Irritable Bowel Syndrome during pregnancy could lead to these complications; expert tips to follow

Published on Apr 19, 2022 06:48 PM IST

Unmanaged IBS in pregnancy could lead to a number of complications from preterm labour, miscarriage to even ectopic pregnancy. Know more from an expert.

Women who have IBS before pregnancy are either prone to severe symptoms during pregnancy or may get the much-needed relief from it.(Unsplash)
Women who have IBS before pregnancy are either prone to severe symptoms during pregnancy or may get the much-needed relief from it.(Unsplash)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome could lead to a host of health issues in pregnant women from morning sickness, heartburn, constipation to diarrhoea. Stress and wrong eating habits can aggravate symptoms of this digestive disorder which could be dangerous for expecting mother, says an expert.  (Also read: Irritable Bowel Syndrome: 6 lifestyle changes to manage the intestinal disorder)

Unmanaged IBS in pregnancy could lead to a number of complications from preterm labour, miscarriage to even ectopic pregnancy. If you are pregnant and suffer from acidity, constipation or loose motions, you must know about symptoms of IBS and follow these expert-approved tips to manage your condition.

"Women who have IBS before pregnancy are either prone to severe symptoms during pregnancy or may also get that much-needed relief from it during the pregnancy period," says Dr Surabhi Siddhartha, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar.

Pregnancy complications due to IBS

Having severe symptoms of IBS during pregnancy could make life difficult for the expecting mother and may raise her risk of miscarriage.

"IBS causing diarrhoea or dehydration could result in preterm labor. Constipation due to IBS during pregnancy may result in rectal bleeding or even piles problem. It can raise the chances of miscarriage or even ectopic pregnancy. IBS doesn’t affect one’s fertility or the ability to get pregnant," says Dr Siddhartha.

Why IBS is common during pregnancy

The gyneacologist says that there are a lot of factors that may contribute to IBS during pregnancy which include stress and anxiety, hormonal imbalance, the pressure of the growing baby inside the uterus on the stomach and intestines, and even certain foods leading to gas, flatulence and bloating.

"Dairy products, peanuts, cauliflower, beetroot, broccoli, alcohol, tea, coffee, spicy and oily food, skipping meals, and taking iron tablets during pregnancy which may cause constipation are some of the reasons behind IBS during pregnancy," says Dr Siddhartha.

Symptoms of IBS in pregnant women

While heartburn, acidity, and loose motions are the common symptoms of IBS in first trimester, in later stages of pregnancy the more prominent signs are constipation, abdominal pain, and stools having mucus.

Diagnosis of IBS during pregnancy

The expert says the diagnosis is generally made on the basis of symptoms as there is no specific test for it. One may be asked to go for 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 follow some lifestyle changes. These are:

* Eat a well-balanced diet consisting of essential nutrients.

* Eat food in small quantities and at regular intervals.

* Avoid spicy food causing acidity, heartburn, and poor digestion. Having oily food can also lead to acid reflux.

* Drink a lot of water to get rid of constipation and eat probiotics to improve gut health.

* Say no to foods and vegetables which may trigger gas, bloating, and flatulence. Give up on high-fat dairy products, alcohol, and smoking.

* Exercise daily and stay stress-free by doing yoga and meditation.

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