stomach is also a very common cause of stomach spasms. It may happen to you after a heavy meal or if you lie down just after eating. The gas builds up in your stomach and intestine and your body is trying to release it, which you feel as painful abdominal spasms.
If your stomach spasms are caused by gas accumulation, they are usually accompanied by other unpleasant symptoms such as the feeling of fullness in your stomach, bloating, and the urge to burp.
3. Muscle Strain
Muscle strain is the cause which you should consider if your regularly work out or do any other sporting activity. The exercises which mainly lead to spasms of abdominal muscles include strengthening exercises, crunches, or sit-ups.
Therefore, if you work out intensely, maybe by stomach spasms your body wants to tell you that it is high time to relax and have a rest for a few days. In case of a muscle strain, apart from stomach spasms, you may feel that your abs are tender or painful and the pain intensifies when you move.
4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is quite a common condition nowadays. Doctors are not fully sure what causes the condition but it is associated with too much stress or environmental factors. The condition is chronic and it affects your large intestine.
Irritable bowel syndrome causes a number of unpleasant symptoms which include stomach spasms, cramps, and pain, constipation which is often followed by diarrhea, the accumulation of gas, and bloating.
There is no one single treatment to irritable bowel syndrome, but if the symptoms are really bothersome, consult a doctor and for sure he will recommend you the ways to calm down and control the disease.
5. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Inflammatory conditions, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease may often cause painful abdominal spasms. Any part of your gastrointestinal tract may be affected in case of Crohn’s disease while colon is affected in ulcerative colitis.
Both diseases, however, lead to various unpleasant symptoms, which include stomach spasms, sudden weight loss, sweating at night, diarrhea or constipation, fatigue, and the strong urge to use the bathroom, but you pass very little or nothing.
If you pass less than three stools a week and they are hard or you pass very little, you often feel bloated and full, you probably suffer from constipation. If you have not passed a stool for a few days, it is no wonder then that you feel stomach spasms.
If constipation is only incidental or it happens as a consequence of climate or diet change, you have nothing to worry about. However, if it happens frequently, probably you make some dietary mistakes, which make your bowel movement irregular.