IBS During And After Pregnancy (Symptoms, Effects, Treatments)
If it is your first experience, pregnancy can occur alongside strange discomforts and problems that you may not have experienced before. You might feel morning sickness, heartburn, and indigestion. The symptoms such as chronic digestive symptoms, gas and bloating, diarrhea, and even constipation can be an indication of a condition called IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). The aim of our article is to review effects of IBS during and after pregnancy.
The Hipregnancy team hopes this article will help ease or at least manage this common disease among all pregnant women and future mothers.
IBS in medical terms and its effect on women
This long-term disease has been found to affect both men and women. However, it is more common among women, especially pregnant women (results showed that 10 to 15 percent of women might suffer from this disease).
Although this disease can occur both during and after pregnancy, the good news is you will be able to manage it. However, consulting your doctor and taking extra care and caution may deem necessary (your kid depends on your health).
In medical terms, this disease creates a disruption between the brain and the sensitive abdominal muscles. However, it would be best if you remembered that IBS could affect people in different manners, and what you experience can vary for another person. In general, the following symptoms can be an indication of IBS:
- Food sensitivity
- And lastly, unpleasant cramping
Based on the research conducted on different examination groups, women suffering from IBS may suffer from numerous issues in their daily and work life, making life a little more complicated.
The relationship between pregnancy and IBS
With IBS, women are expected to suffer from gastrointestinal problems during their nine months of pregnancy. You may suffer from constipation, diarrhea, belly pain, and stomach gas. Also, digestive troubles are probable.
We have bad news for you. It is proven by Sherry Ross (women’s health expert) that pregnancy can make symptoms worse (sorry future mothers). So, my advice is that if you have the above symptoms, you must be really careful about what you are eating and what you are about to eat.
There are not many cases regarding the relationship between pregnancy and IBS symptoms and few studies show a conflict between the results. In other words, some pregnant women experienced an increase in the IBS symptoms, while others experienced symptoms being diminished.
Can IBS harm the baby?
According to the findings, IBS will likely not affect the baby or your pregnancy. In any case, consulting your doctor will be a good choice.
It would be best if you also remembered to check whether you have this disorder with your physician to make sure that it won’t get out of control.
Whether it can harm the baby or not, no mother will put their child at risk. If you are having symptoms such as dehydration and diarrhea, visit your physician to prevent any undesired results.
Effects of IBS During Pregnancy
Women will likely experience different symptoms during pregnancy, such as physical pressure on the belly, increased constipation (during the last trimester), and heightened stress. Unfortunately, these are the symptoms that can actually elevate IBS.
Due to the lack of sufficient studies concerning IBS in pregnant women, we cannot really rely on cases of miscarriage or non-risk at all. However, for your best, you can follow some of the following instructions to manage IBS and resulting consequences during pregnancy:
- Stay away from foods that trigger IBS symptoms. Before introducing a new food item or consuming old ones, you better ask your physician or qualified dietitian to ensure you are eating a healthy diet and, at the same time, receiving the needed minerals you and your baby need.
Note that triggers do not include merely food items and the medication you take during pregnancy can also elevate the IBS symptoms.
- Stay well hydrated and avoid alcohol if you want the symptoms not to get worse.
- You are experiencing diarrhea: Increase the consumption of soluble fiber. This includes food items such as oats and barley. In addition, fruits such as bananas, kiwi, and raspberries contain soluble fiber.
- Stay away from stressful situations. You are carrying a second soul. If you are a stressed person, you can always rely on relaxation techniques. Yoga seems to work appropriately in this case.
Effects of IBS After Pregnancy
It seems that IBS is not too limited to pregnancy and it can also happen after childbirth. Some patients have shown the symptoms of post-defecation leakage, passive fecal incontinence, bowel urgency, and urge fecal incontinence.
Moreover, the following symptoms can be a sign of an IBS attack:
- stomach pain bloating
- mucus in stool
The influence of women’s period on IBS
Most women’s period starts with physical symptoms such as abdominal cramps, problematic sleeping, fatigue, and headaches. In addition, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea are among these symptoms too, which can be easily mistaken as IBS symptoms.
Also, depending on whether you are breastfeeding or not, your period may change and it is found that period can affect and even worsen the IBS symptoms. However, the timing for the start of these symptoms can change.
If you are having trouble differentiating between the symptoms, period, and IBS, you better ask your physician’s opinion on this case.
Is IBS after pregnancy manageable and even treatable?
It seems that several lifestyle changes can actually help diminish IBS symptoms. These options are mentioned earlier. However, the following four more options will also be to your benefit:
- Food items rich in fiber, e.g., barley, broccoli, and whole grains
- Staying dehydrated. Don’t forget to drink lots of water
- Avoiding alcohol, fat, and saturated food items
- Medication and supplements approved by your physician, e.g., stool softeners and laxatives
How to say I have IBS During and After Pregnancy?
As mentioned earlier, we have covered pretty much all the symptoms of IBS. However, it is important to note that symptoms should not be considered the disorder’s absolute determinant. In other words, you may have another underlying problem that you are not aware of.
For example, morning sickness and heartburn symptoms can cause other disorders that need to be addressed carefully. It is interesting to note that vitamins such as iron and calcium, which are among the most consumed during pregnancy, can also lead to diarrhea (a symptom of IBS).
However, just because you have diarrhea doesn’t mean you would suffer from IBS. Consulting your physician should always be your first decision.
The sweet feeling of having a baby is nice but pregnancy can be alongside numerous difficulties, one of which is IBS. As discussed in this article, IBS can happen both during and after pregnancy.
According to this article, pregnancy has a direct relationship with IBS disorder. However, the symptoms don’t directly indicate the presence of this disorder, and the professional opinion of your physician will be required.
If you are diagnosed with IBS, you can manage it during and after pregnancy by simple tasks, such as eating low fat and non-saturated light-weight food items, taking medication (as prescribed by a physician), and relaxation strategies to ease your stress, etc.
If you have any questions or would like to share your experience with young ladies around the world, comment on the Hipregnancy website and leave your opinion.