Waking up feeling gassy and bloated may result from eating certain foods, eating too quickly, or eating large meals. Other causes may include inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), diabetes, and gastroenteritis.
Bloating involves a feeling of fullness, pressure, or distension in the abdomen, possibly with the sensation of trapped gas. For many individuals, abdominal bloating and gas go away on their own and do not require any further medical evaluation or treatment.
Others may experience chronic or severe bloating and gas in the morning or at other times of the day, which may indicate an underlying health condition.
This article discusses possible short- and long-term causes of bloating and gas. It also explores treatment, prevention, and when to speak with a healthcare professional.
Almost everyone will experience short-term gas and bloating at some point during their lifetime. According to a 2020 review, its prevalence in the general population ranges from 16–31% and rises to 66–90% in people living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Transient or short-lived, sporadic episodes of gas and bloating when waking up are likely the result of benign conditions or lifestyle choices.
Food choices that can cause bloating or gas can include:
- eating rapidly
- swallowing a lot of air
- consuming artificial sweeteners
- eating legumes or other foods high in fiber
- drinking carbonated beverages
- consuming a lot of caffeine
- eating large meals
- using certain medications, such as antacids
A person may also experience bloating or gas during a menstrual period.
Long-term causes of waking up gassy or bloated are often due to underlying health conditions. Many people will require treatment to help manage bloating, gas, and other symptoms.
Several underlying health conditions that can cause chronic or long-term bloating and gas
- chronic idiopathic pseudo-obstruction, which is when the involuntary contractions in the intestines are inefficient, leading to a range of symptoms
- pancreatic insufficiency, which is when the pancreas does not function as usual
- food intolerance
- small bowel bacterial overgrowth
- celiac disease
- acute gastroenteritis
- ovarian cancer
- bowel cancer
- gastric cancer
Constipation and IBS can also both cause bloating or the sensation of gas.
Learn whether excessive gas can be due to a serious underlying condition.
A person may not need treatment for infrequent bloating or gas. When eating habits or foods cause morning bloating, the symptoms will often go away on their own.
Persistent or severe bloating or gas may indicate a more serious underlying condition. People may find relief from their symptoms once they start treating and managing the underlying condition.
Treatments for underlying conditions can vary depending on the cause. A person will likely need to work with a healthcare professional for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
People with occasional bloating or gas may wish to try the following steps to help prevent these symptoms:
- changing eating habits, such as eating more slowly, eating smaller meals, or chewing more thoroughly
- keeping a food journal to help track which foods may be causing bloating and gas and discussing how to safely limit or remove them from the diet with a healthcare professional
- reducing salt intake, particularly if eating a
high fiber diet
According to a
Learn more ways to prevent bloating after eating.
Mild or infrequent cases of bloating or gas in the morning may not require a medical evaluation from a doctor. However, a person should speak with a healthcare professional if they are concerned about their symptoms.
When bloating or other symptoms come on within about 30 minutes of eating a meal or a person cannot finish a meal, it may indicate the presence of an upper gastrointestinal disorder, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or an infection.
People should consider seeing a doctor if they experience frequent cases of bloating or gas in the morning that does not subside or occurs alongside additional symptoms, such as diarrhea, vomiting, or constipation. This could indicate someone has an underlying condition.
Learn more about a bloated stomach, tiredness, and nausea.
Waking up with gas and bloating may result from eating habits, other short-term causes, or underlying medical conditions.
Eating habits may include eating quickly, swallowing air, or eating large meals. Eating foods high in fiber may also cause bloating.
Underlying medical conditions, such as IBS, IBD, and different cancers, can also cause bloating or gas that may occur when waking up.
Feeling bloated in the morning may not require treatment if symptoms are mild or go away after a short time. Severe or recurring bloating may indicate an underlying health condition. Treatment for the underlying condition may help improve bloating and gas symptoms.
A person should speak with a doctor if they are concerned about waking up with gas and bloating. A doctor may be able to recommend some lifestyle changes to prevent gas and bloating or order diagnostic tests if they suspect someone has an underlying condition.