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Acid Reflux Symptoms in Pregnant Women

Acid reflux is quite a common condition in pregnant women, particularly in the second and third trimesters. Scroll down for acid reflux symptoms in pregnant women and ways to prevent them...
The back flow of stomach acid into the esophagus, that causes irritation and burning sensation in the chest, is referred to as acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). There are several reasons that can cause acid reflux and the increase in acid back flow is related to a combination of our diet, lifestyle and obesity. This condition can affect both men as well as women and the symptoms of acid reflux are generally same in men and women. However, pregnant women, are more susceptible to acid reflux, especially in the second and third trimesters. In this article, we shall see some of the acid reflux symptoms in pregnant women.

Acid Reflux in Pregnant Women
Acid reflux is quite a common condition in pregnant women. Nearly 20 percent of women experience heart burn and indigestion in the first three months of pregnancy. The number jumps to 45 percent in the second trimester and about 70 percent in the final three months. There can be several reasons for this condition, increased hormonal level, being one of the most common causes. This is mainly because the increased levels of the hormone progesterone, during pregnancy, affects the working of the muscle, in charge of closing the esophagus. A weakening in this muscle allows the back flow of stomach acids in to the esophagus causing heartburn and acid reflux. Another cause of acid reflux during pregnancy is the increased pressure in the stomach due to the developing embryo. The developing fetus causes a pressure on the upper digestive tract, forcing the stomach contents into the esophagus. Now that you know what causes acid reflux in pregnant women, let us move on to acid reflux symptoms in pregnant women.

Symptoms of Acid Reflux in Pregnant Women
The acid reflux symptoms in women who are pregnant are generally the same as in any other person suffering from this condition. The back flow of stomach acids can damage the lining of the esophagus and can cause irritation and discomfort. Here are some of the common symptoms of acid reflux in pregnant women:
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Regurgitation
So, these were some of the acid reflux symptoms in pregnant women. Women generally experience nausea and vomiting in the first three months of pregnancy followed by heartburn and indigestion in the second and third trimesters. Generally, the acid reflux symptoms experienced by pregnant women are mild, however, they can be severe in some cases, causing a lot of pain and discomfort. So, here are some tips for keeping pregnant women away from acid reflux.

Preventive Measures for Acid Reflux in Pregnant Women
There are a number of steps one can follow to prevent acid reflux and indigestion while pregnant. Changes in the diet, sleeping positions and lifestyle can help ease the pain and discomfort caused by acid reflux, without taking medications that can harm the developing fetus. Here is what you can do to keep the problem of heartburn and acid reflux away.

There are several foods that cause or trigger acid reflux. Avoiding all these foods that cause acid reflux can help you stay away from this annoying condition. Eating smaller meals throughout the day instead of three large ones, can help prevent acid reflux to a great extent. Drinking plenty of water between the meals helps clear away all the acid in the esophagus.

It is generally observed that the problem of acid reflux aggravates while sleeping. This is because a reclining position allows the acid to flow more easily into the esophagus. Sleeping with your head elevated a few inches, prevents the stomach acid from regurgitating.

Avoid smoking and alcoholic beverages as they tend to relax the sphincter muscle of the esophagus, causing back flow of stomach acids, resulting in pain and heartburn.

These were some preventive measures you could take to avoid acid reflux during pregnancy. However, if you still experience heartburn and acid reflux, you could try these acid reflux remedies during pregnancy that will provide substantial relief from the symptoms of acid reflux.

So, this was all about acid reflux symptoms in pregnant women and ways to prevent them. The symptoms of acid reflux disease vary from one person to another and so does the effect of acid reflux remedies for pregnant women. It is advisable to consult your doctor if the symptoms persist for a long period of time.
By Amruta Deshpande
Published: 7/3/2010
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