Investigations are generally not needed. Stomach cells also make mucus which protects them from damage caused by the acid.
This allows partially digested food and stomach acids to backflow, or reflux, into the esophagus. In addition, progesterone also slows the digestive process. This keeps food in the stomach longer.
People often have indigestion along with heartburn (a burning feeling deep in the chest), which happens when stomach acids rise into the esophagus. Indigestion is often a sign of an underlying problem, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers, or gallbladder disease, rather than a condition of its own. Any treatment you get will depend on what the cause is. But there are ways you can feel better or avoid getting it.
You can try your best to prevent it, and then take steps to cope with it when it pops up. With the advice and assistance of your doctor, you’ll get through it. You may even accept dealing with occasional indigestion or heartburn just to indulge in a meal youâ€™ve been craving, and thatâ€™s OK, too.
At Tru Health, our experienced naturopathic doctors are committed to helping you find a natural remedy that is safe for you and your baby. Once you have soothed your symptoms, make sure your pregnancy heartburn doesnâ€™t return.
Nausea and VomitingNausea is an uneasiness of the stomach that often precedes vomiting. Nausea and vomiting are not diseases, but they are symptoms of many conditions. There are numerous cases of nausea and vomiting. Some causes may not require medical treatment, for example, motion sickness, and other causes may require medical treatment by a doctor, for example, heart attack, lung infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Some causes of nausea and vomiting may be life threatening, for example, heart attack, abdominal obstruction, and cancers.
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid leaks back up into your oesophagus (gullet) and irritates its protective lining (mucosa). The symptoms of indigestion (dyspepsia) are caused by stomach acid coming into contact with the sensitive, protective lining (mucosa) of your digestive system. You may experience indigestion at any point during your pregnancy, although your symptoms may be more frequent and severe during your third trimester (from week 27 until the birth of the baby). These changes can often result in acid reflux, the most common cause of indigestion.
Drinking water before or after a meal helps the stomach digest food. Any undigested food passes into the small intestines, where bacteria break it down, producing gas in the process. Staying hydrated can, therefore, help reduce the buildup of gas. A woman may also experience more gas during the later stages of pregnancy, when the growing fetus places additional pressure on the abdominal cavity.
Sugarless gum is fine in moderation. If you’re among the women who find that mint-flavored gum exacerbates heartburn, choose a non-minty gum. For many women, heartburn is among the earliest symptoms of pregnancy, beginning around month two. Some women find that foods containing garlic make their heartburn worse. However, for others, eating a clove or two of raw garlic every day, or using whole cloves in cooking, can actually help.
Heartburn and related issues like gas and bloating during pregnancy usually start in the second or third trimester, but it can be sooner for some women. The discomfort will probably come and go until your baby is born, but in most cases heartburn is no longer a problem after delivery. Offer women experiencing mild symptoms of heartburn advice on lifestyle modifications and avoiding foods that cause symptoms on repeated occasions.
One of the biggest issues with GERD is that most women do not experience significant relief from treatment, and this includes prescription medications. This is one reason that prescriptions are used infrequently and why prevention is key. Gravity plays an important role in controlling reflux, so elevating the head of your bed might help. When a person is lying flat on their back, stomach contents are more likely to reflux into the esophagus.
Never stop taking a medication without the advice of your doctor. If indigestion is caused by lifestyle habits, the prognosis is good. Prevention of the lifestyle cause can often resolve the symptoms and cure your indigestion. It the underlying cause is caused entirely or partially by lifestyle, medications listed above may help reduce symptoms, but changes in lifestyle (for example, eating a healthy diet, reducing stress, and quitting smoking) will produce the best results (see prevention section below).
Your GP or midwife may suggest some of the following simple changes to your diet and lifestyle. In many cases, these changes are enough to ease the symptoms of indigestion during pregnancy. If you have indigestion (dyspepsia) while you are pregnant, you may not need medicine to control your symptoms. If antacids and alginates do not improve your symptoms of indigestion, your GP may prescribe a different medicine that suppresses the acid in your stomach. If you have severe indigestion, or if dietary and lifestyle changes do not work, your GP or midwife may suggest using medication to help ease your symptoms.
A pregnant woman may feel discomfort from gas and bloating, but these symptoms rarely affect the baby. Women who experience stress-induced gas during pregnancy may benefit from stress-management and relaxation therapies, such as meditation and yoga.