Irritable Bowel Syndrome Grows More Complicated During Pregnancy, Know How


Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that affects the large intestine. While most people can manage the syndrome through lifestyle and diet changes, some do suffer from severe symptoms and signs. Some of the symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain, cramping or bloating; changes in appearance of bowel movement and changes in how often you are having a bowel movement.

As mentioned above, IBS can usually be kept under control through minor changes and doesn’t really get severe in most cases. But, if you’re expecting or pregnant, IBS can cause unwanted complications. These complications range from preterm labour to ectopic pregnancy (fertilised egg implants and grows outside the main cavity of uterus and the condition can cause hemorrhage if left untreated) to miscarriages.

Dr. Surabhi Siddhartha from Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar shed light on these pregnancy complications and told Hindustan Times, “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.”

She added that IBS causing diarrhoea or dehydration can lead to preterm labour. Constipation due to IBS can lead to rectal bleeding and even piles when you are pregnant. This eventually leads to miscarriages or ectopic pregnancy.

IBS is common during pregnancy due to the extreme hormonal changes, stress and the pressure of growing a baby inside the uterus on the stomach and intestines.

“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,” Dr Surabhi said.

Watch out for the symptoms during the first trimester of your pregnancy such as heartburn, acidity, loose motions and during later stages the symptoms that are common are abdominal pain, constipation and mucus filled stool.

While no prescribed methods are present for diagnosis, colonoscopy or blood tests might help. Treating IBS is relatively easy in its early stages and a few lifestyle and diet changes can help you a lot. Eating a well-balanced diet with all essential nutrients, eating in small and regulated quantities and avoiding extra spicy and oily foods can be the biggest factors. Don’t forget to drink lots of water to improve gut health.

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