Pregnancy brings about many changes. As your body responds to sudden hormonal changes, you may find yourself experiencing overwhelming emotional and physical responses–some of these are digestive problems.
Are you experiencing more than three loose bowel movements daily? Then you may have diarrhoea. During pregnancy, diarrhoea can occur as a response to dietary changes, food allergies/sensitivities, prenatal vitamins, and certain hormonal changes.
Is Diarrhoea A Sign of Pregnancy
It makes sense to want to believe that sudden physical changes mean you’ve finally gotten pregnant when you’re trying to conceive. Is diarrhoea a pregnant symptom, you might wonder? If you’re currently frequently using the restroom. The answer is not so simple.
“Pregnancy can affect your bowel movements, but it’s also common to just get diarrhea for other reasons,” says Christine Greves, MD, a board-certified OB-GYN at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies.
Although some women do have diarrhoea in the first trimester of pregnancy, this is not a reliable sign of pregnancy.
The best signs that you might be pregnant, despite the temptation to read anything unusual about your body as a sign, are a missed period and a positive pregnancy test.
Diarrhea In Early Pregnancy
It’s possible that you may develop diarrhoea or other digestive problems in your first trimester even if it’s not a sign of early pregnancy.
Your body begins to undergo many changes at the beginning of pregnancy, and these changes may have an impact on your bowel motions, causing either firm or loose stools. For example, as levels of the hormone progesterone grow, this might cause your digestive system to slow down, often leading to constipation.
Diarrhoea During Pregnancy
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While constipation is one of the most common complaints of pregnant women, diarrhoea can become a concern, too. This usually happens during the third trimester.
Though it occurs less frequently than constipation, loose bowel movements can be uncomfortable and exhausting, especially if you’re nearing the end of your pregnancy; the last thing you want to do is head to the bathroom every few minutes.
Plus, the danger of dehydration can be worrisome, especially because it can affect your entire pregnancy.
Diarrhoea Pregnancy Symptoms
The most typical signs of diarrhoea or conditions associated to it are:
- watery, loose stools
- an extreme want to poop right away
- cramps or discomfort in the abdomen
- experiencing bloating or gas
- passing blood-tinged stools
Diarrhea During Pregnancy Causes
This digestive issue is not usually a result of pregnancy-related changes and may be brought on by other circumstances. A virus, germs, parasites, food poisoning, the stomach flu, or specific drugs may be to blame.
Existing medical conditions like celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome may also be at fault.
The following list of causes of diarrhoea during pregnancy:
When they learn they are pregnant, many people alter their diets. Dietary changes may induce diarrhoea and upset your stomach.
New food sensitivities
One of the many changes you could face when pregnant is food sensitivity. Before being pregnant, you could have had no problems with certain foods, but now you might experience diarrhoea, upset stomach, or gas.
Prenatal vitamins are beneficial for both you and your developing child’s health. However, these vitamins could make you sick and make you throw up.
Changes in hormones
Your digestive system may slow down as a result of changing hormones, which can result in constipation. Additionally, hormonal changes might hasten the digestion process and cause diarrhoea.
According to studies, the majority of women consume more milk during pregnancy and even before a missing period.
Some women start to want dairy foods like ice cream. Most of these women acquire lactose intolerance as a result of the abrupt increase in milk consumption. As a result, they could experience episodes of diarrhoea soon after conception.
Remedies for Diarrhea During Pregnancy
It’s natural to be wary of taking medication when pregnant, so to treat diarrhoea you can try these alternatives:
1. Stay well hydrated
Prolonged diarrhoea greatly reduces the fluid in your body. Dehydration can cause serious problems, especially for pregnant women, because they require more fluids to stay hydrated.
Effects of dehydration include dry mouth, dark urine, increased thirst, low urine output, dizziness, and headaches. At least 80 ounces of water (or 10 glasses) a day is recommended to maintain normal fluid intake.
Increasing your water intake can relieve constipation and help you replace the fluids you lose when you have diarrhoea. If you experience any digestive problems in the early stages of pregnancy, such as bloating or diarrhoea, speak with your healthcare professional.
But in hot climates, it’s advised to increase consumption to up to 12 glasses daily. You can also drink more juice, and have soup to up your fluid intake.
2. Eat bland foods
Try to limit your diet to bland meals. The BRAT diet is frequently advised for gastrointestinal problems, including diarrhoea. The BRAT diet includes the following:
3. Think about your diet
Are there foods that could be causing your loose bowel movements? Try steering clear of them for now. Examples of diarrhoea-inducing foods are fried, spicy, high-fat, high-fibre foods as well as milk and dairy.
More fibre-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can assist some people who struggle with constipation, but for others, a rapid shift in diet can result in gas, cramping, and even diarrhoea.
4. Rethink present medication
Find out if your diarrhoea is being caused by any new addition to your health regimen, like prenatal vitamins.
Your body might be able to adapt to the drug if it’s the cause of your diarrhoea, and it might even stop. If not, discuss possible prescription changes with your doctor. Without first consulting your doctor, never discontinue taking a drug that was recommended to you.
5. Add probiotics to your diet
A healthy gut environment is produced in your digestive tract by probiotics, which are little microorganisms and a class of beneficial bacteria. When diarrhoea is brought on by taking antibiotics, probiotics may be especially beneficial.
6. Wait it out
Just give it a few days. Most bouts with diarrhoea resolve on their own without treatment. Typically, diarrhoea will stop in a few days. This frequently occurs if your diarrhoea is brought on by a bug, virus, or bacteria.
Other Home Remedies For Diarrhea
As your body adjusts to hormonal changes, diarrhoea, which may be an indication of early pregnancy, may go away on its own. Try these over-the-counter treatments for diarrhoea in the first few weeks of pregnancy, though, if it is excessive or takes a while to clear up on its own.
- Honey. Honey has powerful antibacterial qualities and is calming. One glass of water mixed with four teaspoons of honey should be consumed each day to reduce and eventually end diarrhoea.
- Ginger. Ginger works wonders to treat diarrhoea in addition to throat infections. Every day, have a cup of ginger tea with honey. In the early weeks of pregnancy, this is known to relieve nausea and cramping in the abdomen.
Image from iStock
- Peppermint. Another effective treatment for stomach issues, notably diarrhoea, is peppermint. It works well to lessen bowel movements frequently. A spring of fresh mint can be added to hot water; once it is warm, cover it and enjoy. To stop the loose bowel movements, repeat this procedure twice daily.
- Chamomile tea. This tea works well to calm your digestive system and stop diarrhoea. Both the pain and the frequency of bowel movements are noticeably reduced. Warm chamomile tea up in boiling water with a squeeze of lemon for flavour. Drink this mixture at least twice each day until the diarrhoea stops.
- Vinegar. Vinegar is really beneficial for your stomach, particularly when you have diarrhoea. A natural antibacterial is vinegar. It aids in the battle against dangerous bacteria in your gut, bringing about equilibrium and quickly putting an end to diarrhoea.
When To Consult Your Doctor
The mom and foetus may suffer injury from extreme dehydration and malnutrition brought on by diarrhoea.
If a pregnant woman exhibits any of the following signs, she should seek immediate medical attention:
- bloody or pus-filled stools
- prolonged diarrhoea (more than 48 hours)
- a minimum of six loose stools in a day.
- 102°F (39°C) or higher as the fever
- repeated vomiting
- severe rectus or abdominal discomfort
- Dark urine, thirst, dry mouth, feeling dizzy, or less frequent urination are all signs of dehydration.
If your condition doesn’t improve after three days, pay your doctor a visit to know for sure what’s causing it. Before taking any anti-diarrhoeal medication, make sure to get the approval of your doctor. Without first seeing your physician, avoid taking over-the-counter antidiarrheal medications. These medications may make some conditions worse. They aren’t risk-free for everyone, either.
Contact your doctor if your diarrhoea is severe or lasts longer than 2 to 3 days. Dehydration from persistent or extreme diarrhoea might complicate pregnancy.
Republished with permission from theAsianparent Philippines.
Updates from Matt Doctor
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