Stomach Twitching (Symptoms, Causes, Treatment) - The Healthy Apron (2023)

Stomach twitching can be a scary phenomenon to experience. It is hard to know what is happening, why it is happening or what can be done to stop it from happening.

As well, since stomach twitching isn’t one of those health issues that is commonly discussed, it is easy to assume you are the only one who has ever experienced these strange symptoms.

But the truth is, stomach twitching can happen for a variety of very common reasons, and many people do experience this health issue each year.

In this article, learn everything you need to know about stomach twitching, including what causes it, the main symptoms, how it is diagnosed and treated.

Twitching in Stomach

Health Grades uses one of the medical names for stomach twitching, which is “abdominal muscle spasms.”(1)

According to Scary Symptoms, neurologists sometimes also use the term “muscle fasciculations,” which denotes a muscle or muscle group that is firing, or twitching, abnormally (since the stomach muscles do not twitch all day, every day, this is called an abnormal firing).(2)

Actually, muscles all over the body may twitch from time to time, and often there is a perfectly good and very temporary reason for why this happens. Stomach twitching is no different, but if it continues to happen regularly, this can be a sign that it is time to see professional medical attention.

Here, it is important to rule out more serious conditions such as abdominal wall dystonia, which is when the abdominal muscles not only contract but stay contracted, which is a result of abnormal muscle tone.(2)

Also, myoclonus, or muscle jerking, can be confused with stomach twitching, which is why identifying the underlying causes and obtaining an accurate diagnosis is so important.(3)

Causes ofAbdominal Twitching

Stomach twitching can arise for a number of physiological reasons.

One of the most well-known reasons, according to Baby Center, is pregnancy.(4)

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Here, it is very likely the twitching is related to the natural growth and expansion of the abdominal area itself as your baby grows.

However, it is still wise to make an ob-gyn appointment to rule out other causes or complicating factors. So for the remainder of this article we will focus on non-pregnancy related causes of stomach twitching.

According to MedGuidance, these are all potential causes that can initiate stomach twitching:(5)

»Dehydration. Muscles often twitch when deprived of hydration and electrolytes.

»Muscle overuse. A too-intense workout can cause over-exhausted muscles to twitch involuntarily as they heal.

»Bowel issues. Constipation, diarrhea or obstruction in the bowel area can all be a source of abdominal muscle twitching.

»Kidney stones. The pain of growing kidney stones can mimic stomach twitching, and the dehydration that often accompanies this condition can cause genuine stomach twitching.

»Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). When the thyroid gland becomes underactive and doesn’t produce normal amounts of hormones, the metabolic imbalance can cause abdominal muscles to twitch.

»Diverticulitis. diverticulitis as a stomach condition where pouches form along the interior colon wall.(6) This can cause severe abdominal muscle spasms.

»Gastritis. WebMD’s Symptom Checker cites gastritis, gastroenteritis and a related condition, giardiasis, as all being potential causes for stomach twitching when inflammation or infection takes root in the stomach and/or small intestine.(7)

»Gas. Sometimes a simple attack of gas can cause involuntary muscle twitching in the stomach and abdominal area.

(Video) Acute Gastritis (Stomach Inflammation) | Causes, Signs & Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

»Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel disease can cause intense muscle cramping due to an autoimmune issue where the body’s immune system begins to attack the stomach tissues.

»Peptic ulcer. The presence of an ulcer basically eats away at the stomach lining and can cause perforation.(8) This painful condition is often marked by stomach cramps and twitching when stomach acids come in contact with the sore and surrounding tissues.

»Celiac disease. Celiac disease is a relatively rare autoimmune condition where the body is intolerant to gluten. Abdominal twitching or “fluttering” is one known patient symptom, according to

»Trauma or injury. Being in an accident or sustaining an injury in some other way can also cause trauma to the stomach and abdomen, which may result in stomach twitching.

It is easy to see from reviewing this list of possible causes that causes of stomach twitching can range from common, manageable conditions all the way to serious health issues requiring professional medical treatment.

For this reason, if the stomach twitching persists, it is important to seek out the formal medical diagnosis.


Stomach twitching can give rise to a number of equally unwelcome and uncomfortable symptoms.

However, these symptoms can be very helpful in achieving an accurate medical diagnosis so the proper treatment can be administered.

Of course, the most common and well-known symptom of stomach twitching is the sensation of twitching itself. Patients may describe twitching as spasms, contractions, cramping and even hunger pangs.

Symptoms that may accompany stomach twitching can include (but are not limited to) these:

» Nausea.
» Constipation or diarrhea.
» Vomiting.
» Hunger.
» Weakness.
» Thirst.
» Abdominal pain.
» A feeling of bloating or fullness.
» Bleeding in urine or stool.
» Signs of abdominal injury such as redness, swelling or tenderness.
» Fever.
» Shortness of breath.
» Confusion or disorientation.

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These symptoms can each be signs pointing to a potential underlying health condition such as injury or illness that is causing the stomach twitching.

If possible, keeping a health journal and a list of symptoms along with their frequency and duration can make it easier to achieve a firm diagnosis.

How to Diagnose Stomach Twitching

Diagnosing stomach twitching with accuracy begins with noting all symptoms that are present, both the stomach twitching, cramping, spasming or contractions and other symptoms that may even appear to be unrelated.

The next diagnostic step is typically a full physical exam, with the physician paying special attention to any areas where there is tenderness or pain or swelling. Depending on the complete symptoms list to date, other tests may then be ordered.

According to eMedicine Health, the most common diagnostic tests include (but are not limited to) these:(10)

»CBC and blood chemistry profile. The CBC (complete blood count) will look for key imbalances. For instance, low levels of potassium and magnesium may indicate dehydration, while elevated antibodies could indicate an autoimmune issue.

Low blood cell counts can be a warning sign of internal bleeding.

»Rectal test. This test looks for blood in the stool, as well as small masses or hemorrhoids that may be causing the stomach twitching.

»Pregnancy test. For women, it is important to rule out pregnancy during the diagnostic phase.

»Urinalysis. This test looks for blood in urine, which can be a symptom of kidney stones or a kidney infection.

»Internal organ tests. Liver and pancreatic enzyme tests can highlight issues with internal organs that may be causing abdominal pain and/or spasming.

(Video) The Connection Between Anxiety and Stomach Problems

»X-ray tests. An X-ray can show if there is an internal issue such as a rupture or mass that may be causing spasms or twitching.

»Ultrasound. Ultrasound allows doctors to check for abdominal and organ abnormalities.

»CT scan.The CT scan can help doctors see internal organs more closely.


Typically, treatment will address the symptoms first before moving to resolve any underlying medical conditions.

The most common treatments for stomach twitching include these:

»Antibiotics. To treat an infection (bacterial, fungal).
»Acid-suppressants. To treat ulcers, gastritis and acid reflux.
»Corticosteroids. To treat inflammation.
»Pain medications. To treat physical discomfort.(Learn more at Amazon)
»Muscle relaxants. To treat the spasming, twitching muscles.(Learn more at Amazon)


If you are experiencing stomach twitching that is intermittent or consistent, it is important for your own peace of mind as well as your health to seek medical attention.

The best way to achieve relief from the discomfort of stomach twitching is to take these steps:

» Seek out an appointment with your primary care physician.
» Have a physical exam and basic blood tests to determine if you should see a specialist.
» Pursue diagnostic testing as needed to identify the source of the twitching.
»Begin treatment to alleviate your symptoms and address any other underlying causes.



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How do you make your stomach stop twitching? ›

Rest. People with spasms due to muscle strain may find relief by resting the muscles and avoiding abdominal exercises. Heat. Applying a heat pack or hot water bottle to the abdomen can relax the muscles and ease spasms.

Can stomach issues cause muscle twitching? ›

Gastroenteritis. Too much gas in the intestines may lead to spasms as the muscles strain to let out the gas. Gastroenteritis is the inflammation of both the stomach and the intestines. The condition is usually caused by viruses, bacteria, or contaminated food (food poisoning).

What does it mean when your gut twitches? ›

Colon Spasms. Colon spasms are a symptom of intestinal distress. You may have colon spasms as an acute reaction to an infection or a food intolerance. Some people have chronic colon spasms related to an underlying condition, such as IBS.

Can anxiety cause stomach twitching? ›

These are common symptoms of anxiety. Muscle twitches can be slow, sporadic, intermittent, or involve muscle tremors. They can last for seconds or even hours and can affect any part of the body, such as the arms, legs, facial muscles, abdominal muscles, and neck.

How do I stop my muscles from twitching? ›

There are, however, five steps you can take to try to get rid of the spasm:
  1. Stretch the affected area.
  2. Massage the affected area with your hands or a massage roller.
  3. Stand up and walk around.
  4. Apply heat or ice. ...
  5. Take painkillers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
Mar 11, 2021

What diseases can cause muscle twitching? ›

Nervous system conditions that can cause muscle twitching include:
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also sometimes called Lou Gehrig disease or motor neuron disease.
  • Neuropathy or damage to the nerve that leads to a muscle.
  • Spinal muscular atrophy.
  • Weak muscles (myopathy)
Jan 23, 2022

What are the symptoms of a nervous stomach? ›

The symptoms of a nervous stomach may include:
  • The feeling of “butterflies” in your stomach.
  • Tightness, churning, cramping, and knots in your stomach.
  • Feeling nervous or anxious.
  • Frequent flatulence.
  • Indigestion.
  • Constipation.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Apr 9, 2021

When should I worry about muscle twitching? ›

If muscle twitching is new and you're experiencing additional symptoms, however, Dr. Ondo says this is when muscle twitching becomes more concerning. "We start to worry about fasciculations when they're of relatively sudden onset and there's accompanying weakness, loss of tone and shrinkage in the muscle," says Dr.

Can stress cause fluttering in stomach? ›

Feeling “butterflies in the stomach” is a common indication of hyperstimulation (chronic stress). Hyperstimulation can also cause involuntary panic attacks, causing sudden and “out of the blue” episodes of stomach queasiness, such as feeling like you have “butterflies in the stomach.”

Can twitching be treated? ›

People with epilepsy or Parkinson's disease may have frequent, severe muscle spasms. Antiepileptic medications, sedatives and botulinum injections can ease myoclonic twitching and jerking.

What vitamin is good for muscle twitching? ›

Often, magnesium offers a huge help for muscle twitches. If your muscle twitches are from too much caffeine, it's obvious that you should lower your caffeine intake. And if they're from dehydration, make sure you're drinking enough water throughout the day and replenishing with electrolytes.

Can twitching be cured? ›

Hemifacial spasm is a chronic condition that causes involuntary face twitching. There's no cure for hemifacial spasm but most people can find symptom relief through medication, injections or surgery. You can also minimize symptoms by getting plenty of rest and reducing stress.

Can IBS cause muscle twitching? ›

The term "spastic colon" describes the increase in spontaneous contractions (motility) of muscles in the small and large intestines associated with IBS . These contractions are sometimes called spasms.

Can food intolerance cause muscle twitching? ›

You've Got A Food Sensitivity

And any food can trigger an immune response, and that can include (who knew?) muscle spasms.

Can acidity cause muscle twitching? ›

In reality, esophageal spasms are uncontrolled contractions of the muscles that normally work to move food down the esophagus from the mouth to the stomach. Gastric acid that surges into the esophagus as a result of GERD is one of the suspected causes and aggravators of esophageal spasms.

Do Autoimmune diseases cause muscle twitching? ›


Isaacs syndrome is an autoimmune peripheral nerve disorder that causes neuromuscular manifestations, including continuous muscle twitching (myokymia).


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