Irritable bowel syndrome can lead to a number of health problems in pregnant women, from morning sickness, heartburn, constipation to diarrhea. Stress and wrong eating habits can exacerbate the symptoms of this digestive disorder that can be dangerous for the expectant mother, says an expert. (Also read: Irritable Bowel Syndrome: 6 Lifestyle Changes to Manage Bowel Disorder)
Unmanaged IBS in pregnancy can lead to a range of complications, from preterm labor, miscarriage, to ectopic pregnancy. If you’re pregnant and suffering from acidity, constipation, or loose motions, you should know the symptoms of IBS and follow these expert-approved tips to manage your condition.
“Women who have IBS before pregnancy are prone to severe symptoms during pregnancy or may also get needed relief during pregnancy period,” says Surabhi Siddhartha, Maternity Hospital, Kharghar.
Pregnancy complications due to IBS
Having severe IBS symptoms during pregnancy can make life difficult for the expectant mother and increase the risk of miscarriage.
“IBS causing diarrhea or dehydration can result in premature labor. Constipation due to IBS during pregnancy can result in rectal bleeding or even hemorrhoid problem. It can increase the chances of miscarriage or even ectopic pregnancy. IBS does not affect fertility. or the ability to get pregnant,” says Dr. Siddhartha.
Why IBS is Common During Pregnancy
The gynecologist says there are many factors that can contribute to IBS during pregnancy which include stress and anxiety, hormonal imbalance, pressure from the growing baby inside the uterus in the stomach and intestines and even certain foods that lead to gas, flatulence and swelling.
“Dairy, peanuts, cauliflower, beets, broccoli, alcohol, tea, coffee, spicy and fatty foods, skipping meals and taking iron pills during pregnancy, which can cause constipation, are some of the reasons behind IBS during pregnancy. pregnancy,” says Siddhartha. .
IBS symptoms in pregnant women
While heartburn, acidity, and loose motion are the common symptoms of IBS in the first trimester, in the later stages of pregnancy, the most prominent signs are constipation, abdominal pain, and mucus-filled stools.
Diagnosis of IBS during pregnancy
The specialist says that the diagnosis is usually made on the basis of symptoms, as there is no specific test for this. One may be asked to have a colonoscopy or blood tests to look for any problems.
Lifestyle changes to manage IBS during pregnancy
Once your condition is diagnosed, your doctor may advise you to take medication and make some lifestyle changes. These are:
* Eat a well-balanced diet comprised of essential nutrients.
* Eat food in small amounts and at regular intervals.
* Avoid spicy foods that cause acidity, heartburn and poor digestion. Having fatty foods can also lead to acid reflux.
* Drink lots of water to get rid of constipation and eat probiotics to improve gut health.
* Say no to foods and vegetables that can trigger gas, bloating and flatulence. Give up high-fat dairy, alcohol and smoking.
* Exercise daily and stay stress free by doing yoga and meditation.