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IBS in Pregnancy

(16 Posts)
EllaBella220 Thu 27-Mar-14 15:06:19


Any other IBS sufferers out there?

I am 14 weeks and thankfully haven't been too bad so far with IBS but before I got pregnant it had got to the point where I'd not leave the house unplanned and couldn't go to appointments or even to do the shopping without popping Imodium like smarties. My IBS is anxiety based so the more nervous I get about things the worse it is.

The main problem I am having at the minute is appointments at the hospital and doctors. I get nerves about waiting times and what if I have to use the loo while there (that is the basis of my IBS, I have a weird fear of using public loos because I know how long I am going to be in there and what if someone else really needs to go too?) so it means the few hours before the appointment I am constantly in the toilet and in a lot of pain with cramps. Our hospital is a 20-25 min drive away and that is when I get most anxious and am usually sat in the car in pain needing to go to the loo.

I have asked my GP about taking Imodium in pregnancy and she said I shouldn't take it unless I really can't cope without it but the midwife says I shouldn't take it at all but has no idea about my history with IBS (as I said, I couldn't leave the house before pregnancy) so doesn't understand how stressed I get about appointments. So far I have been taking imodium before hospital appointments and it has helped but I am finding it easier to do daily things (shopping etc) without the aid of imodum but just don't feel ready to do the longer, more anxious events without it.

Does anyone else here have any tips, advice or worries about the same things?

pinkpompomispretty Thu 27-Mar-14 18:35:11

I also suffer with IBS badly and used to take just about everything to try and calm down an attack. I find that I have boughts of IBS where for a few weeks I have it pretty much constant and then I don't have it for a little while and so on and so on. I haven't taken any medication at all for it whilst being pregnant as was advised not to and have found it difficult. Whilst waiting for my 20 week scan I had an attack for IBS in the waiting room, was horrible but managed to get through it. Maybe try relaxtion techniques before ur hospital appointments and make it as stressfree as possible and be as organised as possible. I have found this helps a lot as mine too is caused by stress and anxiety.

Scotmum83 Thu 27-Mar-14 18:39:27

Hi ellabella

I had IBS for years but after being dismissed by my GP on more than one occasion I paid for food intolerance testing. Turned out I had a milk intolerance. The symptoms stopped within days of stopping drinking milk or eating any dairy. I know how bad it can be and stress makes it even worse just wondered if this is something you gave had checked. I know there are many reasons for IBS but it's worth looking at if you haven't already. My GP just gave my tablets and peppermint oil capsules and sent me on my way without much investigation.

I'm not sure what else you could take but maybe look into holistic remedies. Hope you find something that works for you.

Donnakim Thu 27-Mar-14 19:42:31

My story is the same as Scotmum83

I was told I had IBS as well as a borderline anxiety disorder, and my GP was pretty much useless. After 18 months of hell I went to see a counsellor who straightened out my brain for me, kinda, and I had a food intolerance test. As long as I don't eat yeast my symptoms are perfectly manageable or, if I'm lucky, not there! The food test out me back about £50 and was worth ten times as much. Check a local health food shop to find someone who does them.

Good luck and I hope you can get it sorted out soon

Tea1Sugar Thu 27-Mar-14 19:46:23

I have IBS but constipation based. 36+2 and it all types of stomach hell because the consultant took me off movicol, buscopan and mebeverine since I was 5 weeks pregnant. I'm "surviving" (not) on Lactulose and fybrogel which, for me, is as pointless as a chocolate fireplace. 19 days and counting until ELCS.

EllaBella220 Thu 27-Mar-14 20:15:34

There's a little place in town that offer food allergy tests so I will definitely look into that.....can they do them whilst pregnant?

Tea1sugar.....my GP told me it was ok to keep taking the movicol when then ISB-D decides it wants to be IBS-C so now I am wondering if I should even be taking those either!

Pink, that is my worst fear. The thought of being in a public place and having an attack come on so quick fills me with fear. I have been pushing myself a little more than usual to go do things that usually I'd need imodium for and I was quite pleased with how well things were going until I had an early scan at 9 weeks and had diarrhea for hours before the appointment and had to turn back on the way to hospital because I needed to go again. Then once I got into the ESU I took an attack of nerves (sweating, heart racing, feeling faint) and had to use the loo for 20 minutes and was mortified when I got out and knew the doc was waiting on me. No-one really batted an eyelid but it made me squirm and set me back a bit. I think I need to get over my paranoia of going to the loo in public places because I know that's my deep rooted issue. I can manage the IBS at home just fine because I hog the loo without worry and can curl up on the sofa til the pain passes but in public it's a different story!

Tea1Sugar Thu 27-Mar-14 20:17:27

Ella - interesting how all the docs say different things. My consultant obstetrician has been adamant all along I shouldn't! It's packed in my hospital bag though!

EllaBella220 Thu 27-Mar-14 20:33:48

Tea, I've had a little google to see what I could find on the subject and it seems there's conflicting advice there aswell. Some sites say it's ok to take as it isn't absorbed into the body but stays in the gut and absorbs water so seems perfectly safe but other sites say they are unsure as there haven't been proper long term tests on pregnant women to gather enough results.

It's the same results for Imodium, no proper tests done but some doctors say it's ok in small doses and others it's a no-no.

NetDoctor says this about Movicol:

This medicine can be used during pregnancy, though as with all medicines you should get medical advice from your doctor first. The medicine is not absorbed into the bloodstream in significant amounts and no harmful effects on a developing baby are expected.

rockstars12 Thu 27-Mar-14 21:46:18

I have IBS as well. Ive taken gluten and wheat out of my diet to see if that helps and I know I might be intolerant to dairy as well though I've never been tested. Mine also gets worse with anxiety, so every little ache, pain and cramp I fell, I panic because I cant at the moment tell the difference between my IBS and pregnancy cramps.

EllaBella220 Thu 27-Mar-14 22:04:43

Rockstar I worried nonstop for the first 10 weeks aswell because I didn't know if I was getting IBS pains or something I should be worried about.

I am already worried about the last few weeks. With my last 2 I had terrible diarrhea for the first few hours of labour but as I was in hospital being induced it was fine....and I didn't suffer with IBS then so it wasn't a big deal. BUT this time I'm terrified of how I will get to the hospital if I go into labour at home because I know I will not want to be away from the toilet at all!! If I am being induced again then at least I will know I'm good to go as there's loads of toilets available and will be near them when labour starts but if I have to get from home to the hospital while in labour I will be dreading the journey (20 mins or so) as I'd have to rush into a pub or something if it got really bad.

I'm only 14 weeks but I am already freaked out about this.

theborrower Thu 27-Mar-14 22:31:11

I was on mebeverine, plus Imodium for particularly bad days. One doctor told me not to take mebeverine, another said it would be ok, so I erred on side of caution and stopped them before getting pregnant. I think they both said not to take Imodium.

However, I've found that my IBS has been ok since being pregnant - I've been constipated which is the opposite to my usual problem! But a couple of days of lactulose sorted that out. My main food triggers are dairy, so I've tried to be much better at avoiding that (I use soya instead), coffee (switched to decaf anyway) and alcohol (no more of that either. Obviously ).

I know that you said your IBS was anxiety based, but are you also keeping a food diary to see if anything in particular triggers your attacks? And are you getting any help for your anxiety?

CanadianFilly Fri 28-Mar-14 08:23:44

I've had IBS from time to time in my life. I actually found that once the first tri passed my digestive tract was the calmest it's ever been in my life. Breast feeding also continued the calm. I've always had the worst attacks just before my period so female hormones do seem to come into it. It might be the case for some of you as well but it takes some time for the anxiety side of it to ease off. For the apmts try to see if what you feel is being caused by a physical digestive upset or the fear that it may occur, you might be surprised like I was to find pregnancy calmed IBS.

EllaBella220 Fri 28-Mar-14 15:52:38

The borrower, I have kept a food diary and although dairy is a trigger if I eat too much of it but doesn't affect it in small amounts. I'm not getting any help for the anxiety as it was only really talked about with the doc on the week I found out I was pregnant and she said pregnancy should calm the symptoms.

Canadian.....it's a fear mostly. I work myself up so much that it might happen that I then do need to go sad I have noticed a good improvement during pregnancy just not a full improvement. I'm just into my 2nd trimester now so hopefully it gets even better!

CanadianFilly Sat 29-Mar-14 04:44:28

Ella, pregnancy is a great excuse to be needing to find a loo, no one has to know why. Once you have a bit of a baby bump, or you're going to a pregnancy related apmt no one will think anything unusual about you looking for a toilet. You could still be nauseous, you might need to pee often, it could be IBS related but that won't be anyone's first guess. Try to relax and enjoy a time when you can walk into anyplace and immediately seek out the nearest toilet, no one will think anything is abnormal and this will help put your mind at ease. You can even say its the pregnancy if it makes you feel better.

Doodle1983 Sat 29-Mar-14 07:57:17

ellabella I feel your pain!! I suffer with anxiety related ibs and the thought of having to use the toilet when out makes me anxious therefore makes me need the loo. I have had time off work as at one stage the journey to work was filled with panic attacks "what if I need the loo".

I have had CBT, hypnotherapy, food exclusions, depression meds but I now take proprananol, a beta blocker. It's brilliant! I take quite a high dose. Maybe for after the pregnancy you could look into it?

Me and DH had decided to try for a baby and I have to say I was releived when my period came as the thought of body changes, food intake needing to change, appointments to attend filled me with fear - when I had a positive test result I cried because I was sad/scared.

DS is now 8 weeks old and I coped REALY well in pregnancy. I made small changes to diet gradually (hello - I now way fruit!) and appointments got easer. Then when I had to go to hospital for rushed baby checks I didn't even think about my ibs. I had to have an EMCS and was on hospital monitors all day before and I didn't bat an eyelid.

The beta blockers are fab but come with risk of low birth weight . I was monitored every month with a growth scan and was rd to expect a 7lb baby. Unfortunately baby was 4lb 15oz which was a shock but very healthy (thank god). I think next time I'll be monitored weekly !

I'm not sure my post will help with you now, but hopefully u can see there is something that can be done and it's good to know that others have the same anxieties.

I very limited now but trying to get out wth the baby, even had lunch out yesterday something I haven't done for years. Good luck x

EllaBella220 Sat 29-Mar-14 14:55:21

Canadian you are so right! I have told my OH that I will be pleased to have a bump then I can just blame the long time in the loo on pregnancy stuff and no-one show know any different :D

Doodle, that's interesting that you say you didn't even think about it when you had rushed appointments as it is my main fear through this whole thing. When I am nervous I probably think too much about it and MAKE myself need to go sad

I am really hoping I can get a 'so what?' attitude to this whole thing pretty soon as I know I sound like a right weirdo when I tell people I am terrified of needing to use the loo at appointments or out shopping. If I could just get to the stage of thinking 'you know what? Everyone does it' and not think about people knowing what I'm doing then it'll get a lot easier for me.

Thanks for posting girls......glad to know that I am not alone in my fears xx

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