I'm asking for a friend. Whom I'm married to. She says:
I am 16 weeks pregnant and am having a GI symptom that I can’t find any information about online, from my OB, or from several different nurse midwives.
(univac sez: This is not about morning sickness. If you think this question is about morning sickness or nausea during pregnancy, GO AWAY.)
posted by univac to Health & Fitness (34 answers total)
I became incredibly nauseated around week 5. I rarely vomited, but I uncontrollably gagged and dry heaved all day and could barely function at work. I tried all the recommended home remedies (ginger, eating small meals, lemon, saltines, not letting my stomach get empty, ice cubes, protein, seabands, etc.). After losing 6 pounds (more from not being able to eat than from vomiting), I tried Reglan, which sort of worked for about a week but then stopped working, and then I tried Diclegis, which I’m still taking.
When nausea/dry heaving/constant gagging subsided a bit, I was able to differentiate between that and the other “sick” feeling I’d been having all along, and it’s what is still plaguing me. While I experience the sensation of nausea higher up in my body (what feels like the upper part of my stomach) or as a gaggy feeling in the back of my throat, I experience this other sensation in the lower part of my stomach (maybe my upper intestines?), what I would call the “pit” of my stomach. In my quest to understand and describe it to other people, I’ve come to call it “stomach rot,” because the sensation is that the food I just ate is just sitting in my stomach, rotting. (Disgusting, I know. Sorry.) It can last for several hours after a meal and ends up bleeding into the nausea/discomfort that is caused by an empty stomach, so the only time I feel okay is when I’m actually eating. Then the cycle starts again.
Initially I thought it was probably from digestion being slowed down, which I understand is a normal effect of progesterone. I began taking papaya enzyme after meals, which promotes peristalsis. It helps a lot but doesn’t take the feeling away.
I’m having a hard time dealing with it because I was so looking forward to the second trimester bliss that so many people talk about, a fantasy which included getting back to my regular, intense workout routine and healthy eating habits. I reasoned that once the placenta took over hormone production, this would subside, since I assume that it’s a result of progesterone and slowed digestion. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and I’m afraid this will be present for the next 6 months. Some days, the thought of that can be unbearable.
· Eating smaller meals more frequently. This doesn’t work because only the full dose of papaya enzyme is at all effective (4 tablets after a meal), and you can only take 12 total per day. So I end up trying to eat enough during each meal to get me through till the next one. Having a full stomach may exacerbate the problem (and is not great for blood sugar levels or heartburn and can trigger nausea for me), but I can’t handle the feeling that I get when I eat even a bite of food and don’t take the enzyme afterwards, so I’m stuck with this strategy for now.
· Paying attention to whether certain foods make it worse. I can’t find any patterns, and the severity continues to change day to day without any discernable cause.
· Mylanta (recommended by a midwife). This didn’t help and only gave me other really uncomfortable GI symptoms.
· Switching to an iron-free prenatal vitamin. This made me feel better overall but doesn’t seem to address this problem.
· Taking probiotics. I just started them about a week ago and they might be helping some, but it’s hard to tell because the severity varies from day to day.
My question is: Has anyone else experienced anything like this? Or even heard of it?! I’m not at this point hopeful for any magic cures, but just knowing someone else can relate, or having an understanding of what is happening, would be helpful for my mental health. And of course any strategies I haven’t thought of would be most welcome.