How Gastritis Complication Affects Pregnancy

By Patricia | November 17, 2009

I am planning for pregnancy but I have gastritis, does it affect the baby?

As your doctor may have told you, the main challenge in treating gastritis is in identifying the cause of the condition. Gastritis itself is simply a medical term used to describe an inflammation of the inner lining of the stomach, while there are many conditions that can cause such an inflammation. These can range from non-medical factors such as extreme stress, to serious medical conditions, including bacterial infection, chronic bile influx, or an autoimmune disorder. Lifestyle factors can also lead to gastritis, such as prolonged reliance on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or certain over-the counter pain relievers, regular usage of alcohol, or overindulgence in rich, spicy foods.

Gas Relief During Pregnancy

In addition, there are two different kinds of gastritis, acute and chronic. Acute gastritis strikes suddenly and is likely to produce symptoms such as burning discomfort in the upper abdomen, feelings of nausea, and pain. This usually lasts only for a few days, and in most cases over-the-counter medications to neutralize stomach acid can cure the condition. Hot water compresses can help you deal with the discomfort and pain while the condition recedes. Chronic gastritis, on the other hand, is a long-term condition that develops slowly over time. In many cases, the only symptoms may be some mild pain or discomfort and a gradual loss of appetite. This kind of ‘slow gastritis’ is more likely to be caused by prolonged medication or lifestyle factors. In most cases, stopping the medication or avoiding spicy foods and alcohol will cure chronic gastritis. However, it is important that you consult with your doctor to find a suitable treatment, since some cases of gastritis can lead to complications that include ulcers, dehydration, and gastrointestinal bleeding, causing anemia. Since you are planning on motherhood, this could be something to worry about, in addition to the loss of appetite caused by gastritis.

As far as your baby is concerned, you have nothing to worry about. Your gastritis will not harm the baby at all, though you may experience more than normal nausea during the pregnancy. The associated hormonal changes and stress may also trigger attacks of gastritis. However, your doctor should be able to recommend several medications that can deal with these symptoms, and are safe for the developing baby. You might want to consider taking up some stress-reducing activities such as regular exercise and yoga. These will not only improve your general health, but will also be an excellent preparation for the actual pregnancy period.

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