One of the biggest nightmares moms face during pregnancy is diarrhea. As the dietary habits change during this time, the body can take time to adjust to the new schedule.
Diarrhea during pregnancy can be irritable as you may have to alter all your plans for the day due to frequent VISITS to the washroom. Loperamide is a common drug used for diarrhea, but is it good to use while you are pregnant? MomJunction helps you to understand the pros and cons of the drug.
What Is Loperamide?
Loperamide treats short episodes of diarrhea and helps you overcome digestive ailments like irritable bowel syndrome. The effective ingredients of the medication slow down the movement of the gut and control the bowel movement. It reduces the amount of discharge that the sufferers undergo during an episode of diarrhea or ileostomy.
Is It Safe To Take Loperamide During Pregnancy?
Whether you can take Loperamide during pregnancy depends entirely on your doctor’s suggestion. The medical specialist weighs the benefits and decides whether or not to prescribe the drug for you, and the appropriate dosage to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and diarrhea. The dosage of Loperamide usually depends on the severity of your condition and the age of your pregnancy.
During pregnancy, your intestinal motility increases and you suffer from diarrhea. It is a natural way for your body to get rid of the harmful intestinal toxins and bacteria. Some of the medications slow down the intestinal motility rate, and the infection sustains in the intestines for a prolonged period.
Unless you experience severe discomfort or a high degree of dehydration, your doctor may restrict you from taking Loperamide or any other anti-diarrhea drugs. Such medication contains kaolin and pectin (Kaopectate) that you should try avoiding during pregnancy. Still, if your doctor prescribes Loperamide, you can take it.
Can Taking Loperamide During Pregnancy Cause Birth Defects In Your Baby?
The formations of your baby’s major internal organs occur during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. You should try avoiding certain OTC medications in such critical phase, as it can cause birth defects. Scientific studies reveal that taking Loperamide during the first trimester of pregnancy elevates your baby’s risk of having certain birth defects.
Causes Of Diarrhea During Pregnancy:
There are several factors to trigger frequent diarrhea. It can be either due to your eating habits or digestive ailments. Here are some of the common causes of diarrhea during pregnancy:
1. Stress And Anxiety:
- People in these modern times have a hectic lifestyle and are prone to suffer from stress and anxiety. If you are stressed out because of your personal life, pregnancy or job pressure, it shows on your physical and emotional self during pregnancy and triggers diarrhea.
- As you become anxious and nervous, your body starts producing adrenaline and certain other chemicals. These elements speed up the functioning of your nervous system, and your muscles work at a faster pace. When the muscle speed gets agitated, the digestion process automatically fastens. Your stool becomes watery, and you suffer from diarrhea.
2. Traveler’s Diarrhea:
- You may suffer from travelers’ diarrhea during pregnancy when you take contaminated food, which causes bacterial infection.
- When you travel to a foreign destination or a new place, your body gets exposed to certain harmful bacteria, and you experience watery stools.
- To overcome the condition, try to avoid spicy foods, and drink the plentiful of fluids.
- You should always try drinking packaged water or fruit juices. When you go for a swim in public pools, try not to swallow the water.
- To avoid contaminated foods, wash your hands properly before eating. Restrict the intake of raw meat and uncooked foods during pregnancy.
3. Stomach Flu:
- During winters, you can get afflicted with stomach flu and suffer from persistent diarrhea.
- By following a few hygiene etiquette, you can overcome the viral gastrointestinal illness and put your life back into a normal rhythm.
4. Food Allergies And Intolerance:
- When you are allergic to certain foods, your intestines get affected with allergens, and you may suffer from diarrhea.
- Some of the most common signs of food allergies may include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, runny nose, and itchy eyes or skin.
5. Eating Habits:
- The quantity of food you eat and the frequency of mealtime play a significant role in the digestion process.
- During pregnancy, you need to follow healthy eating habits to overcome diarrhea and maintain normalcy in the functioning of your body.
- You should avoid eating your food fast, and instead chew it slowly so that your body can easily digest it.
- Avoid gulping your food, as you may also swallow air, often leading to poor digestion.
6. Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
- Some of the common causes to trigger IBS during pregnancy include stress, diet, and hormones.
- Your may experience these signs of IBS during pregnancy: bloating, abdominal pain, passing of mucus, and persistent diarrhea (2).
Home Remedies To Treat Diarrhea During Pregnancy:
Here are some of the effective ways to treat diarrhea during pregnancy:
- The live cultures present in yogurt help in restoring the balance of good bacteria in your intestine and destroy the harmful bacteria causing diarrhea.
- You can take two bowls of yogurt every day to get relief from watery stools.
- Ginger aids in treating food poisoning and helps you get rid of the severe abdominal cramps, which commonly occur with diarrhea.
- Grate a small piece of fresh ginger and add one tablespoon of honey to the grated pieces. You can try eating the mixture, as it improves your digestion by producing gastric juices. Never drink water immediately after taking the ginger mixture.
- You can also drink ginger tea twice or thrice a day to overcome persistent diarrhea. Grate ginger and add it to a cup of water. Boil the water, add tea and honey and strain the solution.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar:
- The acidic vinegar helps in killing harmful intestinal bacteria.
- You can add one teaspoon of vinegar to a glass of plain water and drink the solution once or twice times a day, for quick recovery.
Note: Avoid taking excess amount of acid cider vinegar during your pregnancy.
Did you intake Loperamide during your pregnancy? Did you encounter any of the side effects? Was the medication effective in treating your diarrhea? Share your complete story here!