Diarrhea during Pregnancy
Diarrhea is Not a Sign of Pregnancy
If you have 3 or more runny or watery stools in a day you have diarrhea. Everyone has diarrhea at some point in their life, most of us have diarrhea 4 times a year.
Chronic diarrhea is usually due to noninfectious etiologies. A host of disorders are associated with chronic diarrhea. They include; irritable bowel syndrome, Inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative colitis, Malabsorption syndromes, and diarrhea following cholecystectomy.
Treatments to Feel Better:
1. It is important to Drink plenty of fluids that contain salt and sugar. The “sports drinks” are good choice as well as juice and broth.
Diarrhea in Early Pregnancy
Diarrhea isn’t that common in the first trimester, but it does happen. When you have diarrhea in early pregnancy, it can come with uncomfortable cramping. You can accidentally mistake this sensation as a sign of a potential miscarriage. (Try not to worry. Although abdominal cramping can be a sign of a threatened miscarriage, you should only worry if you start to experience other troublesome symptoms, like vaginal bleeding or a dull, persistent ache in your lower back.)
Diarrhea in Late Pregnancy
In late pregnancy, you may experience mild diarrhea right before you go into labor. This is very common and indicates that delivery may be imminent. So, if you have diarrhea in the final weeks of your pregnancy, be on the lookout for other signs of labor.
Reduce your chances of getting diarrhea:
- Washing your hands after cooking, using the bathroom, petting animals, changing diapers and throwing out the trash.
Diarrhea During Pregnancy: What Causes It And Remedies
Digestive disorders are common during pregnancy. One such condition is diarrhea that occurs frequently causing discomfort to you. It is a condition where the stoolвЂ™s consistency is looser than normal. It usually occurs during the first trimester and is short-lived.
However, diarrhea can sometimes prove to be serious and even lethal. If you experience more than three watery stools a day, you need to rehydrate. Find out all about Diarrhea in early pregnancy and what you can do to ease the discomfort.
Causes Of Diarrhea InВ Early Pregnancy:
Diarrhea during early pregnancy can be caused either by pregnancy-related changes or general conditions.
Pregnancy-Related Causes For Diarrhea:
Hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) will have an effect on the digestive system. They can cause morning sickness, food cravings, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Every pregnant woman experiences hormonal changes, but only a few suffer from diarrhea in their early stages.
2. Prenatal Vitamins:
Prenatal vitamins are good for you and your growing baby’s health. But, sometimes they may cause stomach-upset, leading to diarrhea. In such a case, you have to check with your doctor about the intake of vitamins.
3. Dietary Changes:
You may have to change your diet during pregnancy so that your baby receives the essential nutrients. Sometimes when you change the food, it can cause diarrhea or upset stomach. But do not worry since it is a temporary illness and will sub-side in some time.
4. Food Sensitivities:
Food sensitivities are one among the many changes that pregnancy causes to your body. Food that has not troubled you before pregnancy will now upset your stomach, resulting in diarrhea or bloating.
5. Lactose Intolerance:
It is another significant dietary change which causes diarrhea in pregnancy. Pregnant women increase their milk consumption and thus can suffer from lactose intolerance and consequent diarrhea. Research says that cutting milk for a few days can reduce symptoms of lactose intolerance. However, the pregnant mother should take other calcium sources like cheese and yogurt.
Other General Reasons For Diarrhea During Pregnancy:
Having diarrhea does not mean it is directly related to your pregnancy. Non-pregnancy related causes may also exist. The other causes of diarrhea in pregnancy include:
- Bacteria, virus, intestinal parasites, stomach flu, medications and food poisoning.
- Some conditions such as Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and celiac disease, cause diarrhea frequently.
When To Seek A Doctor’s Help?
If you suffer from diarrhea for more than two days, you should immediately see your doctor. Also, watch out for the below symptoms that may occur along with diarrhea when pregnant.
Treatment For Diarrhea During Pregnancy:
In addition to visiting a doctor, you can follow a few dietary changes to alleviate the problem.
1. Avoid Problem Causing Foods:
Some foods can worsen diarrhea. You should completely cut off spicy, fried, high-fat, and high-fiber foods, dairy and milk products. You should avoid the following foods:
2. Follow BRAT & CRAM Diet:
BRAT (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast) diet is recommended by doctors to sooth the digestive system. These foods may not provide all the nutrients, and thus, new research recommends to add the following as well.
- Vegetables like cooked carrots
- Starchy foods like unsweetened cereals, crackers and potatoes
- Lean meats
- Soups with rice, noodles or vegetables
- Yogurt containing active live colonies of Lactobacillus acidophilus
Another effective alternative is following the CRAM diet, which includes cereal, rice, apple sauce and milk. These foods are comparatively better since they provide with better protein content.
3. Hydrate Yourself:
Ensure you consume a lot of water, juices and broths to replace the lost electrolytes. Water replenishes your lost fluids, juices replenish the potassium levels, and broth the sodium levels.
Oral rehydration therapy (ORT) is one of the most tried and tested methods of controlling diarrhea. This therapy involves giving water with good amounts of sugar and salt, as well as supplemental zinc for two weeks. It is extremely effective because water is still absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract into the body, even with loss of fluid through diarrhea or vomiting.
4. Keep A Check On Medications:
Some medications can cause diarrhea, but with time, your body will adjust to them. But it may not be the same case all the time. You should check with your doctor so that he may prescribe you a different medication or treat diarrhea in any other way.
Also, you should not take any OTC anti-diarrheal medications without your doctor’s consultation. The condition may sometimes turn worse.
Home Remedies For Diarrhea During Pregnancy:
The following home remedies help you to avoid dehydration, and help in retaining water and electrolytes in your body.
- Drink plenty of water, at least, one liter every two hours and have salty crackers as intermediate snacks.
- Ginger tea is another best remedy. Boil some ginger and tea in water and allow it to stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain and then consume.
- Add three to four tablespoons of honey in a glass of water and consume the mixture every day.
- Consume a mixture of lemon juice, crushed black pepper (1/4th tsp) and ginger powder (1/2 tsp) two times in a day.
- Add peppermint extract to half a cup of water and consume it twice or thrice a day.
- Psyllium husk is also another remedy as it reduces the frequency and severity of diarrhea.
Prevention Of Diarrhea During Pregnancy:
There are a number of reasons you can have diarrhea during pregnancy. Avoid them and be free of the problem.
- Avoid spicy or fatty foods as they are difficult to digest.
- Cut down the milk intake if you are lactose intolerant and instead opt other calcium sources.
- Avoid high sugar sodas and energy drinks as they can disturb your digestive system.
- Do not consume coffee, tea, grape juices and any energy drinks.
Diarrhea During LateВ Pregnancy:
You are likely to experience diarrhea in late pregnancy that is during the third trimester. It could be a sign of labor and can also occur a couple of weeks before delivery. But it does not mean your baby is coming immediately. It is just that the body is preparing for the labor that begins at some later point.
Traveler’s Diarrhea During Pregnancy:
Traveler’s diarrhea is a common condition that occurs within a week of traveling. The higher risk prone areas for traveler’s diarrhea are in Africa, South America, Middle East and Asia. It could be due to the consumption of water or food that is contaminated with fecal deposits.
If you have to avoid traveler’s diarrhea during pregnancy:
- Do not buy food from street vendors
- Avoid tap water even for brushing your teeth
- Do not go to localities where sanitation is poor
- Avoid fruits which do not have to be peeled
Green Diarrhea During Pregnancy:
Diarrhea will not be a major concern during pregnancy, but when the stool color changes to green, you may get astonished. The chlorophyll rich food usually leads to green stools. As the consumption of greens increases during pregnancy through iron-rich vitamins, medicines, and supplements, it can be a reason for green diarrhea.
When you notice green color in your stool, do not panic. First, go through what you have had the previous day. Only when you realize that you have not taken food that can be a reason of green stools, approach your doctor.
Green stools do not indicate danger as a quick pass through to the intestine can also lead to green color in the stools.
Also, do not worry about black stool, which can be caused because of the intake iron supplements during pregnancy.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is Diarrhea An Early Sign of Pregnancy?
Diarrhea is one of the earliest symptoms of pregnancy, accompanied by vomiting and nausea, aversions and food cravings. It occurs as a result of increasing hormonal levels, especially estrogen, progesterone and HCG.
Is Diarrhea During Pregnancy Harmful For The Baby?
Diarrhea during pregnancy will not harm your baby. But if the condition is severe, it can cause dehydration in the mother thus hampering the blood flow to the fetus. Diarrhea that occurs due to any complications like uterine and abdominal infections during second or third trimesters can be dangerous to the fetus.
Can Diarrhea Occur In Second Trimester Of Pregnancy?
Diarrhea in the second trimester is less common. If diarrhea is followed by any other symptoms like fever or body aches, then you should check with your doctor. There are also higher chances of diarrhea if it is caused by food, drinks or an infection. In this case, you should immediately seek your doctor’s help.
Diarrhea During Early Pregnancy
Most women, during their early pregnancy, experience constipation. However, there are a few women who also experience diarrhea during their pregnancy. Though rare, diarrhea during pregnancy is normal. During pregnancy, there are a number of reasons why a woman may suffer from diarrhea.
If a woman develops a sensitivity towards certain food items, she may experience diarrhea during pregnancy A lot of women wonder whether diarrhea is normal during early pregnancy. The truth is that it is normal.
The body needs to get used to the hormonal changes that occur in the body of a woman during pregnancy. The good news however, is that diarrhea is usually extremely short during pregnancy. When you have diarrhea during pregnancy early signs include nausea and vomiting too. However, if the diarrhea and the nausea continue, you may want to get it checked by a healthcare practitioner.
While diarrhea during early pregnancy is quite normal, many women experience it even in the later stages of the pregnancy. In fact, some women have it right before they begin labor. This is the way your body prepares for the delivery. In a lot of cases though, diarrhea may be caused due to a viral infection or food poisoning. If you are suffering from chronic diarrhea in the later stages of your pregnancy, visit your doctor and get yourself checked.
Causes of Diarrhea During Pregnancy
For a lot of women, candies and other processed foods can cause diarrhea during pregnancy.
Sometimes, you may experience constipation and then suddenly the stools turn watery. This happens because when a woman has chronic constipation, there may be fecal impaction where the bowels are partially obstructed with stool. A doctor would be able to help resolve such a case.
If the diarrhea is sudden and violent, continuing over a 24 hour period, it may be a case of food poisoning and immediate treatment should be taken in such a case. If you are experiencing diarrhea, keep drinking a lot of fluids. Water and fresh juices can help you maintain the hydration levels of the body. However, it is best that you avoid artificially flavored drinks.
Is Diarrhea an Early Sign of Pregnancy?
Simply put, yes. But of course neither diarrhea itself nor the lack of it, are sure indicators whether or not you are pregnant.
Though most women will not be prompted to take a pregnancy test until they miss their menstruation, some are very sensitive to minute changes that result from hormonal fluctuation and become aware of certain differences in their bodies. It is also not uncommon for women to overanalyze physical irregularities, whether out of anxiety or excitement, so please note that symptoms are not conclusive and you will have to rely on tests.
Symptoms (especially a combination of them) other than diarrhea might be better clues, but it is still interesting to understand how diarrhea can be an early sign of pregnancy.
What can be frustrating is that several of the early signs of pregnancy are so similar to those of an impending period; and diarrhea being one of them. This is because both are results of alteration in your hormone levels.
The changes in your hormone levels, especially the Higher progesterone during early pregnancy, can Affect the way your gastrointestinal tract works. Since people react differently, most women would have constipation while others may experience diarrhea. Constipation happens when the digestive system slows down, and would usually also be accompanied by bloating. Iron supplements typically prescribed to pregnant women can also contribute to constipation.
For those who have been trying to conceive and are taking prenatal vitamin supplements to prep their bodies, it is also possible that some multivitamins can induce diarrhea. To be sure, skip the vitamins for a few days and see if the diarrhea persists.
Although we have established that gastrointestinal difficulties commonly occur during early pregnancy, other indicators to look for, especially before missing your period are:
- Tender breasts and darkening of nipples
- Spotting (light pink/brown non-menstrual bleeding)
- Abdominal cramping
Most pregnancy tests work best after you miss your period, but a blood test done by a doctor may still be accurate just 7 days after your ovulation, or a week before your period is even due.
Home pregnancy test kits that use your urine are typically 97% accurate, but this rate may vary depending on the price or quality of the one you choose to buy.
Quantitative hCG blood tests, on the other hand, have a 99% accurate rate. The hCG (human Chrionic Gonadotropin) hormone is found only in pregnant women, so while the urine test simply looks for the presence of it, the quantitative blood test measure the exact amount in your bloodstream, which is also useful in determining how long it has been since conception.
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Http://www. followmum. com/is-diarrhea-an-early-sign-of-pregnancy/