Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Can Ibs Cause Pregnancy Symptoms

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Diagnosis And Treatment For Ibs During Pregnancy

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Pathophysiology, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment, Animation

There is no specific diagnosis and treatment for IBS . The doctor may check symptoms and order different tests, such as stool test, to rule out other problems, such as infections, lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, and ulcerative colitis. The more important is to be sure there is nor organic lesion or tumor to explain these gastrointestinal symptoms.

The treatment focuses on identifying the triggers for abdominal discomfort and managing the symptoms to prevent discomfort. The following treatments could be considered if you are diagnosed with IBS during pregnancy.

  • Hypnosis: The treatment of IBS with the help of hypnosis has been proven effective in several clinical studies. The process of hypnotherapy for treating IBS entails progressive relaxation with the help of sensations distinctly based on the individuals symptoms . Hypnosis may be conducted with other therapies, such as cognitive therapy, depending on the patients response.
  • Medications: The use of over-the-counter medications to treat IBS during pregnancy is usually not recommended due to the potential harmful effects. Medicines may usually be prescribed to reduce diarrhea in case of IBS-D or improve bowel movement in case of IBS-C. The prescribed medication may vary based on various factors, including the severity of IBS and the pregnancy trimester. It can include laxatives, antispasmodics, and gas absorbent carbon. Speak to your doctor to know medicines to treat your specific condition.

Pregnancy And Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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.

Try To Reduce Stress And Anxiety Levels

Stress doesnt cause IBS, but it can definitely make the symptoms worse .Pregnancy-safe stress reduction tips include:

  • Getting a good nights sleep
  • Doing some gentle exercise on most days each week
  • Having a massage
  • Journaling to process your worries
  • Talking to your support network or a counselor

If theres one particular symptom thats really getting you down, you can try some of these tips as well:


If you feel like someone could pop your stomach like a balloon, drinking peppermint tea after meals and eating extra probiotics can make a big difference.

A lot of over-the-counter remedies for indigestion and trapped wind are also safe to take in pregnancy, with your doctor or pharmacists advice.


If things are feeling backed up, the best thing you can do is hydrate.

It might also be worth switching your brand of prenatal vitamin since a high dose of iron can often cause constipation.

A common tip is to add more fiber to your diet but, with IBS, you should only do this gradually and in consultation with your doctor, because certain forms of fiber can make your symptoms worse.

So make this a slow experiment, eating a little more soluble or insoluble fiber each day while tracking your symptoms.


Possibly the least fun symptom of IBS and pregnancy.

The best thing you can do if youre struggling with diarrhea is to stay hydrated and rest if you can.

Abdominal cramps

Here, the first thing to try is usually a warm compress, or a warm bath or shower.

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What Is Birth Control Exactly

Hormonal birth control contains the synthetic female hormones estrogen, progestin or both. Theyve been around for more than sixty years. Formulations vary on the amounts of the hormones and ratios of one to another, hoping to minimize side effects while maintaining effectiveness .

Examples of hormonal birth control include the pill, the ring, the patch, the IUD, implant or the birth control shot.

The elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone stop your body from releasing an egg during ovulation.

No egg released means no potential pregnancy.

Unfortunately, the effects of these elevated hormones might not end with the prevention of pregnancy. Birth control may increase IBS symptoms.

How To Stop Diarrhea When Pregnant

Pin on IBS Tips

If you experience diarrhea whilst pregnant, avoid foods that can make it worse, like dairy, caffeine, and anything with high fat and sugar levels. Dehydration is an important risk, so you should take steps to restore your bodys electrolyte balance with liquids and plain foods:

Fruit juices
Pasta Applesauce

Digestive problems, including pregnancy diarrhea, can worsen if there are underlying conditions such as IBS, Crohns disease, ulcerative colitis, and celiac disease . Taking measures when planning the pregnancy is the best way to minimize the risks and side effects.

REMEMBERIf youve travelled to less developed countries, diarrhea and pregnancy may be the sign of a gastrointestinal infection, so consult your doctor.

Also Check: How To Cure Ibs Permanently

Managing Ibs Symptoms During Pregnancy

Effective management of IBS symptoms during pregnancy will vary between individuals, particularly depending on the type of GI symptoms experienced. Some tips which may be helpful to manage different GI symptoms during pregnancy are outlined below:


-Opt for smaller more frequent meals/snacks over large meals.

-Try a hot water bottle to assist with pain.

-Limit carbonated beverages and caffeine

An Overview Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic and recurrent illness that affects the intestines. Abdominal pain and stool abnormalities are the most typical symptoms of this functional gastrointestinal illness.

Although the specific cause of IBS is unknown, it is connected to a number of conditions. Abnormal bowel muscle contractions, anomalies in the digestive systems neurons, severe viral or bacterial illness, stress, and alterations in gut flora are among them.

In case of bacterial infections, to relieve the symptoms.

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How Is Ibs Treated

Unfortunately, IBS doesnt have a complete cure. Most of the treatment regimen involves symptoms management. Most patients who experience little to no symptoms of the disorder are advised to introduce lifestyle and dietary changes.

This includes:

  • Avoiding all the trigger foods of IBS
  • Focus on keeping optimal hydration
  • Indulge in regular exercising
  • Stress management and getting quality sleep

For safe said, your doctor will also advise taking out foods like carbonated beverages, alcohol, etc., that cause bloating. Since gluten acts as a trigger food, it isnt surprising that most IBS patients have to cut out gluten from their diet entirely. Food groups called FODMAPS are also a big NO with IBS.

Depending on the symptoms, the IBS diet often involves elements like fiber supplements, laxatives, and anti-diarrheal medications. Although not familiar, patients experiencing severe pain and discomfort usually take pain medications to alleviate the symptoms.

Since IBS patients are at risk of developing depression and anxiety, it isnt surprising that the treatment regimen often involves antidepressant medications. However, they arent mandatory or standard for every IBS patient.

Medications formulated with Alosetron, Eluxadoline, Rifaximin, Lubiprostone, etc., are commonly prescribed for IBS treatment to manage bloating, diarrhea, constipation, pain, etc.

What To Expect With Ibs During Pregnancy

Do I have IBS ? | Symptoms & Diagnosis | Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS in pregnancy is hard on the intestine. However, it can be difficult to diagnose IBS during pregnancy. This is due to the fact that the symptoms of IBS and pregnancy frequently overlap.

Constipation is a very common ailment, for example. In the third trimester, around a third of pregnant women report constipation. Constipation is worsened by high progesterone because it slows down motility.

Moreover, the later in your pregnancy you are, the more likely you are to develop constipation. This is due to the additional weight placed on your intestines.

High progesterone levels also affect sphincter function, causing heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Bloating is another common pregnancy symptom that IBS sufferers also experience.

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Issues With The Nervous System

The impaired nervous system affects the brain and motor functions and equally delays the intestinal functions in the body. People with abnormal nerve function can experience pain and discomfort when the abdomen stretches while passing gas or stool.

The overactive nervous system can also make the digestive tract overreact to the ingested food, leading to constant discomfort.

Ibs And Late Pregnancy

IBS may become worse during the third trimester. In this trimester progesterone and estrogen levels are greatest. Progesterone hormone is known to slow things down inside your colon. However, both IBS-constipation and IBS-Diarrhea can occur during the third trimester.

In the third trimester, your baby grows and the amount of amniotic fluid increases. This may cause IBS to get worse. Due to mechanical compression on your Gut and diaphragm, IBS bloating may also increase.

Also, you may get stressed in your late pregnancy as the delivery and arrival of your new baby become near. Stress can play a role in your IBS.

The most important concern is IBS-Constipation that worsens during the third trimester. You can relieve IBS constipation by the use of bulking agents and others .

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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, dont hesitate to reach out to a gastrointestinal specialist or your OBGYN.

What Helps Ibs When Pregnant

Ibs And Pregnancy Symptoms Similar

The problem with treating IBS during pregnancy is that you can never be completely sure whether the symptoms are down to your pregnancy or an IBS flare-up.

Thankfully though, a lot of the advice for treating gastric symptoms is the same.

For both people with IBS and mamas-to-be, the two big pieces of advice are:

Also Check: Do Eating Disorders Cause Ibs

About Irritable Bowel Syndrome After Pregnancy

Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, is a syndrome or cluster of symptoms that includes abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, gas, passing mucous and other irregularities. Although pregnancy does not increase the risk of developing IBS, according to Dr. Chung Owyang, chief of gastroenterology for the University of Michigan Health System, most cases develop in women of child-bearing age.

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

The Overlap Of Ibs And Gynecological Disorders

In our prior studies of over 150 menstruating women with IBS, approximately 45% and 35% self-identified themselves as also experiencing dysmenorrhea and PMS, respectively. Indeed women with IBS reported higher levels of uterine cramping pain at menses than women without IBS.

In another study approximately 30% of women with IBS reported a history of chronic pelvic pain.

Perhaps more difficult to clearly discern is the overlap between IBS and endometriosis. Several studies suggest that women with endometriosis have greater bowel symptoms compatible with a diagnosis of IBS.

Such overlaps in gynecological and gastroenterological conditions are noteworthy and are important areas of further investigation.

Thus, investigators are challenged to examine menstrual cycle variations in motility, pain sensitivity, the processing of signals conveyed to the central nervous system , and the manner in which messages are conveyed by the autonomic nervous system away from the brain and spinal cord to the visceral organs .

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Morning Sickness Nausea And Pregnancy

Morning sickness and diarrhoea during pregnancy are common because your body is undergoing important hormonal shifts to accommodate the babys development. No matter when it happens, if you get diarrhea at 8 weeks pregnant or later, youll need to increase your fluid intake and monitor how long it lasts.

In particular, if you have morning sickness and diarrhea or diarrhea and vomiting in pregnancy, it may be the sign of a tummy bug , so remember to stay hydrated and consult your doctor if it doesnt clear up quickly.

FACT 7080% of pregnant women have nausea and vomiting during their first trimester that can happen any time, day or night.

Ibs Complications In Pregnancy

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Causes, Symptoms, Bristol Stool Chart, Types and Treatment

There are no widespread pregnancy-specific complications of IBS. A study noted spontaneous miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, preeclampsia, and stillbirth to be complications of having IBS before pregnancy . However, there are no additional studies or conclusive research data to prove that IBS can consistently increase the risk of these conditions in most women. The syndrome may last for a long time or a lifetime, but it does not cause permanent damage to the intestines . IBS is not life-threatening and does not increase the risk of other gastrointestinal problems .

IBS and other gastrointestinal issues often arise during pregnancy due to hormonal changes, stress, and lifestyle changes. IBS can often be managed at home with remedies that can provide long-term benefits and improve quality of life. Although there are known preventive measures for IBS, identifying the triggers and avoiding them can usually prevent the onset of symptoms again.


  • Irritable bowel syndrome.
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    Research On Ibs And Pregnancy

    Women with IBS could have a higher likelihood of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and other pregnancy complications, according to a study out of the University College Cork, Ireland and the Biostatics Group of the University of Manchester, the United Kingdom.1 The data was as follows: among the 100,000 pregnant study participants, 26.5 percent had IBS prior to getting pregnant and of that percentage, 6.6 percent suffered a miscarriage, 0.74 had an ectopic pregnancy, 0.43 percent developed preeclampsia, and 0.22 percent were stillborn.1 The researchers proposed that the risks for miscarriage with IBS were moderate, while relatively small for ectopic pregnancy and other complications. They further noted that additional factors, such as smoking, depression, and further comorbidities, could have contributed to the increased miscarriage risk for women with IBS.

    Other researchers believe that pregnancy-related factors, such as stress, anxiety, depression, constipation, and ovarian hormonal changes, are what worsen IBS symptoms. And as pregnancy progresses, these things can significantly intensify IBS symptoms.3

    Ibs Symptoms In Pregnant Women

    IBS symptoms in pregnant women may be according to the trimester she is in.

    • In the first trimester, pregnant women may experience an increase in heartburn, acidity, and many may suffer from loose motions.
    • Constipation is another symptom that pregnant women may suffer from, especially during the last trimester.
    • Some may even suffer from abdominal pain.
    • The stools may also have mucus.
    • Bloating, flatulence and gas may be some of the other IBS symptoms during pregnancy.

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    What Are The Risks Of Ibs During Pregnancy

    The main risks of severe IBS while pregnant are:


    Diarrhea can dehydrate you very quickly, and this is not ideal for you or your little peanut. In rare cases, it can also lead to premature labor.

    So if you do go through a bad flare-up, keep an eye out for the signs of dehydration, make sure you give yourself enough fluids, and get medical help if you need it.


    While IBS itself isnt dangerous for your baby, a lot of the medications used to treat the symptoms arent recommended during pregnancy.

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    That being said, serious symptoms often get managed by balancing your needs during pregnancy with the possible risks.

    Our best advice here is to talk to your doctor during your first prenatal appointments.

    They may be able to recommend treatments to help you individually, and help you figure out a strategy for managing your IBS during your pregnancy which keeps your little one happy and you comfortable too.

    Are there risks to the baby if you have IBS while pregnant?

    There doesnt seem to be any correlation between how bad a womans IBS symptoms are while pregnant and how healthy her baby is.

    Some studies have shown that the condition slightly raises the risk of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, but this result hasnt been replicated in other studies and so isnt really considered conclusive.

    How To Help Ibs During Pregnancy

    Blood In Stool Abdominal Pain Nausea

    As Stephanie’s story suggests, IBS pregnancy management can sometimes be closely linked to your food choices.

    Dietary interventions are often recommended as a first-line treatment for gut troubles during pregnancy. Some prescription medications are off-limits due to their potential effect on the unborn baby.

    If you’re struggling with your bowel habits during pregnancy, consider the following dietary changes:

    • Increase fiber intake to help with bowel movements: raw fruit and veg can be difficult to digest, so cooked fiber may be easier on your gut.
    • Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated can help to alleviate constipation.
    • Avoid gas-producing foods: such as beans, cabbage, broccoli, lentils, cauliflower.
    • Keep an eye on comfort eating: Many pregnant women crave carbohydrates and fatty foods . Unfortunately, often those foods can trigger your IBS symptoms, so you’ll have to resort to IBS safe comfort foods.
    • Avoid triggers: While your doctor may give the O.K. for one or two cups of coffee, make sure you continue to avoid foods and drinks known to trigger flares.
    • Keep moving: Pregnancy might seem like an ideal time to put your feet up and relax, but for your bowel’s sake, try to maintain a regular schedule of gentle exercise, such as walking.

    Some women switch to a low FODMAP diet to manage their IBS symptoms during pregnancy. Developed by Monash University researchers, this diet cuts out short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols that are poorly digested by the body.

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    What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome

    Irritable Bowel Syndrome is an intestinal disorder. The main symptoms may include abdominal pain, loose motions and constipation. It does not cause any life hazards but can affect the everyday lives of people suffering from the condition. Symptoms may range from mild to severe. People with mild symptoms can go without any treatment. However, people with severe symptoms may have to undergo some treatment and lifestyle changes.

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