Monday, July 15, 2024

Can Ibs Be Mistaken For Pregnancy

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How Soon Do Early Pregnancy Symptoms Start

How You Can Thrive During Pregnancy, Even with IBS

Some women may experience early signs and symptoms within the first weeks of pregnancy in the first trimester, while others may develop symptoms later on in the pregnancy. The first signs and symptoms of early pregnancy can also be similar to symptoms experienced prior to the menstrual period, so a woman may not recognize the symptoms as related to pregnancy.

The Cancer That Is Mistaken For Ibs

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month! Colorectal cancer is a malignant tumour in the colon or rectum, parts of the digestive tract, specifically the large intestine. This condition is something worth talking about because many people will ignore the symptoms of colorectal cancer because of embarrassment or they may think that they have irritable bowel syndrome . Colorectal cancer is currently Canadas second leading cause of cancer death. But it doesnt have to be! Bringing awareness to this disease is important because colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable! Talking about colorectal cancer will save lives!

What’s The Difference Between Diverticular Disease And Ibs

Diverticulosis is a condition that describes small pouches in the wall of the digestive tract that occur when the inner layer of the digestive tract bulges through weak spots in the outer layer. When these diverticula become inflamed or infected, diverticulitis can develop.

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder. is not the same as inflammatory bowel disease , a more serious condition that causes inflammation in the digestive tract and can result in severe complications.

  • Feeling of being unable to completely empty bowels
  • Nausea
  • IBS-C is irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. Symptoms most common with IBS-C include:
  • Hard, lumpy stools
  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Infrequent stools
  • There is a new blood test that may help doctors diagnose some forms of irritable bowel syndrome.
  • IBS is diagnosed by exclusion, which means a doctor considers other alternatives first, performing tests to rule out other medical problems.
  • Home remedies for IBS include avoiding certain foods that “trigger” or worsen diarrhea, bloating and gas such as cruciferous vegetables , and legumes .
  • Other home remedies to relieve symptoms of IBS include adding fiber to the diet, drinking plenty of water, avoiding soda, eating smaller meals, and eating more low fat and high carbohydrate foods.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic disease, and symptoms usually recur.
    • Fruits
    • Vegetables
    • Beans, peas, and lentils.
  • Get plenty of physical activity to keep bowels functioning properly.
  • How Is An Ectopic Pregnancy Usually Diagnosed

    The first test that can be offered is a blood test to measure the level of hormone human chorionic gonadotropic . The hCG levels will usually be lower than normal if a pregnancy is ectopic. 

    Often a transvaginal ultrasound scan will be used to assess the location of the pregnancy. If there is any doubt that the pregnancy is not intrauterine, it is accepted practice to repeat the blood tests to test the hCG levels again for more definitive levels. 

    If an ectopic pregnancy still cannot be confirmed, a laparoscopy may be performed. This  involves inserting a viewing tube through a small opening in the abdomen to examine the womb and fallopian tubes. 

    When an ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed, surgery will be undertaken to remove the fetus or, more often, the fallopian tube itself, before it ruptures and causes potentially life-threatening complications. 

    This is why early detection of an ectopic pregnancy  is so important.  

    At Penningtons Manches LLP we have a team of experienced lawyers who have dealt with several cases concerning the delayed diagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy. Should you, your partner or friend have any concerns regarding the medical treatment they have received please call free on 0800 328 9545 for an initial chat.

    Ibs And Early Pregnancy

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    The first trimester of pregnancy is the time for major changes inside your body. Your gut and your IBS are also affected. IBS may exacerbate in some pregnant females due to the above-mentioned factors:

    • Hormonal changes occurring with pregnancy.
    • Cutting off your effective IBS medications due to safety issues with pregnancy.

    But studies showed that the first trimester has fewer IBS symptoms frequency : 

    The IBS symptom frequency according to each trimester are :

    • 17% in the first trimester.
    • 19% in the second trimester.
    • 33.9% in the third trimester.

    In the same study, the frequency of symptoms in non-pregnant women was 13%. This means that IBS symptoms in the first trimester may become slightly higher than before pregnancy .

    However, the difference was not big between pregnant and non-pregnant women.

    Consuming Too Much Caffeine And Alcohol

    Researchers have also pointed to caffeine and alcohol as potentially worsening IBS symptoms, although as with everything else, it varies from person to person.

    As the Mayo Clinic points out, people who experience bloating and gas with IBS may want to cut back on alcohol and caffeine, which can worsen these issues. Interestingly enough, though, some people find that a certain amount of caffeine actually helps their IBS, especially people with the constipation-predominant kind. It can trigger spasms in the intestinal tract, which for some people is helpful because it helps them do a bowel movement, Poppers explains.

    It will likely take some trial and error to find out how caffeine and alcohol affect your IBS personally. For reference, guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture define moderate drinking as one alcoholic drink a day for women and two for men. And the Food and Drug Administration recommends consuming no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day. Thats about four cups of coffeebut remember, its not just coffee you need to watch out for. As the notes, caffeine is also found in dark chocolate, soda, energy drinks, and certain teas. Its in some over-the-counter painkillers too. Note as well that these guidelines are based on the general population. You may have to cut down to a smaller amount to manage your effectively.

    Diarrhea In Early Pregnancy

    Pregnancy and diarrhea often happen together. Diarrhea in pregnancy first trimester is usually mild, but having the runs because of an upset stomach during pregnancy 3rd trimester is most common. Symptoms of diarrhea include:

    • Loose watery stools 3+ times per day
    • Urgent frequent need to have a bowel movement
    • Abdominal cramps or pain
    • Bloating
    • Nausea

    In daily life, reasons for diarrhea can range from bacterial and viral infections to food poisoning and medications. However, loose stools in pregnancy and diarrhea during early pregnancy are often caused by hormonal and dietary changes, stress, and underlying conditions like IBS.

    Thats why, basically, first trimester diarrhea and diarrhea during pregnancy 2nd trimester may be a sign that your body is slowly working up to the 3rd trimester and labour. Occasional loose stools in early pregnancy, including diarrhea in the second trimester, and diarrhea at 16 weeks pregnant dont mean there is anything wrong with you.

    Is It Ibs Or Ibd

    IBS is often confused with inflammatory bowel disease . The names may sound similar, but they arent the same and require very different treatment approaches.

    IBD is a group of chronic or recurring diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. In IBD, the immune system malfunctions, attacking cells in the intestines. The body responds by sending white blood cells to the intestinal linings, resulting in chronic inflammation.

    The two most common forms of IBD are Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis.

    Although many symptoms are similar to those of IBS, people with Crohns and ulcerative colitis are more likely to have fever, rectal bleeding, weight loss, and a decrease in appetite. People with IBD have an increased risk of colon cancer.

    Ulcerative colitis can also cause the following:

    • bloody stools

    Cancers Of The Gastrointestinal Tract

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    There are many types of cancer that can cause a few of the same symptoms as IBS. Your doctor can test to rule these out. The most common is colon cancer, which can cause bleeding, blood in your stools, and weight loss.

    Women need to be aware that ovarian cancerlike IBScan cause bloating, appetite loss and lack of energy. These symptoms might not happen until the advanced stages, so if you have severe bloating that doesnt respond to changes in your diet, tell your doctor.

    Coeliac Disease: Blood Test Or Biopsy

    • Blood tests and biopsies are the most common ways to test for coeliac disease. 
    • If your doctor suspects you have coeliac disease, theyre likely to give you a blood test first. However not everyone with coeliac disease will get a positive blood test.
    • For a biopsy, a gastroenterologist uses a procedure called an endoscopy, where they pass a thin tube down your throat to  take tiny samples of the lining of your small intestine. 

    How Does Ibs Affect Pregnancy

    Some research shows a small increased risk of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, while other studies have found no increased risk. Just be alert to any signs of impending preterm contractions, but don’t be worried. Ditto for any other potential risk associated with the condition.

    The most important thing if you’re pregnant and dealing with IBS is to make sure you’re getting good prenatal care with a practitioner who knows about your condition and works with you to help keep it under control as best as possible.

    Effect Of Pregnancy On Ibs Symptoms

    As stated above, there is very little research focused specifically as to how the hormonal changes of pregnancy impact IBS symptoms. One theory is that the effects of pregnancy hormones could result in changes, positive or negative, on bowel symptoms, and perhaps offer some relief from abdominal pain.

    One survey offers some preliminary insight: Of female respondents who had experienced a pregnancy, approximately half of them reported that their IBS improved during pregnancy. A smaller group reported a worsening of IBS symptoms during pregnancy. Obviously, more research needs to be done before any definitive conclusions can be drawn regarding the effect of pregnancy on IBS.

    Will Pregnancy Make My Ibs Worse

    Celiac Disease and IBS: Differences and Similarities ...

    Because of hormone changes during pregnancy, most women can expect some bowel discomfort at one time or anotherâafter all, at one point, you’ll have around 7.5 pounds of baby pushing against the organs of your abdomen.

    However, there is no clear evidence that pregnancy makes the symptoms of IBS worse. While research shows that nearly three-quarters of women in the first-trimester report symptoms consistent with functional bowel disorders, there are limited studies into the effects of pregnancy on IBS. 

    Many future-mothers with IBS have widely different digestive experiences during pregnancy, ranging from no symptoms to challenging IBS flare-ups.

    IBS blogger, Stephanie Clairmont, describes how her two pregnancies couldn’t be more different:

    âWhen I got pregnant with my second son in early October, my digestive issues returned. It was strange because with my first son three years earlier, I didn’t have any issues. I could eat four doughnuts, three hamburgers, and a pint of chocolate milk and have NO issues! It was gloriousâ¦but this time around was not the same. Even though I was eating pretty good for digestion, symptoms came back to me.â 

    Should Ibs Be Treated In Ibd Patients

    Just as there is a lack of good research about whether patients with IBD could also have IBS, there is even less insight into how patients with a possible diagnosis of IBS should be treated. Treatment will need to be customized for each patient by their gastroenterologist. There is some speculation that tricyclic antidepressants, which may be used to treat IBS, may be helpful in patients who have IBS symptoms and IBD.

    There is still much that is unclear about the possibility of IBS in patients with IBD, and how that affects diagnosis and treatment in the future. The course is still being charted, and there is research being done to untangle the overlap of IBD and IBS-like symptoms in some people. Until the picture is clearer, the best source of information on both digestive conditions either singly or in concert is your gastroenterologist.

    What You Can Do To Feel Better

    When youâre juggling both IBS and pregnancy, itâs important to talk to your doctor about how to prevent and control flare-ups of your symptoms. Often, a few habits in your everyday life can help, too.

    Rethink your meds.Medications often help people with IBS handle constipation, diarrhea, and other problems. But some of these drugs may not be safe for pregnant women. Check with your doctor to see if itâs a good idea to keep taking your IBS meds. You may need to stop them or switch to others until you deliver your baby.

    Drink plenty of fluids. âWater is the best choice,â Ross says. âI recommend drinking at least eight to 10 8-ounce glasses a day.â Prune juice can help relieve constipation. So can sipping warm liquids in the morning.

    Keep moving. âExercising regularly aids in digestion and makes you feel physically and emotionally stronger,â Ross says. Try a daily walk or other heart-pumping activity for 30 minutes on most days.

    Get enough fiber. Foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can ease constipation. âFiber helps bring water into the intestines, softening the stool and allowing it to pass more easily,â Ross explains. But stay away from gassy foods like beans, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. They may add to your problems.

    Track your foods. Keep a food log for a week or two that also notes when your IBS flares. The details can help you see which items trigger your symptoms so you can avoid them.

    Causes Of Gastrointestinal Issues During Pregnancy

    Pregnancy can intensify underlying conditions, even if you werent aware of them before your egg got fertilised. There are a number of lifestyle and medical reasons behind gastrointestinal problems during pregnancy:

    • Changes in hormones
    • Stress
    • Thyroid disorders

    If you have chronic GI problems, like IBS , acid reflux, or GERD , their symptoms will most likely intensify during pregnancy. So if you are planning a pregnancy, consult your doctor for advice.

    How Ibs And Pregnancy Affect Each Other

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    editorial processPriyanka Chugh, MDMedical Review Board

    When you are pregnant, it certainly seems as if every body part is affected one way or the other. Given that, it makes sense to wonder what your IBS might mean for your pregnancy. Unfortunately, research on the subject is quite limited, due to concerns about performing procedures that would put the developing fetus at risk.

    Much more is known about the effects of pregnancy on the digestive system in general. The following overview of pregnancy and its effects on the gastrointestinal tract will help you to know what to expect as you make your way through your pregnancy with IBS.

    Risks Of Diarrhea In Pregnancy

    Persistent diarrhea while pregnant without proper treatment can result in dehydration, malnutrition, electrolyte disbalance, loss of weight, and it might pose a threat to your babys health. If you have the following symptoms, immediately get medical assistance:

    • Blood or mucus in your stool
    • Weight loss
    • Fever

    Suffering From Ibs You Also Should Get Checked For Endometriosis

    About 15 percent of adults in the U.S. suffer from irritable bowel syndrome , the majority of whom are women.

    Women account for nearly 65 percent of all cases of IBS, a condition that affects the large intestine and leads to painful symptoms such as cramping, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea and bloating.

    IBS causes a lot of discomfort for many women, and its symptoms often resemble another serious womens health issueendometriosis.

    Endometriosis is a gynecological disorder in which the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus begins to grow outside of it, leading to severe abdominal and pelvic pain. Endometriosis sometimes involves the ovaries and can affect your reproductive health.

    Aside from painful periods, some of the most common symptoms of endometriosis are constipation and painful bowel movements, especially during your period.

    The Link Between IBS and Endometriosis

    According to the UNC Center for Functional GI and Motility Disorders, women with IBS are more likely than women with other bowel symptoms to be diagnosed with endometriosis.  But conversely, some women who experience bowel issues may be misdiagnosed with IBS when in fact they have endometriosis.

    When to See a Doctor

    So, how can you tell the difference between IBS and endometriosis? And when should you be concerned that bowel issues may actually be endometriosis? Unfortunately, the answer isnt that simple.

    Effect Of Ibs On Pregnancy

    Some sobering news hereone study found a “moderately increased risk” of both miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy in patients diagnosed with IBS prior to their pregnancy. Luckily, there seemed to be no increased risk for either preeclampsia or stillbirth. Although these are the results of only one study, it may be prudent to discuss your risk of pregnancy complications with your doctor.

    Pregnancy And Irritable Bowel Syndrome

    10 Things You Only Know if You Have IBS

    Women of reproductive age represent a significant portion of patients with irritable bowel syndrome . There is evidence that the menstrual cycle influences IBS symptom. This suggests that ovarian hormones, which are elevated in pregnancy, may contribute to gastrointestinal symptoms. But, there are limited laboratory data to support this claim, and little is known about effective treatment strategies for pregnant women with IBS.

    Symptoms Related To Menstruation

    Many women experience variations in gastrointestinal symptoms including abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, and constipation during their menstrual cycle. Abdominal pain and diarrhea tend to increase in the pre-menses phase of the cycle and reach a maximum on the first to second day of menstrual flow. Bloating and constipation, on the other hand, tend to increase post ovulation and stay increased until the day before or the first day of menstrual flow.

    Women with IBS have overall higher levels of symptoms regardless of cycle phase and also demonstrate these same menstrual cycle-related patterns. Women with IBS also report other more frequent and more bothersome symptoms such as fatigue, backache, and insomnia, and may have greater sensitivity to particular foods, such as those that are gas-producing, around the time of menstruation.

    For many women, the link between GI symptoms and their menstrual cycle may not be intuitive. The use of a daily diary in which both menstrual cycle days and symptoms are tracked often helps women see patterns in their symptoms. This may provide reassurance that symptoms are cyclical and help women plan strategies related to diet or medications.

    Early Warning Signs And Symptoms Of Pregnancy

    The signs and symptoms of pregnancy differ from woman to woman. All the signs of pregnancy may not be seen in one person.

  • Nausea with or without vomiting: Morning sickness
  • Blood or spotting on the panty prior to the monthly date
  • Food habits: Loss of appetite
  • Stomach cramping and/or bloating

    Symptoms of pregnancy can vary among different women. They may vary in quality or severity, and even the same woman may not experience the same symptoms in every pregnancy. The first signs and symptoms of pregnancy may also be noticed or begin at different points in the pregnancy. A pregnancy test is based on levels of human chorionic gonadotropin in the urine or blood, and is the characteristic diagnostic test for pregnancy. hCG is a hormone produced after the fertilized egg has implanted in the wall of the uterus. Modern home pregnancy tests may sometimes be positive before a missed menstrual period. Blood tests can detect pregnancy earlier than urine pregnancy tests.

    This article describes the most common symptoms of pregnancy in its early and later stages.

    Upper Stomach Pain During Pregnancy

    Many women experience pain in the stomach while pregnant, especially the upper part. It is a normal effect of the fetus growing inside the womb, which pushes the mothers organs around to accommodate the babys increasing size.

    There are many reasons for pregnancy constipation pain, stomach cramps and diarrhea during early pregnancy and, realistically, throughout the full 40 weeks. Here are the most common causes of abdominal pain during pregnancy:

    • Constipation
    Painful or burning sensation during urination Severe pain lasting 3060 minutes

    Constipation In Pregnancy Symptoms

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    • Inability to completely empty the bowel
    • Bloating and cramping

    Another reason for constipation in pregnancy is that, as the fetus grows, the womb takes up more space and puts pressure on the rectum, which is the last part of your intestines. Keeping hydrated and getting enough fiber every day can help relieve this.

    However, constipation pain in pregnancy may be a sign of something serious. Call your doctor if you experience constipation in pregnancy symptoms like blood in stool, weight loss, severe pain while defecating, and constipation longer than two weeks.

    Is constipation a symptom of pregnancy? Yes, it is caused by elevated progesterone and pressure on your intestines from the baby.

    Cutting Out Potential Triggers Without An Experts Help

    Figuring out your triggers will probably mean systematically cutting things out, especially foods, with the help of your doctor. As frustrating as this is, try to stick with it.

    One thing I tell people is, dont expect overnight results, Poppers cautions. For example, if you stop eating, say, cruciferous vegetables, dont expect that this time tomorrow youre going to feel 100% better. If you do, thats fantastic. But it can take several days; it could take longer. One reason for this is that you probably have multiple triggers. Even if youve found one, there could be other factors affecting your symptoms.

    Its also important not to go overboard when youre cutting out potential triggers, particularly when that comes to food. As Buxbaum points out, if you try to eliminate every possible dietary trigger, Thats going to be hard to follow. If you do it all the same time, its a bit restrictive.

    Both Buxbaum and Poppers instead recommend working with your doctor and an expert such as a registered dietitian to eliminate the different FODMAP elements one at a time. I dont like to overly restrict foods initially, because I want people to be able to enjoy what they enjoy, Poppers explains. The other reason I advise against restricting multiple things at once is that if someone is improving, its very difficult for me to determine what has actually made the difference if theyve changed too many things at once.


    Ibs Symptoms Specific To Women

    Almost twice as many women than men are reported to have IBS, according to ACG. Theres no definitive reason for the gender differences, but theres solid speculation.

    For one, women are more likely to seek healthcare, which on paper leads to more IBS diagnoses for females, says Margaret Heitkemper, RN, Ph.D., professor at the University of Washington School of Nursing.

    Certain factors may make IBS symptoms more difficult for women to ignore. Women appear to have a more heightened sensitivity to pain , and they tend to have more pain-related conditions, such as fibromyalgia, that can overlap with IBS symptoms and magnify the discomfort, says Dr. Heitkemper.

    Questions as to whether female sex hormones influence the bacteria in the gut and give rise to IBS symptoms in women are being examined as well.

    How Do You Calm Down Ibs Flare Up

    An IBS flare-up can be frustrating and may cause a range of digestive symptoms. If youre experiencing a flare, there are several at-home remedies you can try, such as gut-directed hypnotherapy, removing high-FODMAP foods from your diet, heat therapy, avoiding caffeine, exercising, and reducing stress.

    The Microbiome Gut Bacteria And Pregnancy

    Everything You Want To Know About IBS

    Your body undergoes a lot of changes during pregnancy, and this can affect the ecosystem of bacteria in your gut. These trillions of microbial cells do important jobs for overall health, like producing vitamins and short-chain fatty acids that keep your gut happy.

    Its important to nourish the good microbes in your colon so they can continue to support your digestion and keep everything running smoothly, because bacteria can also influence gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.

    The key to a happy gut microbiome is whole foods because fruit, veg, whole grains, nuts, and seeds contain special molecules called prebiotics that good bacteria feed on. They even help protect you from nasty bugs that can cause gastroenteritis during pregnancy.

    TIP See how your gut bacteria adapt to each trimester of your pregnancy with the Atlas Microbiome Test.

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