Diarrhea During Pregnancy 1st Trimester
The most common cause of diarrhea during pregnancy is dehydration. Diarrhea occurs when there isn’t enough water intake or if it’s not absorbed properly from the intestines. When your body doesn’t have enough fluid, it loses weight due to lack of energy and eventually becomes dehydrated which leads to cramping, nausea, vomiting and sometimes even seizures.
Symptoms of Diarrhea During Pregnancy:
Nausea and Vomiting
Cramps and Painful Bowel Movement (Gas)
Headaches and Numbness in Hands/Wrist/Feet/Legs/Arms (Weakness)
Causes of Diarrhea During Pregnancy:
1. Water Intake Too Low – You don’t drink enough water.
Drinking too little water may lead to dehydration.
2. Lack of Absorption of Water From Intestines – Your body does not absorb all the water it needs from the intestines.
If you are drinking less than recommended amount of water, then your body will lose weight and become dehydrated.
3. Constipation – Constipation is one of the causes for diarrhea during pregnancy because constipated bowel movement results in loss of fluids through feces.
4. Too Much Exercise – During pregnancy, you should limit the amount of exercise you do since it may cause cramping and decrease water intake.
The body requires more energy than usual, during this time.
5. Certain Medications – Certain medications such as antibiotics are known to cause diarrhea in some women during pregnancy.
If possible, talk to your physician about other medication options that are safe for use during pregnancy.
6. Chemical Exposure – Chemicals such as cleaning solutions may cause diarrhea during pregnancy.
7. Food Poisoning – Certain types of food poisoning may contribute to diarrhea during pregnancy.
(E.g. Staphylococcal food poisoning)
8. Other Infections – Certain types of other infections in the body such as urinary tract infection or yeast infection can also cause diarrhea during pregnancy.
Treatment For Diarrhea During Pregnancy:
1. Increase Water Intake – Try to drink at least 8 glasses of water each day.
If this only worsens your condition, then try a different solution.
2. Try Other Fluids – You can also try other fluids such as Gatorade, milk, coffee or juice.
3. Medications – If you are unable to control the diarrhea, try taking Immodium AD or Lomotil to slow down the bowel movement.
4. See a Doctor – If you are unable to control the diarrhea, you should see your physician immediately.
He or she may give you stronger medication such as Flagyl or Metronidazole.
5. Stick With Plain Foods – You should stick with simple foods such as toast, crackers, rice, bananas and apples until the diarrhea subsides.
DO NOT eat any dairy products such as milk or cheese at this time.
6. Eat Multiple Small Meals – Eat small meals more frequently rather than 3 large meals a day to keep your metabolism running smoothly.
7. Be Cautious With Exercises – Avoid any type of exercises that causes cramping or straining.
(E.g. Sit-ups, Running)
8. Rest – Try to get plenty of rest since you will be losing a lot of vital nutrients and minerals.
It is important to take it easy.
It is perfectly normal to have diarrhea during pregnancy, especially if you are drinking more than usual. If the diarrhea is caused by a certain food, then try avoiding that food. If you think you have a serious medical condition, contact your physician immediately.
Tags: Diarrhea, Pregnancy, Symptoms, Treatment
Sources & references used in this article:
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From aralu to ORS: Sinhalese perceptions of digestion, diarrhea, and dehydration by M Nichter – Anthropology and International Health, 1989 – Springer
Mexican folk remedies of Chihuahua by RM Zingg – Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, 1932 – JSTOR
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How to Stop Diarrhea: Treatment and Home Remedies by M Vila – emedihealth.com
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