Twitching in the stomach, also known as abdominal muscle spasms, can be painful and annoying to have. Twitching is simply an involuntary muscle contraction. Stomach twitching is normal, but at times, it might be a sign of an underlying medical condition, especially during pregnancy. Here is how to stop twitching in the right or left side of the stomach.
What causes the left side of the stomach to twitch?
The left side of your abdomen has organs like spleen, body pancreas, stomach, left lobe of the liver, among other organs. During digestions, our stomach muscles are what allow movement of the internal organs. In itself, the left side of stomach twitching is a symptom and not a condition.
The following are what might cause twitching on the left side of the stomach.
1. Food allergies
Food allergies or intolerances can cause the twitching of the stomach. These sensations are crampy and occur after eating. These reactions happen when the body identifies harmful substances in food and then releases histamine, which can cause muscle contractions, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea after eating. Some common intolerant foods include lactose, which is a type of sugar available in dairy products. According to research, lactose intolerance can cause bloating, gas, and abdominal spasms just 30 minutes to 2 hours after consuming milk products.
Allergies can also be triggered by peanuts, eggs, fish, and shellfish. To find out what food is causing your allergic reaction, you should keep a food diary to try to identify potential triggers.
2. Hunger pangs
Hunger pangs are considered normal twitching in the stomach and are characterized by cramping pains in the stomach, especially when the initial hunger signals are ignored. This condition may get worse for people with ulcers or diabetes, but in normal cases, it is momentary until the food is eaten.
3. Food poisoning
Food poisoning is one of the reasons you may experience stomach spasms. This condition occurs when you consume food or drinks that are contaminated by impurities such as bacteria, viruses, or parasites. This condition is accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea, along with cramping abdominal pain. It is recommended that you drink plenty of water to recover the water lost due to diarrhea. There are several home remedies to help alleviate these uncomfortable symptoms.
For instance, you can consider taking ginger tea. This tea provides relief to stomach spasms because of its antispasmodic compounds that help stop intestinal contractions. Its antimicrobial properties also help to kill off infections in the digestive system. In case there is blood in your stool, you should consult your doctor for the appropriate treatment.
4. Viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu)
Twitching in the stomach can be caused by viral infections, which cause gastroenteritis. This condition causes inflammation in your intestinal tract resulting in mild to severe stomach spasms. The symptoms of this may resemble those of food poisoning and may last for several days. Such symptoms include; nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, diarrhea, and muscle ache. There are home remedies to alleviate symptoms by this condition, but if they persist for more than two days, it is important to seek medical advice.
Many doctors will recommend that you have a bland diet if you are suffering from this condition. This diet helps the intestines recover from bacterial or viral infections since it capitalizes on avoiding foods that can irritate your intestines. For instance, you should drink plenty of water and eat soft foods. You should also avoid fatty, fried, and spicy foods because they are harder for your body to digest. You can also take soothing ginger because it helps reduce inflammation and the crampy pains caused by viral infections in your stomach.
Right side stomach twitching
You may experience twitching on the right side of the stomach, which could almost feel like a baby kicking from inside of the stomach. Like with the left side of stomach twitching, right side twitching is common and can occur to anyone.
Cramps or muscle spasm on the right side of the stomach can be painful, making it hard to do some things. The primary reasons for right side twitching would include:
1. Bowel conditions
Some bowel conditions may cause recurring twitching in the stomach. These are;
- Irritable bowel syndrome- this is a common disorder that affects the large intestines and ends up causing cramping and abdominal pain. According to the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, this condition can cause stomach spasms, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. These symptoms vary among people, and they can affect some people more severely than others. This condition usually develops between the age of 20 and 30 and can affect twice as many women as men. According to research, peppermint capsules are a safe and effective treatment to help relieve the symptoms of this condition.
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) – Inflammatory bowel disease is a condition caused by inflammation of all parts of your digestive. Abdominal muscle twitching is a common symptom associated with this condition. According to research, this occurs when the stomach bile acid doesn’t get absorbed properly, causing abdominal pains that come in spasms.
2. Mineral and vitamin deficiencies
An occasional stomach twitch is nothing to worry about and will probably go away without treatment. However, some twitches may last more than two days. If this happens, it is a signal for some mineral deficiencies, other dietary issues, or a symptom of an underlying medical condition. You should consult your doctor about the vital dietary changes you should consider. There are several vitamins that their deficiencies can cause twitching in the stomach. They include thiamine (B1), pantothenic acid (B5), vitamin D, pyridoxine (B6).
The following are some concerns you should consider;
You may suffer an imbalance in the electrolytes in your body in case you lack minerals that perform such actions, which include magnesium and calcium.
In most cases, muscle twitching is an early sign of magnesium deficiency. You should, therefore, consider consuming magnesium-rich foods such as dark leafy greens, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, among other foods in a balanced diet.
You should also add 1000mgs of calcium in your muscle daily. Calcium is available in dairy products, nuts, and leafy green vegetables.
Twitching inside stomach
As mentioned, twitching inside the stomach is common and can occur to anyone. Twitching or involuntary spasm inside the stomach can also occur on the right, left, or upper sides of the stomach.
The following are various conditions that could lead to twitching inside the stomach.
This is a very common condition in the lower abdomen. You will know you are constipating when you experience difficulties in passing stool or when the feces are hard and compacted. You will experience spasmodic pains as the hard stool stretches the intestines.
This condition can be very uncomfortable but can be resolved by drinking plenty of water every day and eating a diet with plenty of fiber. There are also some other natural remedies for this condition, which include castor oil. This oil is a natural stool softener (laxatives) that helps it to pass easier and more frequently.
2. Gas build-up
When gas builds up in the stomach, it makes it stretch, and this leads to pain and discomfort. According to doctors at Mayo Clinic, gas causes bloating and stomach spasms, and the pain caused resembles sharp, jabbing cramps in your abdomen. The spasms may start abruptly but may heal quickly as well. You can often relieve twitching in the stomach by passing gas, but this may not always work. That is why there are some remedies for offering relief in case of such a feeling.
For instance, you can drink chamomile tea. This is a natural and one of the most effective ways to relieve the discomfort of gas and prevent build-up in your stomach. According to the journal by Molecular Medicine Reports, chamomile extracts can effectively soothe the stomach and help clear gas from the stomach.
Appendicitis is a condition that causes a sharp and unexpected pain around your lower abdomen. This pain persists and eventually becomes more severe and spasmodic as the inflammation gets worse. According to the Mayo Clinic, some other symptoms of this condition are nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, and diarrhea.
This condition is life-threatening and requires emergency medical attention before it becomes worse.
Muscle twitching is a sign of anxiety and one that can cause a great deal of distress. Twitching pains in the stomach could get severe, leading to diarrhea and other problems in the digestive system. According to research at the Harvard Medical School, there is a ‘brain-gut axis’, which causes digestive upset when a person is under psychological or social stress.
Mild stress can also cause jabbing stomach spasms, whereas prolonged stress can have a massive impact on your body’s health. It is, therefore, important that you learn how to control your stress naturally to prevent panic, anxiety, or gastrointestinal disorders.
Upper stomach twitching
Digestive problems or disorders often cause the twitching upper stomach. Twitching in this part of the stomach can be described as an involuntary contraction. It can occur on either the upper or lower abdominal area.
Common digestive complications that might lead to upper stomach twitching would include the following:
- Heartburn- this condition occurs when the stomach acid leaks back up the esophagus and irritates its lining. This leads to pains and aches in the upper abdomen. Although the pain is not sharp, the contractions cause a lot of discomfort.
- Indigestion- you may experience constant twitching when the stomach acid causes irritation and inflammation of the lining of the digestive system. This common symptom of indigestion causes stomach aches in the upper abdomen, especially after eating or drinking. Some other symptoms of this condition include nausea, burping, and bloating.
- Gastroesophageal reflux- this is a digestive disorder that causes severe or chronic acid reflux that can cause complications such as cancer. Just like heartburn, it causes pain in the upper abdomen when the acid in the stomach gets into the esophagus.
This condition can, however, be treated with natural home remedies. WebMD recommends the use of baking soda as one of the treatments. It helps calm the stomach and neutralizes the acid causing the painful symptoms. You simply:
- Mix ¼ or ½ teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink the solution after every meal.
- Repeat this for about 2 weeks, and it will help relieve painful symptoms.
- If the symptoms don’t improve after this period, you should consult your doctor for further checkup.
Stomach twitching early pregnancy
You may experience involuntary, spasmodic pains in your lower stomach as an early sign of pregnancy. You will feel fluttering and vibrating sensations in the lower abdomen and around the ovaries and the uterus. These sensations are very common and are normal and are also seen 6 to 12 days after ovulation. According to WebMD, an early sign of pregnancy can be mistaken for the start of the menstrual period.
If you are experiencing twitching and sometimes bleeding, you should take a pregnancy test to confirm your suspicion. Sometimes the test may read negative even when the pregnancy is positive. If that happens, you can wait a few more days and retake the test.
Stomach twitching not pregnant
Stomach twitching is normal in women, and it’s not always caused by pregnancy. You may suffer as a result of any of the conditions discussed above, like autoimmune disorders, or dietary issues. The following is another condition most women could mistake for pregnancy because of almost similar symptoms.
Most women experience mild to severe contractions in the lower abdomen during or before their menstrual cycle. According to a physician in obstetrics and gynecology Dr. Kecia Gaither, cramping pain in the lower abdomen just before menstruation is very common and could be caused by contractions of the uterus, resulting in muscle spasm. The doctor suggests that you place a hot water bottle on your stomach to relieve the stomach spasms. You can also avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol to find out if it helps prevents more abdominal pains.
How to stop constant twitching in stomach
The following are some treatments that can help you stop the symptoms of constant twitching in the stomach. These remedies contain high health benefits and can also spice up meals. The medicinal properties of these remedies help in treating a wide range of conditions in your body, and that is why they are highly recommended. You should, however, have in mind that it’s not always that your treatments work effectively on your body. It is, therefore, important to consult your doctor if the symptoms persist.
1. Castor oil
If your stomach twitching is caused by conditions such as constipation, castor oil is an ideal remedy for you. This oil is a natural laxative and thus helps soften the stool for easier passing. The following is how to use this remedy;
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- Take 1 or 2 tablespoons of castor oil on an empty stomach
- Repeat this at least 2 times every day for a week- this will help get rid of cramping stomach pains that cause constipation
Ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation and pain caused by viral infections. It also contains naturally occurring chemicals called gingerols and shogaols. These chemicals help relax muscles in the intestinal tract and therefore relieve stomach cramps or stomach aches. Ginger root is also a great remedy for nausea and stomachache.
- Wash, peel and then grate 1 or 2 inches of fresh ginger root.
- Add 1 or 2 cups of fresh water for it to boil- you should use more ginger than water for a more concentrated drink
- Boil the solution for 3 minutes and simmer for about 2 minutes
- Allow it to cool a bit and then strain- you can add some honey for taste
- Sip it slowly and then relax
3. Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea is an effective remedy for soothing the stomach and for providing relief to some conditions like gas build-up in the body. It can also ease the pain by working as an anti-inflammatory when the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed by some bacterial infections. It also relaxes the muscles causing twitching in the stomach, and the contractions pushing food through your system ease up and lessen the cramping pain as well as spasms.
How to prepare chamomile;
- Insert a chamomile tea bag in boiling water and let it steep for 10 minutes
- In case you are using dried chamomile, place 1-2 teaspoons in a mug and then cover with boiling water
- Cover the mug and let it steep for around 20 minutes
- Sip it slowly and repeat the same every day until the contractions cool down
4. Fennel seeds
Fennel seeds can help you deal with stomach twitching caused by conditions like indigestion. Chewing on the fennel seeds helps in containing anethole, which is a volatile oil responsible for the secretion of digestive juice. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation and pain accompanied by this condition.
The following is how to stop stomach discomfort with fennel seeds;
- You will need to chew ½ to 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds thoroughly after every meal.
- This remedy is not advisable if you are pregnant.
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5. Lemon water
Lemon water can help relieve contractions because of its high acidity level. It stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid, which breaks down food in your stomach. This reduces chances for conditions such as constipation or indigestion. Lemon water also helps in keeping your body well hydrated and also flushes out any bacteria in the system.
How to prepare lemon water;
- You need 1 fresh lemon and warm water
- Squeeze the lemon juice from the fruit and add the juice in a glass with warm water
- Drink the water at least 3 times a day until the symptoms stop
Peppermint is a perfect remedy to alleviate stomach twitching symptoms caused by conditions such as inflammatory bowel syndrome. This oil can calm the muscles in the colon, which may lead to diarrhea or other forms of abdominal discomfort. This oil contains anti-spasm properties that help alleviate intestinal pain and flatulence. You may consume peppermint as a herbal tea or try peppermint enteric-coated capsules.
The procedure of using peppermint;
- Cover peppermint with 1 cup of boiling water and let it steep for 5 to 10 minutes
- Sip it slowly while it’s still warm
- If you are using fresh peppermint leaves, you can directly chew them to ease any stomach pains
7. Hot compress
You can use a hot water bottle to compress your muscles. Heat loosens and relaxes muscles. If you are experiencing stomach spasms, some warmth can help you relieve any discomfort that you may be feeling.
How to do it;
- Lie down on your back and relax
- Rest the hot water bottle on your belly
- Leave it on for about 15 minutes or more
- You can also reheat if necessary- this will help your muscles relax.
8. Rice water
Rice water is the leftover water after you cook rice. It helps in relieving inflammation by forming a soothing barrier over a membrane, such as the lining of the stomach.
What you need to do;
- Add some extra water to the normal quantity of water you use for cooking rice
- Proceeding with the cooking as usual but maintain medium-low heat
- As the rice starts becoming tender, remove it from the heat and allow it to soak for 3 minutes with the lid on
- Drain and drink the warm water- you can add some honey if you feel like it
- Stomach spasms; causes and best natural treatments; http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/stomach-spasms/
- Home remedies for stomach aches and cramps: http://everydayroots.com/stomach-ache-remedies
- Why your stomach is twitching: http://scarysymptoms.com/2012/01/why-your-stomach-is-twitching/
- How to treat stomach spasm: http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/general-health-articles/causes-treatments-stomach-spasm-abdominal-muscle-spasms/