Monday, December 24, 2007

IBS In Pregnancy

Irritable bowel syndrome is a health disorder, one that is characterized most commonly by cramping, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. Most cases of irritable bowel syndrome are quite mild and can be controlled with proper diet, stress management, and often there is a need for prescribed medications as well.

While most women with IBS have long suspected that hormones (chemical substances created by the body that control numerous bodily functions) have an impact on their IBS symptoms, research has recently shown just how dramatic and wide-ranging this link is. Women have a higher prevalence of IBS than men in the first place, which may actually be due to sex-related differences in brain responses to visceral (body) and psychological (mind) stressors, as well as hormonal influences. Women with IBS have more severe symptoms and need more medications than men. Small-bowel transit, gastric emptying, and colonic transit times are all significantly different for women (even women without IBS) than for men. and hormones are believed to play a large role here. There are also estrogen receptors in the stomach and small intestine, which react to changing levels of hormones.

Irritable bowel syndrome in pregnancy is quite common, and although the condition does not affect a woman`s chances of getting pregnant, during pregnancy the symptoms of the disorder are often heightened incredibly. The hormonal changes that a woman experiences throughout her pregnancy, especially if she had irritable bowel syndrome beforehand, vary from one trimester to another. During the first trimester, most women actually do not even feel any of the hormonal effects on their body because they are too busy coping with morning sickness, and usually at this point in most cases the irritable bowel syndrome will all but disappear. Then as the second trimester rolls around, hormonal changes begin to become more apparent and symptoms of the disorder will continue due to these hormonal changes.

Finally, in the third trimester, the symptoms continue and usually even increase, and the most noticeable symptom is constipation with most women. This is because pregnancy in general causes the levels of progesterone in the body to rise and in turn the muscles begin to relax. This causes the digestive system to slow down and not only that but as well the lack of exercise and proper diet are also major contributing factors in most cases here. Irritable bowel syndrome in pregnancy can obviously be quite troublesome, and so it is important to learn about the different methods of treatment that are available to help relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in pregnancy. Participating in regular and safe pregnancy exercises and drinking plenty of water are both ideal ways of relieving irritable bowel syndrome in pregnancy.

You should also take soluble fiber supplements, make sure that you get sufficient sleep, and there are even some medications that you can take if your symptoms are particularly severe. Diclectin is available, which helps with morning sickness, and there is also Bentyl which prevents muscle spasms in the stomach and bladder and which also helps to relax them. The best idea is to get in to see your doctor as soon as you possibly can so that they can assess your specific condition and determine what particular method of treatment is going to be best suited to you and your condition.

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