Have you ever had stomach pain after drinking water? There are many reasons why your stomach may hurt after drinking water, however typically water is not the direct cause.
Since we live in the US where most drinking water is safe to drink it’s typically not the water but may be due to an underlying medical condition or the way you are consuming it.
In this blog article, we will review various reasons why your stomach may hurt after drinking water and provide some tips on how to avoid this discomfort.
📌 Key Takeaways
- Stomach pain after drinking water could be related to many things including drinking water too fast, the temperature, certain medical conditions or in rare cases water contamination.
- It’s important to identify the underlying cause of stomach pain after drinking water in order to address the issue properly. Consult your health care provider if you are concerned.
- Drinking water slowly, avoiding extremely cold water, drinking water consistently throughout the day, drinking clean water, and seeking medical attention when necessary can all help prevent stomach pain after drinking water.
Stomach pain may occur from drinking water too fast, the temperature, various medical conditions, or in more rare instances it could be due to consuming contaminated water.
It is important to note that if you regularly experience stomach pain after drinking water it is recommended to consult your health care provider since you may have an underlying medical condition that could be contributing to your stomach pain.
Table of Contents
🚰 Drinking Too Fast
If your stomach hurts after drinking water it may be because you are drinking too much water or drinking it too fast (or both). This is because if you drink large quantities of water too much or too fast this can cause your stomach to expand quickly, leading to discomfort.
Luckily, water is digested fairly quickly so this shouldn’t last too long if this is the cause. Separately, sometimes while drinking water too fast, you may swallow air as well which can lead to gas and bloating, contributing to stomach pain.
One way I suggest that you can prevent this from occurring is to sip on water slowly throughout the day rather than a large amount all at once.
It’s truly best for you to sip on small amounts over a period of time because it ensures you remain adequately hydrated throughout the day.
🤔 Could It Be Temperature?
In some instances, the temperature of your drinking water can also impact stomach discomfort. For instance, drinking cold water can cause discomfort because it can lead to your stomach muscles contracting and in some instances cramping.
On the flip side, drinking water that is too hot can also lead to stomach discomfort because it can irritate your stomach lining and esophagus.
Drinking water that is at room temperature should not cause a stomach ache. This temperature is gentle on your stomach. If you get bored of plain water, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your water to make it more palatable.
🩺 Medical Conditions
If you experience stomach pain after drinking water, there may be an underlying medical condition causing this including GERD, stomach ulcers or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
It is important to note that if you suspect you may have one of these digestive disorders, it’s essential to consult with your doctor. Your doctor can perform tests to diagnose the condition and provide the appropriate treatment.
For some instances, lifestyle changes such as diet modifications, stress reduction, and regular exercise can help alleviate symptoms. In this section we will review some digestive disorders that may lead to stomach discomfort or pain after drinking water.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
One common reason why people may experience stomach pain after drinking water is “indigestion” or “acid reflux” AKA GERD. Signs of GERD include a burning sensation in your chest, upper abdominal or chest pain, regurgitation of sour liquid and more.
These sensations happen when stomach acid flows up into your esophagus. Your esophagus is the tube that is considered to be your throat and carries food and drinks from your mouth to your stomach.
Some individuals may have what is called refractory acid reflux where despite treatment, all food and drinks contribute to these symptoms including water. Particularly if you drink water on a full stomach this may exacerbate those symptoms.
Some signs and symptoms of a gastric ulcer include pain on an empty stomach, nausea, and lack of appetite, among other symptoms. Even drinking plain water may cause stomach pain if you have stomach ulcers.
This is a more serious medical condition that can lead to severe complications if left untreated including stomach cancer, perforations or intestinal bleeding.
Stomach ulcers are open sores that develop in your stomach lining. When stomach ulcers are present, drinking water may lead to pain and discomfort because the stomach acid is irritating those open sores.
If you suspect you have a stomach ulcer, it’s essential to see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome also known as IBS can also be a reason why drinking water may cause stomach pain. IBS is a group of symptoms that affect your digestive tract including excessive gas, abdominal pain, and stomach cramps.
This is largely because with IBS your bowels are highly sensitive. However, it is important to recognize that with IBS even if the pain started after you drank your water it may have been something that you were eating earlier that is leading to the stomach pain you are currently having.
For relief with irritable bowel syndrome, it is important to consult a dietitian and your health care provider. Many symptoms can be improved by making changes to your diet, lifestyle and working on stress management.
Making diet changes can be one of the most effective ways to improve symptoms of IBS. The most qualified health care professional to help you with these changes is a Registered Dietitian.
🧫 Contaminated Water
Luckily, we live in the US where most water is considered safe to drink. However, we do know that contaminated water can cause stomach pain.
While it is rare, if you have been drinking water from an unreliable source or suspect that you may have consumed contaminated water, you may experience stomach pain.
Some waterborne illnesses include giardiasis, cholera and cryptosporidiosis. Symptoms of these illnesses include abdominal pain, stomach cramps, watery diarrhea, and vomiting.
The easiest way to prevent waterborne illnesses is to make sure you drink clean and safe water. If outdoors, you can ensure safe drinking water by boiling your water before drinking it or using an appropriate water bottle with a filter.
If you suspect you have a waterborne illness, seek medical attention immediately. Doctors can properly diagnose and provide the appropriate and necessary treatment.
Drinking water that is contaminated with lead or arsenic may also cause stomach pain.
👩🏻⚕️ How to Avoid Stomach Pain
Some of the easiest ways to avoid stomach pain after drinking water is the following:
- Drink water slowly, not too fast. Drinking water too quickly can lead to stomach cramps or discomfort.
- Drink room temperature water vs. extremely hot or cold water. Drinking extremely cold water may also cause stomach cramps. It’s best to stick to room temperature water.
- Drink water consistently throughout the day. This will help you avoid drinking large amounts of water at once and will also help you stay better hydrated.
- Drink clean and safe water. Avoid drinking water that you suspect may be contaminated such as river water. Make sure to boil water before drinking it if you are drinking water from outdoors or use a specialized filter.
- Consult with your health care provider if you suspect any digestive disorders as mentioned above.
Stomach pain after drinking water can be caused by several factors, including rapid water ingestion, water temperature, waterborne illnesses, and various medical conditions. It’s important to identify the underlying cause of this discomfort to address the issue properly.
Drinking water slowly, avoiding extremely cold water, drinking water consistently throughout the day, drinking clean water, and seeking medical attention when necessary can all help prevent stomach pain after drinking water.
Remember, staying hydrated is essential for your overall health, so don’t let stomach discomfort stop you from drinking enough water.
❔ Frequently Asked Questions:
Should I Stop Drinking Water If My Stomach Hurts?
If your stomach hurts, this does not mean you should stop drinking water altogether. However, if you have just had a large meal, it may be of benefit to way until your food is more thoroughly digested prior to drinking more water. Drinking water is essential for overall health and hydration and should not be avoided due to stomach pain or discomfort. Make sure to drink a minimum of 8 oz glasses of water daily.
Why Does My Stomach Hurt After Drinking Water Or Eating?
Your stomach may hurt after drinking water or eating due to various medical conditions including acid reflux or IBS. Acid reflux or GERD may lead to a burning sensation in your chest. If you experience these symptoms it can be beneficial to meet with a health care provider as well as make changes to your diet, lifestyle and stress management.
Why Does Water On An Empty Stomach Hurt?
If drinking water on an empty stomach causes a stomach ache it may be due to drinking too much water too fast or in some instances it may be more serious. If you notice water causing pain on an empty stomach consistently it may be due to stomach ulcers. Consult your health care provider if you have concerns.