What Can You Take For Acid Reflux While Pregnant
Every mother wants a healthy baby. Natural remedies for heartburn and acid reflux experienced by an expecting mother during pregnancy are, therefore, more and more common. Although it`s essential to eat fresh fruits during pregnancy, keep in mind that some of them may increase the number of episodes in which you suffer of heartburn and acid reflux during pregnancy.
Gastroesophageal reflux, also known as GERD, occurs pretty frequently in children as well as adults. When this burning appear, most people run to the pharmacy to buy antacid drugs, although the best remedy can be found in nature. Moreover, herbal treatments and lifestyle changes can easily avoid these uncomfortable episodes.
How To Get Rid Of Heartburn
Unfortunately, no matter what you do, youll probably still feel the burn sometimes. Talk to your OB about what medications you can safely take for relief .
You can reduce the risk and severity of heartburn by avoiding triggers like chocolate, coffee, tea, citrus, tomato sauces, spicy stuff and fried foods. It also helps to sleep with your head slightly elevated and to consume minimal fluids with mealsjust be sure to drink plenty of water an hour before and an hour after meals so you dont get dehydrated.
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Ask Your Doctor About Prevacid
Prevacid is one of the recommended longer term options for heartburn/ heartburn medicine. It blocks the production of acid, but it doesnt offer the immediate relief. This is often recommended for those who suffer heartburn regularly, such as more than two days a week.
It is a category B heartburn medicine / medication, which means there are no known risks to a baby. Your doctor may not recommend it if you have liver disease or are deficient in magnesium. You will be recommended some of the above options.
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What Makes It Better
For most women, things that help reduce acid production or prevent reux are helpful in avoiding the discomfort of heartburn. Here are tips that may help:
Avoid classic spicy foods, as well as those with lots of fat or grease. Many people recommend avoiding citrus and chocolate, as well.
Eat multiple, small meals spread throughout the day, much like grazing, instead of three big meals.
Try elevating the head of your bed by several inches, and wait a while after eating before going to bed or lying down.
Some women find that its better to drink fluids between meals, rather than with a meal. This can increase the amount of contents in the stomach.
If your symptoms do not improve after the above recommended diet and lifestyle changes are in place, talk with your healthcare provider about over-the-counter medicines. Antacids are available as chewable tablets and liquids. They work by coating the lining of the esophagus and stomach and neutralizing stomach acid. Heartburn medicines called H2-blockers work by reducing the amount of acid made by your stomach. Although most of these are considered safe in pregnancy, as with all medicines, these should be avoided in the first trimester.
What Remedies Should Not Be Used For Constipation During Pregnancy
Laxative pills are NOT recommended for the treatment of constipation during pregnancy because they might stimulate uterine contractions and cause dehydration. Talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter fiber supplement or a laxative or stool softener.
Mineral oils should NOT be used during pregnancy because they reduce nutrient absorption.
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Treatment Of Heartburn During Pregnancy
Medications may include:
Over-the-counter antacids such as calcium carbonate or magnesium hydroxide. These are generally safe to use during pregnancy. You may find that liquid heartburn relievers are more effective in treating heartburn, because they coat the esophagus.
Try Out Tagamet For Longer Term Relief
Another option for longer term relief is a medication called Tagamet. This works in the same way as Zantac 75 and Pepcid, by blocking some acid production but mostly neutralizing the acid that is in the stomach. It is a longer term relief than the likes of TUMS and Maalox.
The benefit is that Tagamet as a category B rating. This is important for doctors as it means that it hasnt shown any signs of causing an unborn baby problems. It is more favorable than Prilosec, which has a category C rating.
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Supplement Use During Pregnancy
Discuss any supplements you take or plan to take during your pregnancy with your doctor.
While prenatal vitamins are recommended to support levels of essential vitamins and minerals, like folate, other supplements may pose risks to your baby. They may also interact with medications youre already taking.
Note that just because something is labeled all-natural doesnt always mean its safe. Supplements are not regulated by the FDA in the same way as prescription drugs. Approach them with caution and discuss using with your doctor before starting any.
Can I Prevent Heartburn During Pregnancy
You may not be able to entirely prevent heartburn while youre pregnant. After all, your uterus is going to continue to expand and put pressure on your stomach, and those pregnancy hormones are still present in your body. But you can take a few steps to reduce the likelihood, such as:
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Opt For A Cold Ice Cream
Another popular medication prescribed is ice cream. This has a similar cooling effect as milk, because of the temperature. Its easy to swallow, and youll be able to get the immediate, temporary relief.
But isnt ice cream full of sugar? Well, yes and no. You could make your own at home from mashed banana, milk, and cream. That will help to keep the calories to a minimum, and youll get more nutrients.
Try to avoid chocolate flavored ice cream. If buying it from the store, plain vanilla or banana are the best options.
Elevate The Head Of Your Bed
Some people experience reflux symptoms during the night .
This may disrupt their sleep quality and make it difficult for them to fall asleep.
One study showed that patients who raised the head of their bed had significantly fewer reflux episodes and symptoms, compared to those who slept without any elevation .
Additionally, an analysis of controlled studies concluded that elevating the head of the bed is an effective strategy to reduce acid reflux symptoms and heartburn at night (
Elevating the head of your bed may reduce your reflux symptoms at night.
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What Typically Causes Heartburn For Pregnant Women
As mentioned above, the causes of heartburn are complex and not wholly understood, may be related to the pattern of relaxation on the lower oesophageal sphincter .
There are a number of everyday recommendations typically given to people who experience heartburn and wish to avoid or alleviate symptoms, including:
- Eat smaller meals
- Sleep in a more upright position
- Avoid food 2-3 hours before bed, especially acidic and spicy food
- Drink fluids mostly between meals instead of during the meal
What Else Does Indigestion Cause
Apart from heartburn, the following symptoms also occur in case of indigestion.
- Burping release of gas from the stomach through mouth
- Bloating stomach full feel after food
- Flatulence release of gas from the stomach through anal sphincter
- Abdominal pain pain in the stomach
- Vomiting throwing up of stomach contents
All these symptoms appear habitually at the third trimester stage of pregnancy as you and your baby gets bigger. These symptoms generally go away with or without medications.
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When Should I Talk To My Doctor
If you have heartburn that often wakes you up at night, returns as soon as your antacid wears off, or creates other symptoms , you may have a more serious problem that requires attention.
Your doctor may diagnose you with GERD. This means that your heartburn needs to be controlled to protect you from complications such as damage to the esophagus.
Your doctor may prescribe certain acid-reducing medications to reduce your symptoms. Research indicates that medications called H2 blockers, which help block the production of acid, appear to be safe.
Another type of medication, called proton pump inhibitors, is used for people with heartburn that doesnt respond to other treatments.
If youre concerned about the effects of medications, be sure to talk to your doctor. Doctors can help you control your symptoms while keeping your unborn child safe.
When Should You See A Healthcare Provider About Heartburn Or Reflux During Pregnancy
Check in with your healthcare provider if calcium carbonate antacids dont seem to be helping. You should also reach out to them if you need to use them frequently for more than 2 weeks.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any of these other symptoms with your heartburn:
Pain or cramps in your lower belly, side, or back
Severe diarrhea that doesnt go away
New or worsening nausea or vomiting
Blood in your stool or stools that are very dark
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What Is Gastroesophageal Reflux
Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when the stomach`s content returns to the esophagus (the muscle tube that transports foods and liquids from the mouth to the stomach. GERD is also known as acid reflux or acid regurgitation, because the digestive juices contain acid.
The acid fluids of the stomach may damage the lining of the esophagus.
Other Causes Of Heartburn During Pregnancy:
- Fatty foods, due to increased acid production
- Spicy foods
- Pre-existing medical conditions
- Multiple pregnancies
- H. Pylori is a bacteria that has been associated with stomach ulcers. This is mentioned here more for information purposes for individuals who have had stomach ulcers associated acid reflux. This is not a routine test done for heartburn, though it may be of interest to individuals who have had chronic stomach pain/ulcers.
Since the hormonal and anatomic causes of heartburn during pregnancy cannot be avoided, the management of heartburn during pregnancy is by practicing prevention.
Reducting esophageal sphincter relaxation and decreasing intrabdominal pressure.
2. Decreasing intrabdominal pressure during pregnancy is easier said than done. Here are some suggestions:
- Dont lie flat during pregnancy, especially after eating.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects or any activity that will strain your abdominal muscles. This increases the pressure in your abdomen and will cause gastric contents to reflux up into your esophagus.
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Discuss H2 Blockers With Your Doctor
If an antacid isnt working, it may be time to consider stronger medications.
Your first option will likely be an H2 blocker like Tagamet or Zantac. These drugs suppress stomach-acid production. All four H2 inhibitors on the market are now available without a prescription and considered to be safe during pregnancy. But talk to your doctor before taking them.
They really work, says Einarson. You only have to take one or two a day.
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Avoid Foods That Can Cause Gas
High-fiber foods like raisins, prunes, and carrots can help you have a good, solid bowel movement.
But foods that can cause gas or bloating could also cause constipation, so take your babys needs into consideration.
Sodium can also cause an increase of pressure in the stomach leading your bowels to be slower. So it causes constipation, so if you have sodium sensitivity thats just going to be another thing to check with your doctor.
Salt is also an irritant to the colon, so avoid eating large amounts. Instead, cook with extra salt.
When cooking, use less salt, but be sure to use whole-grain salt when possible to keep your sodium intake from being too high.
Glycemic index foods can also cause constipation. Foods high in sugar or carbswill cause a spike in blood sugar. This can slow down the passage of food through the intestines, causing constipation.
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Learn What Causes Heartburn For Youthen Avoid It
Fat, caffeine, chocolate, citruspregnant women with heartburn have been advised to avoid all of the above at one time or another. But what causes reflux in one woman might not be a trigger for another.
Rather than tell his pregnant patients to avoid a specific food, Dr. Richter says he advises them to stay away from foods that specifically aggravate them. Everybodys different, Dr. Richter says. Some pregnant women can chow down on spicy Mexican food or a plate of spaghetti and meatballs with no ill effects.
Skin Rashes Cuts Scrapes
Rashes and itchy skin can be treated with OTC hydrocortisone cream during pregnancy. But mention these symptoms to your doctor to rule out conditions like pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy . You doctor may prescribe steroidal creams for certain conditions.
For cuts and scrapes, clean the area well with soap and water. You may then apply an OTC antibiotic ointment, like Neosporin, for added protection.
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When To See Your Gp
Be sure to contact your GP if you havent been to the loo for a long time and are in pain. Your GP may prescribe laxatives to help encourage a bowel movement, says Mervi.
As not all stool-softeners and laxatives have been tested on pregnant women, make sure you mention to your pharmacist that youre pregnant. If you can only get to a pharmacy, make sure you tell the chemist that youre pregnant so they can give you a laxative thats safe in pregnancy.
If youve developed piles, you can get creams and ointments to treat the discomfort, but see your doctor if you get persistent bleeding.
What Are The Safest Ways To Deal With Heartburn And Reflux During Pregnancy
The best way to treat pregnancy heartburn is to prevent it. Here are some tips to help you avoid it:
Avoid common triggers like caffeine, spicy foods, and greasy foods
Eat several small meals throughout the day instead of three large ones
Avoid acidic foods like citrus juices and tomatoes
Wait at least 3 hours after eating before you go to bed
Wear clothing that fits loosely to help relieve pressure on your stomach
Raise the head of your bed by about 4 to 6 inches to help acid better stay in your stomach
There are also some natural ways to treat heartburn symptoms. Eating yogurt or drinking milk can help relieve the burning sensation. You can also try mixing about a tablespoon of honey with a glass of warm milk.
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Medicines For Indigestion And Heartburn
Medicines for indigestion and heartburn during pregnancy include:
- antacids to neutralise the acid in your stomach
- alginates to relieve indigestion caused by acid reflux by stopping the acid in your stomach coming back up your gullet
You may only need to take antacids and alginates when you start getting symptoms. However, your GP may recommend taking them before symptoms come on for example, before a meal or before bed.
If you’re taking iron supplements as well as antacids, do not take them at the same time. Antacids can stop iron from being absorbed by your body.
If antacids and alginates do not improve your symptoms, your GP may prescribe a medicine to reduce the amount of acid in your stomach. 2 that are widely used in pregnancy and not known to be harmful to an unborn baby are:
How Can I Deal With Heartburn During Pregnancy
Im in my second trimester. No matter what I eat, I get heartburn. Is this normal? If so, what can I do to feel better?Cari
Heartburn, despite its name, has nothing to do with the heart. Its a burning feeling in the throat and chest when the stomachs contents move back up into the esophagus .
Heartburn is common during pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones can make the valve at the entrance to the stomach relax so that it doesnt close as it should. This lets acidic stomach contents move up into the esophagus, a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux , or acid reflux. It can get worse later in pregnancy when the growing uterus presses up on the stomach.
To help ease heartburn pain:
- Skip foods and drinks that can make it worse, such as citrus spicy, fatty foods caffeine and carbonated drinks.
- Eat several small meals throughout the day.
- Take your time when eating.
- Drink liquids between not during meals.
- Avoid eating or drinking for 3 hours before bedtime.
- Resist the urge to lie down after meals.
- Raise your head when you sleep.
- Talk to your doctor about medicines that are safe to take for heartburn during pregnancy.
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