The causes of a sore stomach when awakening are many, including colon cancer and other organ cancers.

When cancer causes a sore, hurting stomach upon awakening, chances are very high that the disease causes this same symptom during other times of the day.

In other words, there is no cancer, including colon, that characteristically causes stomach pain or soreness ONLY in the morning or ONLY when you awaken.

“Individuals will experience abdominal pain sometime in their lifetime,” says Franjo Vladic, MD, a board certified gastroenterologist with Center for Digestive Health and Endoscopy Center in Ohio.

“Most of the causes are not serious. However, pain can also be a sign of an illness.”

Below, according to Dr. Vladic, are non-cancer related causes of your morning or post-awakening stomach soreness:

  • Indigestion/GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
  • Constipation
  • Intestinal gas symptoms (can be very painful)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Peptic ulcer disease (stomach or duodenal ulcer)
  • Gallstones (can be quite painful)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Kidney stones
  • Endometriosis

Additional causes of morning stomach discomfort: microscopic colitis (an inflammatory bowel disease), celiac disease and an ovarian cyst.

But all of these conditions can also cause your stomach or abdominal region to hurt during other times of the day.

As mentioned, colon cancer can cause abdominal pain, but so can tumors in the following organs: liver, pancreas, stomach and ovary.


You can do a home screening test for colon cancer with a non-invasive tool called Cologuard, which is available by prescription only.

Cologuard is simple: Just collect a sample of your stool and mail it off.

Cologuard uses state of the art DNA science to identify abnormal cells in the sample—cells that may indicate the presence of colon cancer.


If your doctor has not heard of Cologuard, here is Cologuard’s number: 1-844-870-8870.

There is another possible cause of a sore stomach in the morning or soon after awakening: abdominal exercises done the day before, even two days before.

This doesn’t necessarily mean crunches or sit-ups. If you attempted pull-ups or chin-ups the day before, or even struggled with pushups, these movements can actually make your abs sore.

The ab muscles are recruited during these movements, and most people do not realize that.

The soreness may be delayed (delayed onset muscle soreness) and, like many incidents of muscle soreness, do not begin presenting until the morning after or two mornings after the exercise.

Dr. Vladic’s special interests include acid reflux, colitis, colon cancer, GERD, heartburn, IBS, liver disease, obesity, pancreatitis and peptic ulcer, among many others.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  
Top image: Freepik.comsore stomach