Causes of Morning Diarrhea

Morning diarrhea occurs when a person passes a watery, loose stool first thing in the morning. The urgency to use the toilet may cause a person to wake up. Occasional morning diarrhea may be a sign of a temporary illness or the result of lifestyle choices.

READ ALSO: Diarrhea: Symptoms, Causes, Types and Medications

Lifestyle causes

Some lifestyle choices may cause morning diarrhea. These includes:

  • Drinking excess coffee: Drinking too much coffee may trigger morning diarrhea because of the presence of caffeine which increases bowel movements.
  • Drinking excess alcohol: Alcohol can also cause loose stools. Morning diarrhea may be caused by drinking excess alcohol the night before.
  • Midnight snacking: When a person wakes up in the night to eat before returning to bed again, they may experience morning diarrhea.
  • Consuming a large breakfast: Eating a big breakfast shortly after waking up may overstimulate the bowels, which may cause morning diarrhea.
  • Taking medication: Antibiotics can also cause morning diarrhea.

Temporary causes of morning diarrhea

Temporary conditions that may cause morning diarrhea include:

  • Food poisoning: Morning diarrhea may be caused by eating food that has been contaminated by bacteria.
  • Virus: A virus like influenza may cause morning diarrhea.
  • Bacterial infection: A bacterial infection may cause morning diarrhea.
  • Pregnancy: Morning diarrhea may be a response to changing hormone levels caused by pregnancy.
  • Psychological stress: The bowel can be stimulated when a person is stressed or anxious, which can cause morning diarrhea.
  • Dehydration: Dehydration affects electrolyte balance. Electrolyte imbalance can stimulate the gut and cause diarrhea, as electrolytes control how cell membranes work and transport electrical signals that cause muscles to contract.

READ ALSO: What Foods to Eat If You Have Diarrhea

Long-term causes of morning diarrhea

Long-term conditions that may cause morning diarrhea include:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): IBD is involves a variety of conditions which cause inflammation the gut. Conditions include ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): IBS is one of the major causes of morning diarrhea. Psychological stress and certain foods may be triggers, but the exact cause of IBS is unknown.
  • Allergies: People who eat foods they are allergic or sensitive to may develop irritation of the gut, leading to morning diarrhea. Common food allergens include peanuts, wheat, egg, dairy, and fruit.

Treating morning diarrhea

If an allergy is responsible for causing morning diarrhea, then it can be prevented by eliminating any irritating foods out of the diet.

READ ALSO: How to Stop Diarrhea

If IBS or IBD is causing morning diarrhea, consult a doctor for a correct diagnosis.


People who exercise regularly, eat healthful diet, and generally live a healthful life may not experience Morning diarrhea. Making positive lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking or reducing alcohol consumption, are good ways of preventing morning diarrhea.

It would also help to reduce quantities of foods that are likely to irritate the gut such as spicy foods, raw fruits, carbonated drinks, foods that contain FODMAPS, and starchy foods that contain gluten.


Disclaimer: The content provided on is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical doctor or healthcare professional.


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