Some women have gastrointestinal issues that worsen and become more prominent during pregnancy. This may be due to increased hormone levels, but it may also be a result of the decreasing space in the body cavity for all of the internal organs. In this post, we’ll take a look at some common pregnancy woes – specifically gastrointestinal ones. We’ll also answer some common questions you might have: can pregnancy cause IBS symptoms, what does pregnancy gastritis feel like, and what helps digestive problems during pregnancy?
Gastritis risk factors
- Alcohol, drug, and tobacco abuse
- Routine use of anti-inflammatory medication and pain relievers
- Extreme stress
- Chronic vomiting
- Old age as older adults are more prone to H.pylori infection and the stomach lining usually thins with age
- Autoimmune gastritis where the body attacks its own stomach lining
- The presence of other diseases such as Crohn’s disease, HIV/AIDS, or parasitic infections
What are the main causes of gastritis in pregnancy?
At Triborough GI we know that women who already live with gastritis will suffer an aggravation of the disease during pregnancy. This is due to fluctuating hormone levels combined with the pressure that a growing fetus places on the body. In addition to the typical symptoms, expecting mothers may also experience heartburn, toxicosis accompanied by severe vomiting, stomach pain, flatulence, and diarrhea.
Gastritis symptoms during pregnancy
- Stomach pain,
- Diarrhea pose minor inconveniences during pregnancy but could indicate serious health issues depending on the severity and frequency.
Use self-help measures and home remedies to relieve negligible irritation. Visit your specialist should the problems persist.
Home remedies for gastritis during pregnancy
While it may be almost impossible to eliminate every gastrointestinal issue when you are pregnant, the following tips may help you feel a little better:
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid gassy drinks such as soda and other carbonated drinks
- Avoid sugar substitutes such as sorbitol
- Keep a food diary to track foods that might be problematic for your digestive tract
- Eat high fiber foods
- Consider taking fiber supplements
- Exercise regularly to relieve constipation as physical activity may help speed up digestion
- Wear comfortable clothes such as loose-fitting maternal clothing
- Find ways to reduce stress, such as meditation, or taking a nice warm bath
Foods to avoid for gastritis during pregnancy
Changes should be made to your dietary habits. Cut out foods that are spicy, fried, acidic, and high in fat content as these can cause gastritis flare-ups. Caffeinated drinks are also culprits, so swap your coffees and sodas with herbal teas and flavored water.
Certain dishes like red meat, pork, and refined foods may not elicit immediate reaction but could exacerbate pain in the long-term. Instead of having three big meals, space out about four to six reduced portions throughout the day.
Your plate should consist of foods that are easy for your stomach to break down, for example low-fat dairy products, soup, porridge, as well as steamed or boiled lean meat and fish. Wash it all down with a fresh juice made out of fruits and vegetables.
When to see a doctor for gastritis during pregnancy?
It is essential to see your doctor for gastrointestinal issues even if they do not seem serious when you are expecting. Besides being able to prescribe you treatment to alleviate the symptoms, your doctor will also be able to monitor your condition to ensure that you remain healthy throughout pregnancy.
Call your doctor immediately if you experience severe or chronic symptoms such as:
- Severe pain or discomfort that interrupts your daily activities
- Blood in stools
- Constipation for more than a week
- Vomiting blood
- Extreme weight loss
- Pain or difficulty swallowing
- Frequent choking episodes
- Extreme tiredness or fatigue
Gastritis during pregnancy can be very uncomfortable. If you are an expecting mom experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms, do not hesitate to make an appointment with your Gastroenterologists.
Frequently Asked Questions
What helps digestive problems during pregnancy?
- As much as you may not want to move, physical activity can help your body stay regular and reduce inflammation.
- A healthy, balanced diet that minimizes high-cholesterol foods and other personal triggers is preferred.
- If you are having trouble with acid reflux, be cognizant of how many antacids you are consuming. It may be better to take a daily OTC acid reducer to reduce the amount of calcium you are consuming.
- It may also help to eat more, smaller meals throughout the day to reduce the burden on your digestive system.
- Try drinking more water! You will be surprised how much this simple tip can help.
- If you are suffering immensely, don’t hesitate to reach out to a gastrointestinal specialist or your OBGYN.
Does gastritis affect babies during pregnancy?
While a pregnant woman afflicted with gastritis may encounter exacerbated symptoms, there is no negative effect on the course of pregnancy and the development of the child.
Does the effect of gastritis heighten solely due to pregnancy?
No, it may be due to underlying pre-existing diseases, such as the presence of Helicobacter pylori infection or peptic ulcer disease.