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15 Nov 2004

constipate in pregnancy- pls advise
Hi Doc,
I have a serious problem, I am HIGHLY constipated, and I'm 13 weeks pregnant. I have always had sensitive innards and I've had normal bowel movements before my pregnancy, by eating fruit for lunch, hi fibre for breakfast, then a normal dinner. This made my bowels movements once daily and normal.

Now however, in this pregnancy (my first), I am suffering terribly. My stomach is so sore I can barely stand up straight. I don't like taking the Duphalac (makes me terribly gassy!), and as such I'd like an alternative remedy. I find that my bowels let loose about once every three days, with the last day being incredibly painful. It is debilitating.

I don't even want to eat because my tummy is so sore- I feel stuffed all the time, like I can't fit anything in. I do not want to develop hemmorhoids! I drink about 3 litres of water a day, and I still have the same eating habits. I am so uncomfortable. I've tried prunes, prune juice, other juice, wholewheat everything.

What more can I do? Please help me doc, I need help.

Answer 417 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Preggymama
The constipation of pregnancy is unfortunately a side-effect of the changes in hormone levels you are experiencing. Because it is dangerous for the baby to take harsh laxatives, you need to discuss this problem with your treating doctor or gynae. Because it is evident that all dietary solutions, such as taking more dietary fibre, dried fruit, etc, are not working, you do need some type of laxative, such as Fybogel, but you should discuss this with your dr as the problem is making your life so difficult. One other potential solution could be to take probiotics (good bugs) so that the microflora of your digestive tract can be normalised. You can try Bifidoforte or Bifidoflora which can be purchased at most health shops. These probiotics can often improve severe constipation so it is worth a try. I also think that you are drinking too much water. Too much of a good things can also be harmful. Excess water intake can wash important minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and even sodium out of your body and cause an electrolyte imbalance. Cut down to 3-4 cups of water a day in addition to your normal liquid intake.
I do hope that you will soon be feeling better, so that you can enjoy your pregnancy.
Best regards
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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