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Diarrhea in pregnancy: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Pregnancy is a stage characterized by changes of all kinds, and many of these changes are manifested in one of the most sensitive organs of our body: the stomach. During pregnancy, it is common for women to suffer from constipation. However, in some cases and especially during the first trimester, Diarrhea can also occur regularly. Faced with this picture, it is customary to wonder if this situation can affect the mother or the fetus and how to prevent it from becoming a problem. In this FastlyHealarticle, we explain the causes and treatment of Diarrhea in pregnancy and when it is convenient to go to the doctor.

Is Diarrhea in pregnancy a cause for concern?

Having Diarrhea during pregnancy is a widespread condition during the first trimester, although it can extend to the rest of the pregnancy. There is no reason to worry too much about this condition as long as it is not present with great intensity and forces us to expel any food or liquid that we ingest.

Suppose the Diarrhea is severe and is accompanied by symptoms such as vomiting, fever, headache or stomach pain, and blood in the stool. In that case, it is advisable to see a doctor immediately. In the same way, if it does not decrease after two days of following an astringent diet and hydrating correctly, it is also advisable to consult a specialist.

Causes of Diarrhea in pregnancy

Important changes in the body characterize pregnancy. Many of them also affect the stomach causing this type of discomfort. Some of the causes of Diarrhea in pregnancy are:

Hormonal changes

The hormones prepare for the gestation of this new life, which produces annoying symptoms such as nausea and vomiting in the first trimester. These same hormones can also be responsible for Diarrhea, especially as a side effect of discomfort caused by vomiting. The stomach is more sensitive than ever, and it is normal to experience changes in the shape of bowel movements and other symptoms such as slow digestion, abdominal bloating, or, the opposite of Diarrhea, constipation.

Drastic diet changes

If you know that you are on a treadmill, you immediately begin to make all the dietary modifications to help your baby grow healthy, which may cause Diarrhea during pregnancy. If, between the improvements, you have increased the amount of fiber by consuming more fruits, vegetables, seeds, or cereals, this may cause your condition. But don’t worry. It will disappear as soon as your body gets used to it or if you moderate your fiber intake a little more.

Eat excessively

Your body is not the same. That is why it is essential to take proper care of it, avoiding excesses. Eating substantial meals during pregnancy, consuming excessively sweets, sugar, chocolates, packaged juices, soft drinks, or foods rich in fat can adversely affect your gastric health. To avoid them, it is recommended to eat in moderation, avoid doing it for anxiety and limit the consumption of foods that may cause discomfort, such as those mentioned above.

Intolerance of certain foods

The very change that the body undergoes during pregnancy can lead to the emergence of particular food intolerances. There are foods that you can stop digesting properly or some that can start to make you feel bad, which is evidenced by frequent Diarrhea. In the same way, if you have increased your milk intake significantly, you may be presenting lactose intolerance, which is why you have frequent Diarrhea. in these cases, it is best to consume lactose-free products.

Reaction to prenatal vitamins

Some vitamins ingested during pregnancy can cause Diarrhea; however, you should bear in mind that iron, which is also consumed during this stage, usually counteracts it by producing constipation.

Diarrhea in the last weeks of pregnancy

If you have had a great pregnancy and only in the final stretch to give birth have you begun to experience Diarrhea, you should know that this is entirely normal and is due to the baby’s growth. Due to the size of the fetus, it may be exerting some pressure on the stomach which prevents the food from being digested properly, thus affecting your bowel movements.

Gastrointestinal infections

Finally, we cannot rule out the presence of stomach infections that may appear due to the ingestion of food or water contaminated by bacteria or parasites or by the spread of viruses such as gastroenteritis. In these cases, in addition to Diarrhea, there are apparent symptoms such as twinge-type abdominal pain, vomiting, fever, and general malaise. Given this picture, it is recommended to see a doctor as soon as possible.

How to Prevent Diarrhea in pregnancy

Whether the doctor allows it, eating a healthy and balanced diet and performing a moderate physical activity is undoubtedly the best way to maintain health during pregnancy. But in the specific case of gastrointestinal well-being, it is necessary to take into account some guidelines to avoid Diarrhea in pregnancy:

  • Always eat moderately, eating adequate portions without overdoing it. The intake of stimulating foods such as those containing caffeine or a lot of sugar should be avoided. In the same way, the consumption of fat should be moderated since it can be indigestible and harmful. Also, limit the intake of lactose and other irritating foods such as spicy foods.
  • Make sure that all the food you eat is fresh. This way, you can avoid the spread of bacteria or parasites. If something doesn’t look good, don’t eat it!
  • Wash the fruits and vegetables that you will consume very well, avoid raw foods as much as possible, and make sure that fish and meats are properly cooked to reduce the chances of contracting a stomach infection.
  • Always drink bottled water and avoid ingesting liquid from unknown sources.
  • If you start any medical treatment and notice that you begin to have Diarrhea, consult your doctor to determine whether or not it is suitable for you and evaluate other alternatives.

Keys to treating Diarrhea in pregnancy

To treat Diarrhea during pregnancy, you must apply the same basic measures as anyone else. The first thing is to be patient. In indigestion or problems digesting certain foods, the discomfort can last between 1 and 2 days. If the Diarrhea is very severe, is accompanied by other symptoms, or lasts for more than two days, it is essential to consult a doctor.

As a treatment for this condition, we recommend:

  • Increase hydration. Remember that during Diarrhea, your body loses a lot of fluid, and it is necessary to rehydrate it. Drinking water frequently and in small sips, consuming sports drinks in moderation that help you recover lost mineral salts, or opting for oral serum are good ways to achieve this. In our article making oral serum at home, we give you the keys to preparing this drink in minutes.
  • Eating a bland and astringent diet is very important to guarantee the recovery of your stomach. In our article astringent diet to Treat Diarrhea, we explain the most recommended foods in detail.
  • Avoid stimulating or irritating food such as spicy foods, sweets, caffeinated ingredients, or fried foods.
  • If necessary, rest and rest. When it occurs with intensity, this condition can cause significant discomfort, so if you need a day of rest, take it without thinking.

If, despite following these recommendations, the discomfort continues or becomes more intense, go immediately to a health care center.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Diarrhea in pregnancy: causes and treatment, we recommend that you enter our Pregnancy and baby health category.

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