Do you have persistent diarrhea during pregnancy? Do you experience abdominal cramps? Is there a constant sensation of incomplete evacuation? Have you lost a lot of weight? If you said yes, then chances are, you suffer from Crohn’s Disease. What is it? How does it affect you? How do you treat it? Get the answers to your questions on Crohn’s disease and pregnancy below.
Crohn’s Disease And Pregnancy:
Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that develops from inflammation of intestines. People in the age group of 20-29 are most likely to develop Crohn’s disease.
Crohn’s disease can affect the gastrointestinal tract of a pregnant woman. It affects the colon and small intestine or sometimes both. The cause of Crohn’s disease is not clear. However, poor diet and stress aggravate the effects of the disease. Recent research also proves that hereditary, genetics can also contribute to the development of this disease in a pregnant woman.
Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease During Pregnancy:
Some of the symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:
- Bloody stools
- Sudden weight loss
- Feeling tired
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal cramps and pain
- Urgency in bowel movement
[ Read: Treating Diarrhea During Pregnancy ]
Diagnosing Crohn’s Disease During Pregnancy:
The health care professional might do one of the following to diagnose Crohn’s disease in pregnancy:
- Check family and medical history
- Physical examination
- Upper GI Series
- Intestinal endoscopy
Risk Of Crohn’s Disease During Pregnancy:
There are some studies that suggest that having Crohn’s disease might increase the risk of miscarriage or woman with the disease have a preterm and low weight baby. Share the symptoms with the doctor and get a nutritional evaluation done. If the pregnant woman is not able to absorb the nutrients from her diet and with the help of prenatal vitamins, then the health expert might prescribe additional supplements.
What Will The Doctor Recommend?
Depending on your condition, the doctor may recommend:
- Lab tests
- A regular check-up with the gastroenterologist
- An Ultrasound earlier than usual to date the pregnancy accurately
- Follow-ups with the help of ultrasound to keep a check on the development of fetus
- Instructing the pregnant woman on the warning signs of premature contractions
- Consulting a nutritionist
Can I Still Have A Normal Delivery?
The good news is yes; you can have a normal delivery. The only condition is that the vagina and anus are healthy, and the disease does not affect them. However, if the disease affects the anus area or the area around it, then you might need a cesarean section, to decrease the risk of developing a fistula. There is a slight (3-5%) chance of delivering a baby with birth defects.
Can You Breastfeed The Baby After Delivery?
Babies should be observed carefully for diarrhea if the mother is under medication. It is advisable to use an antibiotic that is well-known and better-studied. Consult your doctor to get better information on the risks of breastfeeding.
Effect of Crohn’s Disease In The Family:
The disease is genetic, and if a close relative has the disease the chances of developing Crohn’s increases significantly. Crohn’s is more common in developed countries than the underdeveloped countries, which makes it more common in urban than the rural area (1).
Crohn’s disease worsens with time; there are a few people who reported remission of symptoms for weeks or months and even years. Some scientists believe that the autoimmune system in the body might attack the healthy cells, and this can be one of the reasons for developing Crohn’s apart from the environment and hereditary (2).
Did you suffer from Crohn’s disease during pregnancy? What line of treatment did you follow? Tell us about your story here. Leave a comment.
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