Can Dehydration Cause Stomach Pain? 8 Helpful Remedies

Can dehydration cause stomach pain? Indeed, it can. People suffering from any such pain might grow curious to learn about the reason behind it. What could be the reason behind this mild dehydration and abdomen pain?

1. What Exactly Is Dehydration?

Not having a proper fluid intake amount of fluids can lead to different types of problems and one of them is avoiding dehydration. Dehydration not only leads to losing water but also some important electrolytes in acids and bases which brings imbalance to our body chemistry. Dehydration accompanies the disruption of the metabolic process1.

A picture of two glasses of juice and a few vegetable carrots, beetroot, and slices of lemon kept alongside.
image by Pixabay / Pexels / Copyrights 2017

Our body is made of 75 percent of water. Water is found inside cells, between cells, internal organs, and within blood vessels. Dehydration may simply be caused due to a lack of intake of water. Dehydration may also occur when the intake of water is less than the amount being used by the body.

Server acute Diarrhea, vomiting, and fever can also lead to severe dehydration, as it causes tremendous loss of water and electrolytes. An increase in urination 2that can be due to some medications or uncontrolled and undiagnosed diabetes can also lead the body to lose water. Dehydration also affects gut health.

The most common ways through which our body loses fluids are sweating, breathing, urinating, exercising, exposure to the sun, and even crying. People suffering from dehydration may often face extreme thirst, headaches, dark yellow urine, and dizziness. Dehydration can also cause muscle cramps and stomach cramps.

Stomach cramps or abdominal pain can often come uninvited without any symptoms. For any human body to function properly, it needs to intake a sufficient drinking enough amount of water. Excess drinking of water might lead to various medical conditions. Dehydration makes it tough for the body to generate ample stomach acids, which might lead to Hypochlorhydria, a condition having low levels of stomach acids3.

2.1. Low Hydrochloric Acid

Our body requires hydrochloric acid which is released by our stomach to break down the food that is consumed. Hydrochloric acid also plays a major role in helping the body to utilize nutrients like protein and preventing viruses.

Having a low hydrochloric acid level might have a severe effect on the stomach’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients. If the food is not being digested properly it can settle down in the GI with urinary tract infections resulting in giving pain. It may lead to some serious gut issues and medical conditions. Hence it can lead to stomach or abdominal pain while suffering from dehydration4.

A 3D illustration of blue-colored oval-shaped bacteria.
Photo by CDC on Unsplash Copyrights 2020

2.2. Bacteria and Viruses

Having a lack of hydrochloric acid means the body has a high chance of attracting bacteria and viruses. This might have a great effect on our immune system, causing an imbalance in our microbiome.

2.3. Sweets

Dehydration leads to having a sweet tooth. People might carve to have something sweet. But this might also lead to abdominal pain. Suffering from dehydration, your digestive system is weak. Consuming sweets might make it even worse.

2.4. Bowel Malfunction

Lacking the need to drink or consume enough water or fluids can result in sluggish bowel function. To have proper discretion of stool from the body, the water receptors in the colon consume the water from the body, which results in adequate water absorption from the body.

2.5. Indigestion

Suffering from chronic dehydration has already lowered the amount of water in the body. So it becomes hard to absorb water causing improper discretion of stool. This affects digestive function and results in abdominal pain.

A dehydrated body can result in weak digestive functioning causing constipation, gas, and bloating. These symptoms can cause discomfort and pain in the stomach. Additionally, dehydration can also cause inflammation in the lining of the stomach, leading to stomach pain and discomfort.

A person suffering from indigestion with a burger in one hand and holding a stomach with another hand.
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash Copyrights 2021

Living different lifestyles, everyone has their diet, exercises, and routine. Everyone has a different body build-up. Treatments showing results to one person might not be effective on another.

Following is the list of some common useful remedies that will help your body with moderate dehydration:

3.1. Oral Rehydration Solution

Starting with the most commonly suggested remedy is the intake of Oral Rehydration Solution which can help in getting back the lost fluids.

3.2. Rehydrate

The best way to reduce dehydration is to rehydrate yourself. Consume more fluids, which can help to recover and keep your water percentage constant.

3.3. Consuming Supplements

Consume supplements packed with electrolytes and minerals.

A close-up of a person's hand taking out a supplement pill from a bottle.
image by Polina Tankilevitch / Pexels / Copyrights 2020

3.4. Coconut Water

Consumption of coconut water as it is packed with minerals and keeps our body hydrated. 

3.5. Consumption of Acids

One of the major reasons for the pain is the lack of stomach acids. Hence, consuming citric acids which are found in fruits, vinegar, etc. This can also help to build a strong immune system.

3.6. Consumption of Herbs

The intake of herbs having hydrating agents can help our body recover fast. Herbs like Chamomile, Elder Flowers, and Willow Bark.

3.7. Banana

Banana holds a high water content and can help you restore potassium.

A cluster of bananas is kept on a wooden bench.
image by Luis Quintero / Pexels / Copyrights 2019

3.8. Fruits and Vegetables

Intake of fruits and vegetables having high water content helps you restore your energy and nutrients that are lost during dehydration and from heat stroke and exhaustion.

These are some common remedies that can help you. It is highly recommended to consult a doctor and get treated on time.

4. Additional Feasible Causes for Abdominal Pain:

1. Gastritis

2. Irritable bowel Syndrome

3. Allergies

4. Appendicitis

5. Cholecystitis

6. Endometriosis

7. Inflammatory Bowel Disease

These are only a few of them. There are various reasons for abdominal pain. Consulting a doctor and getting proper treatment are highly recommended. Small inconveniences might lead to big problems. Solving them in time can prevent them from getting permanent damage.

Abdominal pain or stomach pain can be moderate but will not take time to turn into severe diarrhea if not taken care of. Our body depends on our immune system.

A weak immune system attracts medical conditions. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicines recommends an average water intake: of 2.7 liters of drinking water a day for women and 3.7 liters a day for men.

Make sure to stay hydrated and healthy.

5 Possible Causes of Stomach Pain
Icy Health
  1. Genuis, Stephen J., and Edmond Kyrillos. “The chemical disruption of human metabolism.” Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods 27.7 (2017): 477-500. ↩︎
  2. Wagener, Gebhard, et al. “Association between increases in urinary neutrophil gelatinase–associated lipocalin and acute renal dysfunction after adult cardiac surgery.” The Journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists 105.3 (2006): 485-491. ↩︎
  3. Beasley, DeAnna E., et al. “The evolution of stomach acidity and its relevance to the human microbiome.” PloS one 10.7 (2015): e0134116. ↩︎
  4. Reber, Emilie, et al. “Management of dehydration in patients suffering swallowing difficulties.” Journal of clinical medicine 8.11 (2019): 1923. ↩︎

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Diti Shah

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