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anyone pregnant with IBS?

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Old 02-05-2007, 01:35 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 80
alpdance HB User
anyone pregnant with IBS?

I am an IBS sufferer who previously enjoyed "remissions" with my first two pregnancies (and thereafter while on antidepressants). I am currently 7 weeks pregnant with my third child (and off antidepressants) and my IBS has returned and worsened considerably. Before, I was more IBS-D, and now I am more IBS-C with lots and lots of pain. The pain is now under my left rib cage and down farther on the left side, but it also jumps around. It is very frustrating having this pain while being pregnant because I am constantly fearing for the baby. I ended up in the ER last weekend for an emergency ultrasound to rule out an ectopic pregnancy after discussing my pain with my midwife. When she pressed on my abdomen it hurt, and I now think it was due to the IBS. The baby looked fine on the u/s so I am trying not to worry about that, as I know that my IBS is exacerbated by anxiety. Just wondering if any other women have found some non-drug relief during pregnancy. Thanks.

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Old 02-06-2007, 10:25 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,772
elmhar HB Userelmhar HB User
Re: anyone pregnant with IBS?

Hi Alpdance,

Congratulations on your pregnancy. I'm sorry to hear that you are not getting relief from your IBS this time 'round.

Constipation can be a big player in IBS induced pain. I'm wondering whether you'd consider talking to your OB and/or midwife about a few supplements. But I really must insist that you talk to your medical adivsors first, before trying these things.

1) Increased fiber (along with liquid), either through diet or supplement.
Something like psyllium/Metamucil, a little bit each day -- but apart in time from your prenatal vitamin.

2) Low dose magnesium, preferrably as magnesium citrate. I'm suggesting about 100 mg. of mag citrate, which would be about 1/3 of your RDA. Magnesium aids neurotransmitter production, and is a very "relaxing" mineral, often recommended to anxiety sufferers. Mag citrate also has a laxative effect; you never want to overdo itl, but a tiny bit can be very helpful. I do not recommend mag oxide, due to potential for heavy metal contamination in that particular compound. The reacted mineral salts (citrate is a "salt" in chem talk), are much cleaner. If oral magnesium is out, regular epsom salts baths (a couple handfuls in a tub of water) can be helpful.

3) Omega 3 oil, such as cod liver oil. Omega 3 oils provide essential fatty acids needed for all body functions, and are also important to the developing fetus. They have a good track record for easing anxiety and depression. However, if there is any tendency to bleeding, omega 3 oils may be contraindicated, as they thin the blood. And once again, dose is important. You don't want to overdo, and on this one you must get the dose from your med. advisor.

I suffered from very severe IBS for many decades, and I did not experience remissions during pregnancy. Like you, I experienced worsening, esp. in the first trimester.

My IBS is now totally resolved; by fluke I discovered my trigger was gluten. In retrospect I now understand why my own IBS worsened in early preg: I suffered from morning sickness (though mine lasted 24/7 for 4 mos. both pregs); to combat it I ate conventional crackers & other gluten-filled carbs, continuously.

I don't know whether or not gluten is your problem; it is a factor for a subset of IBS sufferers. If you are interested in learning more, I recommend the book, Gluten-Free Living for Dummies, by Danna Korn, as a great resource on GFD.

Please note, anyone attempting to try GF diet while pregnant should work with a registered dietician to make sure they are getting adequate nutrition. Simply cutting out gluten yields the dietary equivalent of the Atkins diet for most people, and low carb diets are strongly contraindicated during pregnancy. There are many nutritious nongluten grain & carb options, but it takes a while to get up to speed on all the info related to gluten-free replacements for conventional diet items.

Best wishes.

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