What is Diarrhea During Pregnancy?
The initial days of pregnancy when you get to know that you have become pregnant, can be really amazing and one of the most memorable moments of your life. But at the same time, there are some health issues that can start to affect your daily life in the early as well as in the late pregnancy period. Diarrhea is one of those unwanted and strength draining problems that can really make you tired and weak in your pregnancy days.
Diarrhea literally means loose and watery bowel movements that happen too often in early pregnancy days. When you start suffering from this disorder, your body starts to secret loose and watery stools very frequently. Usually it lasts for 1-2 days at most. But some women may suffer from diarrhea for 2-3 weeks in a row which can be a life threatening issue if not treated in time. Women with very weak immune system may suffer more than the women with normal health. So, you can imagine the pain and suffering for the women who are affected by this problem during their pregnancy!
What Causes Diarrhea in Pregnant Women?
There are several reasons that can cause diarrhea in pregnant women. If you are currently suffering from diarrhea symptoms then you may be affected by either any type of external infection or you may be suffering from any type of health disorder. Some of the primary causes for diarrhea in the first and third trimester of your pregnancy can be as follows.
Possible Causes of Diarrhea During Pregnancy:
1) Viral and bacterial infection: Viral infection like HIV, Norwalk agent and Rotavirus can trigger diarrhea symptoms in early pregnancy stage. Bacterial infection such as Shigella, Campylobacter, Listeria Monocytogenes, etc. can also cause diarrhea. Even some parasites like Entamoeba histolytica, Microsporidia, Cyclospora cayetanesis, etc. can be the reason behind your constant trips to your bathroom in a day.
2) Consumption of certain prenatal vitamins: Sometimes, the prenatal vitamins that you take as a part of your medical prescription can cause diarrhea symptoms. Pregnant women may suffer from watery stools due to certain ingredients present in their prenatal vitamins intake. It is important to check the ingredients of your vitamins that you consume during your pregnancy period. Consult with your midwife or your gynecologist if you suffer persistent diarrhea symptoms.
3) Sudden change in your diet: I know that many women when they know about their pregnancy from their doctor, starts a healthy diet routine. There is nothing wrong in following a healthy diet routine once you know that you are pregnant. But certain sudden changes in your diet may also cause problems to your intestinal functioning. Your intestine and digestive system can be affected very easily and can trigger the diarrhea in pregnant women. It is essential to consult an expert physician or your doctor once you know that your diet change is the primary cause of your diarrhea and constipation.
If you are traveling abroad; especially in developing countries, the food and water available there may contaminate and badly affect your digestive system. It is known as Traveler’s Diarrhea and in such cases; you should completely avoid drinking water and consuming food available in the local areas. Some women are also allergic and very sensitive to certain foods that can also be the cause of your loose stools. This is why you should be very careful while choosing your daily diet routine.
One of the best pregnancy diet plans is known as BRAT diet which includes consumption of Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. Along with BRAT diet, you must also include the foods that are rich in terms of zinc. This way you can be sure of providing a complete nutrition to your baby and at the same time avoid diarrhea symptoms.
4) Your exercise routine: Sometimes, your exercise routine can be the cause of your diarrhea symptoms. Some women suffer from dehydration symptoms by following certain exercises after they remain pregnant. If you are walking after your dinner or if you are following certain exercises such as pregnancy yoga, aerobics, etc. then such exercises can also become the cause of your diarrhea. Therefore, if you are experiencing loose stools during pregnancy then it is in your best interest to decide whether you should continue with your current exercise routine or not.
5) Other possible reasons: Some women may suffer from loose stools during first and third trimester due to several health disorders. Some of those disorders are food allergies, Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, overuse of antibiotics, usage of high blood pressure medicines, increased sugar levels in your blood, use of food additives like fructose and sorbitol, thyroid problems, intestinal infection, genetic factors, etc.