Muscle spasms in the stomach are the contraction of stomach muscles. Muscle spasms in the stomach will give you twitching feelings or sharp pains in your abdomen. These cramps happen because of the contractions of your gut or stomach walls. (1)
Stomach spasms are not life-threatening. But if they are persistent, they could show some underlying health condition. (2) Muscle spasms can happen after eating, during pregnancy, and during pregnancy.
You can get rid of muscle spasms by using some natural remedies; keep reading to know more:
Symptoms of Muscle Spasms in Stomach
You can detect a stomach spasm from the following signs: (3)
- Bloating and satiety
- Nausea and vomiting
- Too much sweating
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid heartbeat
- Blood in stool
- Twitching and acute pain in the stomach.
Causes of Muscle Spasms in Stomach
- Food poisoning: Food poisoning is one of the primary reasons for stomach spasms (4). You may get food poisoning by consuming contaminated food or drink. Food poisoning may also lead to vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, muscle pains, fatigue, etc. (5)
- Gas: You form gas in your stomach in many ways. Such as: eating too fast, drinking carbonated beverages, and smoking can lead to excess gas in your stomach.
The accumulated air may create burps. However, these burps are usual and may not cause stomach spasms. Yet, a bacterium Helicobacter pylori may cause chronic belching, gas, or bloating. (6)
It is because this bacterium creates acid reflux, ulcers, and gastritis. In addition, abdominal spasms or cramps occur with these stomach disorders.
- Viral gastroenteritis or stomach flu: Viral gastroenteritis or stomach flu is the infection in your intestines. (7) It is like food poisoning. You may suffer from stomach flu because of consuming contaminated food and drink. In addition, viral gastroenteritis can cause stomach spasms, diarrhea, nausea, and fever.
- Indigestion: Indigestion is one of the common digestive problems that cause stomach spasms. Indigestion happens due to the stomach acid reacting with the mucosa or the sensitive protective lining of your stomach. (8)
As a result, you feel irritation, discomfort, and pain in the upper abdomen. Some possible reasons for indigestion are: eating or drinking contaminated food, infection, and even some medications.
- Heartburn or acid reflux is another reason for abdominal spasms. It is a widespread digestive problem.
The American College of Gastroenterology shows at least 15 million Americans suffer from heartburn daily. You will experience heartburn when your stomach acid travels backward into your food pipe or esophagus. (9)
- Gastroesophageal reflux or GERD: When you experience heartburn more than twice a week, it becomes GERD or chronic acid reflux (10). GERD may cause you a severe form of abdominal spasms or pains.
- Constipation is when you face difficulty passing feces and a hard stool. (11)
When you have constipation, you strain yourself to release the stool. This process may stretch your intestines and cause you to lower abdominal cramps.
- Stress: Postmodern world is full of anxiety, insomnia, and social and psychological stress. These conditions have the worst effects on your digestive health. Mild or chronic stress can lead to severe stomach cramps.
Harvard Medical School proves a connection between a stressful brain and an upset stomach. (12)
- Menstrual cramps: Menstrual cramps can also cause twitching pain in your lower abdomen. Your uterus muscles contract, and it may press the nearby blood vessels.
Thus there’s an interruption in the oxygen flow to the uterus. That’s why you feel severe pains in your stomach, thighs, and hips. (13)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): IBS is a complication in your large intestine. It is due to infection, weak nervous system, intestinal muscle contractions, and changes in gut microflora (14). IBS can lead to stomach spasms, diarrhea, constipation, and gas.
- Food allergies: Stomach spasms may also occur due to food allergies. Eight types of food items are responsible for 90% of all food allergies. Such as eggs, shellfish, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, wheat, and soy. (15)
- Appendicitis: Appendicitis is an inflammation of your appendix tube in the large intestine. You suffer from sudden excruciating pain due to appendix inflammation. It is advisable to go for surgery and remove the appendix when diagnosing this condition. (16)
- Pregnancy: Abdominal spasms and bleeding are early signs of pregnancy. You experience pains in the lower abdomen.
- Hunger: You might have experienced hunger pangs at some point in your life. When your stomach is empty, it sends a signal to the brain for food. As a result, you experience a twitching and cramping feeling in your stomach.
- Dehydration: Even a lack of liquid intake can cause your stomach muscles to cramp and pain. Because of dehydration, the body’s internal tissues begin to fail. Abdominal muscles are part of them.
- Ulcers: Peptic or gastric ulcers are wounds in your stomach lining and small intestine. Helicobacter pylori bacterium, spicy food, and excessive use of painkillers may cause ulcers. Severe stomach spasms are the most common signs of ulcers. (18)
Natural Home Remedies for Stomach Spasms
1. Warm Water Compression
Warm water is the primary home remedy for stomach muscle spasms.
Warm water compression will help to relax your stomach muscles and relieve discomfort.
You can place a hot compress or warm towel on your stomach to relieve pain. (19)
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera gel has a reputation for reducing digestive and skin disorders. It is full of anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. (20)
These can combat bacterial infections and soothe the pains in your stomach.
Mix 4 tablespoons of fresh aloe vera gel with water and drink it every morning. You’ll notice the relief soon.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar, or ACV, is a ‘cure-all’ home remedy. However, it has potential benefits for your stomach disorders as well.
The antioxidants of ACV can relieve stomach spasms caused by excessive gas. (21)
Add a tablespoon of ACV with warm water and consume it daily. ACV will reduce the gas in no time and relieve stomach pains.
4. Baking Soda
Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda is not only a cooking ingredient. In addition, it has exceptional medical values.
Baking soda can cure indigestion and heartburn and give relief from ulcer pains. Its natron minerals can neutralize stomach acid and ease abdominal cramps. (22)
Mix ½ a teaspoon of baking soda with 2 cups of warm water. Drink the solution after your meals to get rid of stomach cramps.
5. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds can treat your stomach disorders such as gas, acid reflux, etc., and relieve pains.
They come from the aromatic fennel herbs. It is an essential ingredient in Asian cuisine. In addition, these sweet-scented seeds contain a long list of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and flavonoids.
Munch on a teaspoon of fennel seeds after meals to relieve stomach cramps.
Ginger is an easy-to-reach kitchen ingredient at your home. It has been a popular home remedy for stomach disorders and pains from ancient times.
The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger can soothe stomach muscles’ cramps. It can fight off infections. (23)
Suck and munch on a piece of ginger or make yourself a cup of ginger tea to enjoy this miracle ingredient.
Yogurt has probiotic properties that are great for muscle spasms in the stomach. These can help ease the discomforts and pains in the digestive tracts.
Yogurt is a very potent agent for treating indigestion. Help yourself with a cup of yogurt after each meal to boost your digestive system. (24)
8. Peppermint Leaves
You can chew on a few peppermint leaves or brew them with your tea to relieve stomach spasms.
9. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is rich in anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, it soothes the stomach walls and relieves pains.
You already know that stressful life is a prominent cause of muscle spasms in the stomach. Chamomile tea is an antidepressant and can deal with your stress as well. (26)
Drink a cup of chamomile tea before you go to bed every night. You’ll see an excellent result in a few days.
Massaging can do miracles for your stomach muscle spasms (27). Stomach spasms can also result from stress or strain in your stomach area. To relieve the pain, massage your stomach muscles to help them relax.
An ample amount of rest can be the solution to many health problems (28). You can also get relief from muscle spasms in the stomach by treating yourself with proper rest.
Stomach muscle spasms can also occur due to excessive stress or too much exercise. So, a few days of resting can stop the spasms.
Prevention Tips for Muscle Spasms in the Stomach
Are you suffering from abdominal pains due to indigestion, stress, heartburn, gas, or constipation? The following tips can help you prevent it.
- Drink enough water throughout the day. If you are dehydrated, your body loses electrolytes. This results in bouts of stomach spasms.
- Maintain hygiene. Wash raw vegetables and fruits before eating them. It would help if you also drink purified or boiled water. This way, you can avoid inflammations and food poisoning. Washing hands before eating is the priority to prevent contamination.
- Fiber diet. Your abdominal health depends much on your lifestyle and food habit. It would help if you rechecked your diet to avoid stomach spasms. A low fiber diet may help you with gas problems. Whereas increasing fiber intake can resolve constipation and IBS-related abdominal pains.
- Alcohol and spicy food. Avoid spicy, fatty foods and alcohol if you suffer from stomach spasms. These can worsen the stomach condition by causing gas and bloating.
When To See A Doctor?
It would help if you had medical attention for stomach spasms that come with inflammations and ulcers. Persistent stomach spasms are an indicator of some underlying stomach diseases.
You should consult with a doctor immediately in such severe conditions.
You must not ignore a stomach spasm, learn the exact cause and treat it at the earliest.
You can treat such spasms at home with the above-mentioned natural remedies.
If you have tried any of the home remedies mentioned above, share your experience with us. Also, please comment in our comment section below to ask any questions.