Digestive Health Issues...

Updated on May 02, 2009
S.M. asks from Berthoud, CO
22 answers

I'm about 14 weeks pregnant currently and I thought that I would be able to just tolerate the constant indigestion, heart burn, and gas! But I was wrong, I can't take it anymore and I'm seeking ANY adivce you other moms might have. I've tried natural supliments to help and they just made me sick to my stomach (puking, gross!). I'm taking Prilosec OTC for the heart burn and it only helps some. The gas is what's getting to me the worst, I cramp up all day long and nothing I've tried has helped! I'm getting desperate and I really need to make this at least livable so that I can take better care of my 17 mo old!

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S.K.

answers from Great Falls on

You've probably already tried this S., but I had bad gas and was able to alleviate it to a tolerable level by taking the infant gas drops that my obgyn recommended. It's small doses, but it at least takes the major part of the discomfort away. I still had some moments, but this really seemed to get me through.

S. K

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S.H.

answers from Denver on

Oh, S., hang in there! 14 weeks is the magic number--it all gets better after 14 weeks (in my expereince and that of my friends, too). You might want to consider some probiotics, though?
Good luck!
S.

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D.D.

answers from Denver on

I didn't have this problem, but lots of my friends have. They all used TUMS (original formula), which they ate freely, like candy to solve these problems. Check with your doctor, and good luck!

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E.B.

answers from Colorado Springs on

With my pregnancy I became lactose intolerant and had very similar symptoms (fortunately, it went away by the end of my pregnancy). I believe they have a simple test for lactose intolerance your doctor can give you, or you can just try no dairy for a couple of days to see if that helps. Good luck!

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K.O.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Im sorry you have such bad heartburn! Thats tough. I had horrible heartburn with my son, I was throwing up all the time from it. I tried all of the OTC stuff, but that didn't work. I suffered through it for 3 months and the doctor finally prescribed nexium and it went right away. I have a healthy little boy now. I would definitely talk to your doctor about getting a prescription if it is that bad!

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S.L.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I had terrible acid reflux and heartburn with both pregnancies and its NOT fun! With my second though, they finally found the problem. It was a hernia!!! I'd had this hernia for who knows how long and it finally became big enough for me to notice and be able to feel. It wasnt easy at first to feel it, but if you got in at just the right time, normally after I ate, you could feel around my stomach and there it was! I ended up having surgery at 17 weeks to repair it, as I could not eat anything. It was nuts, but thats what finally made it go away. They diagnosed it through an US, so completely safe and no radiation like with an xray or CT.

This may not be your problem, but definitely talk with your doc or midwife about the severity of it. I also ate a lot of graham crackers and ginger ale with my first pregnancy. Good Luck! Little girls are so much fun!

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D.W.

answers from Boise on

I say ditto to what Megan said. I'd also add good yogurt to your diet. Nancy's brand has the active cultures and is a lot cheaper (Winco and Fred Meyers carries it).

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S.M.

answers from Casper on

Hannah's advice sounds great, keeping carbs separate from proteins will cut down on gas a lot. also try a good probiotic, like Kefir yogurt (it is drinkable). Good luck, that sounds terrible! Also remember any shots you had recently, they could be causing the problem. Oh, one last thing, I tried acupuncture while I was pregnant, and it helped me feel sooo much better. Yoga will help too, there is a great instructor on KBYU channel on Thursdays at 10 am Mountain time. She always has pregnant people in her class. A chiropractor may help too, as would a massage, and of course just get plenty of fiber. There, now you have a ton of options. ;)

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H.G.

answers from Denver on

Hi S.!

I would recommend Wishgarden Herbs Digestive Ease for Pregnancy for immediate relief of your digestive issues. To read more about this wonderful remedy, go to http://www.naturalchoicesforliving.com/catalog.php?item=145

Try eating mono meals (eating like elements), avoiding mixing grains and startches with dairy and flesh. Perhaps a meal of salad with hard boiled eggs or brown rice with lightly steamed vegetables or even just a few pieces of the same fruit would be easier for your body to digest, thus avoiding the discomforts you are currently experiencing. Eliminate processed foods, white sugar and flour and any other foods that you find trigger your symptoms. You could also try eliminating gluten, dairy and flesh meats from your diet and adding digestive enzymes and probiotics. When you are feeling your symptoms coming on, try sipping on ginger tea (I like to mix one tea bag of ginger with either Chamomile or some other fruity tea.)

You might also try to simplify your diet to that of raw foods- fruits, vegetables, avocadoes, nuts, seeds, etc. Your body is out of balance, that is why I recommend a raw foods diet as this will help bring balance to your body. There is so much info out there about how to deal with this, but without getting too technical, you need to help your body produce more bile to properly digest your food. This will aleviate your heartburn, gas and other discomforts. One great way to help balance your body is to get more greens into your diet- the best way, in my opinon, is to drink Green Smoothies. Make a fruit smoothie with 1/2 fruit of your choice and 1/2 greens (kale, romaine, collards, swiss chard, etc) add liquid of choice and enjoy. The fruit masks the taste of the greens, and it will really help your body digest food properly. I also love the Green SuperFood powder from Amazing Grass as well as Wheat Grass Powder. Not only will these greens help your discomforts, but you will providing yourself and your baby with superior nutrition and health!

If you would like more info about Green Smoothies, check out Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko, an easy read and very informative!

I hope this helps and that you are able to find relief and function again! If you have any questions, please feel free to let me know!

H. Gaitten
www.naturalchoicesforliving.com

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O.F.

answers from Provo on

Drinking Aloe does wonders. My whole family and I drink it and several of my clients. It's natural, soothing, healing agent and it helps with just what you're talking about with the heartburn and the indigestion. Please contact me for more info 888-236-4453 or [email protected]____.com. Would love to help!

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M.C.

answers from Denver on

Hi S.,

I had a ton of indegestion and hart burn when I was pregnant and ate Tums numerous times a day. Since then, I have learned that that can actually worsen your situation. Through a ton of research for constipation, I have learned that just one tums can almost completely wipe out the acid in your stomach for days. Your stomach needs acid to digest food and if you are taking away that acid, you are going to making your digestion situation worse.
A few things I have learned... If you start your day with a warm glass of water with a good squeeze of natural lemon
(like 1/4 -1/2 of a lemon) it can help by adding to your natural acid that is already in your stomach and help a ton. You can also do this with apple cider vinegar, but I thought the lemon was a ton easier to swallow!

Probiotics work wonders. They add to your "good bacteria" and the good eat the bad bacteria, which can cause gas, bloating, etc. If you don't want to go buy a specific type, you can actually let a bowl of plain yogurt (this works the best) sit on the counter for a few hours. It lets the good bacteria grow when the chill fades and is completely safe to eat. Just make sure that you find a plain yogurt that has more than 1 type of bacteria. (most that I have found have at least 3-5 different types).
Drink plenty of water, and one other thing that helped me was milk and staying away from acidic foods. For me, tomatoes would cause me the most pain.

I always think the natural route is safer than the over the counter route, its' worth giving a shot at least!

Good luck!

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A.A.

answers from Denver on

Hi S.,

I HIGHLY recommend Body Balance http://www.mylifeforce.net/amystarr/body-balance.html... it worked wonders for me in both of my pregnacies, and has worked for all of my friends and doula clients that I have turned onto it. It's certainly worth a shot... you can always get your $ back if it doesn't work (they have a 100% money-back guarantee!).

HTH,

A.
p.s. feel free to contact me if you have any questions. ###-###-####

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M.K.

answers from Provo on

I had horrible gas and constipation and heartburn too. Pre-natal vitamins made me absolutely sick to my stomach. So I waited until the crucial time was over and then i quit taking them. I was very careful of my diet to make sure I was getting the right nutrition and I did buy some flinstones vitamins. Eat lots of yogurt and prune juice. That totally helped me. I drank a ton of prune juice. Try to notice if there is anything in your diet that makes your heartburn or your gas worse. I normally can eat beans just fine, but when I was pregnant oh man they gave me the worst cramps!!! I would get on my hands and knees or childs pose (if you know what that is from yoga) and that seemed to help relieve the gas pain. Also exercise helps. I know its ridiculously hared to get it in when you feel sick all the time, but I noticed a difference.
Good luck, you're brave I am scared to try and go for number two (children of course):)

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J.B.

answers from Denver on

Assuming that you don't have another issue, you can cure acid stomach with natural foods, even while pregnant! I just posted a blog addressing this issue for kids. Everything applies for adults (and you are pregnant).

I just experienced acid stomach after being sick for a week. Being ill threw by system out of whack. You are pregnant, putting a strain on your digestive track. It took almost two weeks to set my tummy straight, but this did the trick> http://www.babybites.info/2009/04/29/tummy/

The only thing I would suggest for an adult, is to add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (aluminum-free purchased from a whole foods store) to 1 tablespoon (increase to 2 tablespoons when tollerated) of organic apple cider in 8 ounces of water. Yuo can take this just before meals or sip during meals and before bed. If your stomach starts to hurt after a meal, drink another glass of this mixture. This will help settle your acid stomach. Follow the mostly vegetarian diet, unti your pH level is normal.

One other note about the baking soda, include it for five days, then eliminate it for two days. Add it back in after two days, then eliminate it again from the drink.

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M.S.

answers from Denver on

I had horrible heartburn with my first.... I was chewing bottles and bottles of mylanta tablets. but, this really didn't help overly much... what did help is this.

1. eat smaller, more frequent meals... I would eat every 2.5-3 hrs, but 1/2 to a 1/3 of a normal meal.

2. don't eat at least 2 hours before bed, my heartburn was always worse then

3. avoid processed sugar, fried food and try and get a lot of whole grain & veg

4. prental vitamins.. I take new chapter organic prenatals, with probiotics. they are a bit more expensive, but my digestion is soooo much better on them.

5. accupuncture, after six weeks I wasn't taking anything for heartburn at all, I don't know how or why it worked, but it did

6. when my heartburn was cured, that ended a lot of the other unpleasant digestive side effects. the way my accupuncturist described it was that supressing acid (through prilosec or mylanta) is not good for you because you actually need the acid to break down the protein in your food. improperly broken down food actually increases gas and everything that goes with it.

7. one last thing, instead of antacids, particularly before bed... try eating a small handful of raw almonds or cashews... again, not sure why this helps... but it does.

good luck!!! indigestion and heartburn are horrible when you are pregnant! I sympathize totally!

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J.P.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Acid makes everything feel uncomfortable. Maybe cut out some things in your diet that is acidic, like sugar, sodas, meat, white flour, white rice and yeast. Bring things in your diet such as green leafy vegies, and lots of water with some lemon or lime in it. That will nutrualize the acid naturally, besides, when you are pregnant you always want natural, and need to drink about a gallon of water a day.

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K.G.

answers from Pocatello on

I loved taking Pepcid Complete (not AC)for my heartburn and indigestion, it worked fast and lasted a long time! I also liked Mylanta, I think the extra strength stuff is also supposed to help with gas. I had bad gas pains and cramps with my first, and the only thing that seemed to relieve it was getting on my hands an knees for a while or for some reason spooning w/ my husband and pushing my belly into his back. I don't know why that helped but it did. Good luck!

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W.N.

answers from Denver on

I'm a birth doula and I usually tell my clients a lot of what was already said, but one thing that wasn't mentioned was papaya. You can take it in any form, whole fruit, juice, tablets, whatever works! Let me know if you need anything!

W. Nichols-Dewey, CD(DONA)
www.birthfirstdoula.vpweb.com

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M.R.

answers from Denver on

I had horrible heartburn from start to finish with all 3 of my pregnancies. I was told NOT to take Prilosec. I took a prescription med called Protonix during my last pregnancy and it worked pretty well up until the final weeks. Nothing helped at that point, so I feel your pain! Ask your doc about Protonix. It was a new one that wasn't available with my first two pregnancies, so it's possible they've researched it more and maybe it's not available? I BEGGED my doctor- as soon as I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd baby- to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE find me something for the heartburn. I couldn't eat anything but Tums and even Tums gave me heartburn! LOL I didn't have the gas problem so much. I realized I had to stay away from broccoli, though. That was the main cause for me. You might try analyzing your diet to see if it's a nutritional source that's causing it, but I know sometime with pregnancies, your body just does stuff without reason.

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D.K.

answers from Denver on

Gas X is made of simethicone, the same stuff in Mylicon drops for infants. It is very gentle. Ask your OB if you can take those, they will help relieve the cramping and pain and the gassy feeling.

Also, try starting to eat Activia yogurt/probiotic daily. You can get probiotics in several forms now too. It is amazing how it will help with putting the positive back into your digestive tract. Talk to your Dr about what is okay and not okay.

I know I had horrible indigestion with both of my pregnancies, the heartburn, etc. Yogurt provided a lot of relief for me. It will ease up some later, or at least it did for me by my third trimester.

C.M.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Have you tried digestive enzymes?

C. M., CBE, CLD
www.westsidebirthconnection.com

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C.P.

answers from Provo on

I know that when you are pregnant things are so different. I went to the Good Earth to get some help for heart burn problems. They suggested that I get some more soluible fiber (bran, flax seed) in my diet. It worked and I had been to my family doctor many times. I would eat bran or flax seed muffins with blueberries or another kind of fruit in the morning for a while and see how it works. I think that your bowels probably have a little curve or kink in them and you are not emptying out all the way. Be sure to drink lots of water and eat healthy fruits and veggies. Ginger chews that are also at the Good Earth or other health food stores would also be a big help.

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