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Reflux During Pregnancy In 10 Questions


1-What is reflux and why does it occur?

In simple terms, reflux is the food in the stomach going to mouth or towards the throat instead of going to the digestive system. It is kind of a digestive system disease. With patients who experience reflux complain especially after meals about indigestion, flatulence and stomach burns. Those with advanced age and children, acid reflux can cause serious health problems. The reflux symptoms can be seen around the chest, throat, stomach, back, shoulders, and rarely in patients who go to the doctor with complaints of pain that is felt in the arm. Most of these symptoms are seen with sour water in the mouth and stomach burns. Sometimes reflux can be severe enough to wake the patient from his/her sleep.

2-Why does acid reflux complaints increase during pregnancy?

From the beginning of pregnancy the uterus is gradually growing. The expanding uterus will put pressure on the stomach. During this period, women can consume more nutrients than normal and the stomach will be full most of the time. As the expanding uterus puts pressure on the stomach, the food that has been consumed will go through the throat towards the mouth. For this reason, reflux related complaints can be seen more during pregnancy.

3-Can the reflux complaints be reduced by changing the diet?

Patients who have reflux during pregnancy should definitely stay away from nutrients such as orange, lemon, grapefruit, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, spices, ice cream, cheese, pasta, coffee, tea, vinegar, alcohol, and chocolate .However, eating small meals frequently instead of eating large amounts between long periods will reduce the symptoms of acid reflux.

4-Will increasing the fluid intake decrease the reflux symptoms?

It is important to have at least 2.5 litters of water per day for all individuals. Especially in pregnancy to prevent complaints such as heartburn the amount of water that should be consumed is 2,5 litres and more. However, it is not recommended for the female to drink water during her meals. This will increase the pressure on the stomach and cause reflux.

5-Is it possible to get rid of reflux related complaints by changing the lifestyle?

Pregnant women usually complain about reflux disturbing their sleep. This can be prevented by placing the pillow higher than usual. Preferring loose clothing will also help ease the symptoms. Sitting upright, and walking will lighten the pressure that is applied to the stomach and reduce reflux complaints.

6-Is it necessary to see a specialist due to reflux related complaints?

It is necessary to see a specialist in every situation which is out of the ordinary. In this condition, if the reflux symptoms do not decrease with self-treatment, the most accurate approach will be going to the doctor as soon as possible.

7-Does reflux occur in each pregnancy?

%40 of pregnant women experience symptoms related to reflux. It is also known that women with this condition prior pregnancy, will have increased symptoms once pregnant.

8-Does smoking increase reflux?

Pregnant women should not drink alcohol or smoke any kind of tobacco during pregnancy. Like many other disease, tobacco use will trigger acid. In this context, the female should both consider the health of herself and the child.

9-Is it ok to have endoscopy done during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, if the doctor sees necessary endoscopy can be done. However, the gastroenterologists do not recommend endoscopy during this period.

10-Can reflux medication be used during pregnancy?

Every medication that will be used during pregnancy must first be consulted with the doctor.  In this context, to reduce or prevent reflux during pregnancy, it is recommended that some changes should be made in eating habits and lifestyle first. However, their antacids can be recommended if these changes do not work.