Heartburn During Pregnancy: Causes and Treatment

Pregnant women with GERD present similarly to individuals in the general population; heartburn and regurgitation are the cardinal symptoms. The clinical evaluation consists of a thorough patient history and physical examination; diagnostic studies are rarely needed. Endoscopy may be indicated in patients with complications of GERD, and 24-hour ambulatory pH studies can be useful in those with atypical presentations (eg, cough, wheezing, sore throat) and refractory symptoms. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), generally known as heartburn, is common in pregnancy and can have a negative impact on their healt-realted quality of life, particularly late in pregnancy. Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders represent some of the most frequent complaints during pregnancy, possibly due in part to elevated levels of progesterone (eg, nausea/vomiting, gastroesophagel reflux disease [GERD]) and/or prostaglandins (diarrhea).

GERD is incredibly common. About 40 percent of Americans experience GERD on a monthly basis and about 30 to 50 percent of pregnant women complain of symptoms, according to the National Institutes of Health. Why Am I So BloatedBloating is a feeling that your abdomen is distended or larger than normal, but it does not necessarily mean that it is.

If small meals don’t work for you, try to eat your main meal at lunchtime and your evening meal as early as possible. This will allow plenty of time for food to pass down through the stomach and minimise the risk of acid reflux before bedtime.

Hormones cause relaxation of the esophageal sphincter. This is a tight circular band of muscle at the top of the stomach. This allows partially digested food and stomach acids to backflow, or reflux, into the esophagus. In addition, progesterone also slows the digestive process.

Research has backed up the superstition that, on average, the more heartburn you have during pregnancy, the more likely your baby will be born with a full head of hair. Implausible as it sounds, it seems that the hormones responsible for heartburn are the same ones that cause fetal hair to sprout.

So, eating large meals or overeating in general can also increase the risk for heartburn. Eating right before bedtime can cause problems, too.

56 Reflux (heartburn)

Antacids may interfere with iron absorption, and iron is important for the growing fetus so pregnant women may need iron supplementation. Heartburn (a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD) occurs in one-quarter to one-half of all pregnant women. ANSWER Increased severity of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy is associated with the presence of heartburn and acid reflux. Antacids, histamine-2 receptor antagonists, and proton pump inhibitors can be used safely during pregnancy, as large studies have been published with no evidence of adverse fetal effects. LBG Except for omeprazole, all proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are classified as category B drugs by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means that they are safe to use during pregnancy.

Thus, if sucralfate is being used, it should be taken one-half hour before or after doses of antacids or alginic acid/antacid for maximal effect. A small study in pregnant women showed sucralfate is successful in relieving heartburn and studies in animals have not shown adverse effects of sucralfate on the fetus. LBG Although most pregnant women with GERD do not report having prior heartburn symptoms, one of the risk factors for having GERD during pregnancy is the presence of pre-existing GERD.

Some antacids are combined with another type of medicine known as an alginate. This helps to relieve indigestion caused by acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid leaks back up into your oesophagus (gullet) and irritates its protective lining (mucosa). Most people are affected by indigestion from time to time, but women are often affected by it while they are pregnant. As many as 8 out of 10 women experience indigestion at some point during their pregnancy.

The best you can do is to manage your symptoms. A much wider variety of foods can irritate an already inflamed esophagus and contribute to the discomfort of heartburn. Typical examples are fatty foods, spicy foods, hot beverages, carbonated beverages, alcohol, and citrus juices. A fully healed esophagus is much less sensitive to these foods. Consider the selective elimination of any dietary triggers that cause heartburn until the underlying disease is resolved.

Pregnant? Don’t Eat ThisDo you know which common foods may be risky during pregnancy? Learn which foods to avoid, while pregnant, such as queso dip, lunch meat, coffee and more. Signs and symptoms that you may have only if you are pregnant include, implantation cramping and bleeding, a white, milky vaginal discharge, and your areolas or nipples darken. The only way to find out if you are pregnant is with a pregnancy test.

If you’re experiencing extreme discomfort or pain, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss any other possible heartburn treatments or medications that you can take during pregnancy. There are certain foods that double as natural remedies for heartburn during pregnancy. Some of these home remedies for heartburn during pregnancy may work well for certain women but not for others. Find out what works best for you among these foods that help with heartburn during pregnancy. Many women wonder how to get rid of heartburn during pregnancy – fast.

treatment for gerd in pregnancy

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