Gastritis in pregnancy, as in any other woman who is not pregnant, is relatively frequent. However, its treatment requires more caution, since not all the drugs used to control it are suitable for pregnant women.
Many drugs are contraindicated during this stage since they can affect the development of the baby. Also, many others have not yet been sufficiently studied, and therefore their effect on the fetus is unknown.
Therefore, whenever you want to manage the symptoms of this condition, special care must be taken. Below, we briefly detail how to manage it if you are in the gestation period.
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What is gastritis in pregnancy?
The term gastritis refers to infection of the filling of the breadbasket. Numerous underlying diseases can cause this situation. For example, following an infection or certain medications that irritate the stomach.
When it occurs during the first months of pregnancy, its symptoms tend to be confused with those that occur at this stage. Thus, it is possible to experience nausea, vomiting, fullness, and burning in the stomach’s upper part.
In most cases, the episode occurs due to an infection. In particular, the bacteria called Helicobacter pylori is the one behind this problem. However, it should be noted that this bacterium is present in large part of the population, but only a low percentage develop gastritis.
Meanwhile, medications associated with this condition’s development, both in pregnancy and under normal conditions, are pain relievers. Some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, are at high risk of producing it. The same is true with aspirin.
What treatments are there for gastritis in pregnancy?
Before starting to discuss medical treatment, it should be noted that there are a few options to alleviate gastritis symptoms in pregnancy. They are a series of simple measures that do not carry any risk.
- First, irritating foods should be avoided. For example, spicy or high-fat foods, such as fried foods. Also, the idea is to eat smaller meals more frequently. So the digestion will not be so heavy.
- Alcohol is another risk factor for developing gastritis. Also, we must remember that this substance is contraindicated in pregnancy. Therefore, it is essential to stop drinking.
- The same goes for pain relievers. It is recommended to always consult the doctor before taking any pain reliever at this stage. If necessary, the idea is to replace any pain reliever with paracetamol.
Rregular treatment of gastritis
There are several treatments available to control gastritis in stages other than pregnancy. First, if all indications are that a Helicobacter pylori infection is the cause, antibiotic treatment is prescribed.
On the other hand, proton pump inhibitors are frequently used. They are medications that reduce the production of acid in the stomach, thus helping to alleviate symptoms. Some examples are omeprazole or lansoprazole.
The same is true for H2 antihistamines; reduce acid production, although its mechanism of action is different from the previous ones. In this group, we find cimetidine.
Treatment of gastritis in pregnancy
Many of the medications that we have just pointed out are contraindicated in pregnancy. First, omeprazole is teratogenic in animals. This means that there is a significant risk of causing malformations in the fetus.
However, it has not yet been proven. Also, there is no scientific evidence that this happens with all proton inhibitors. Still, because the risk is high, they should be avoided in gastritis in pregnancy.
Something similar happens with H2 antihistamines. Therefore, what is recommended in this situation are antacids, such as aluminum salts or magnesium. The truth is that gastritis is usually a mild and self-limited pathology, so it does not have to be strictly necessary to treat it.
In any case, it is best to schedule a treatment with the doctor, without falling into self-medication. Remember that any improper substance can trigger negative effects on the baby’s development. Therefore, the professional’s instructions must be followed to the letter.