IBS - Stomach disease

IBS during pregnancy



Vi har valt att samarbeta med experter som har en omfattande erfarenhet för att du ska få så relevant och faktabaserad information som möjligt under din graviditet, efter födseln och de första 2 åren med ditt barn.

For some women with IBS, symptoms change during pregnancy. Some experience significant improvement and can almost eat normally again, while others may experience a worsening of their IBS symptoms, making them more challenging than usual. For those with IBS-D (diarrhea-dominant), bowel movements may improve during pregnancy, often due to increased progesterone slowing down bowel movements. This may also be related to iron supplements, which can have a similar effect. As the baby takes up a significant portion of space in the abdomen it also results in the intestines having less room and becoming less mobile. Therefore in those with IBS-C (constipation-dominant), pregnancy may exacerbate constipation.

Treatment for IBS

The FODMAP diet is currently the most effective treatment for IBS and is used by dietitians worldwide. The treatment involves removing fermentable carbohydrates that ferment in the intestines leading to symptoms such as increased gas or fluid which may cause uncomfortable symptoms. Results from studies show that this treatment helps relieve or reduce symptoms in about 75% of people with IBS, depending on how much of the symptoms are related to diet, stress, and eating behavior. The term FODMAP encompasses categories such as fructose, lactose, oligosaccharides, and sugar alcohols. Common food triggers for people with IBS include onions, garlic, wheat, and rye.

In addition to the low FODMAP diet, several alternative treatments for IBS exist. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), hypnosis, yoga, and mindfulness have all shown positive effects as supplements to dietary treatment. To determine how much of the symptoms are related to diet versus stress, it is helpful to start with dietary changes. When symptoms decrease, stress will often also decrease to some extent, making it easier to identify what diet or lifestyle factors still need attention after completing dietary treatment. You do not need an official IBS diagnosis before trying the low FODMAP diet, but it is recommended to rule out coeliac disease through testing.

Medications and supplements

Bulking agents and fibre supplements like psyllium husk can be used to normalize bowel movements. Some may find relief with these, while others may experience no effect or even develop a bubbly and restless stomach. These medications often show an initial effect which may be related to the placebo effect. Some doctors prescribe low doses of antidepressants as they can have a calming effect on the intestines. Prescription medications for constipation include Linaclotide and Prucalopride , and for diarrhea-dominant IBS, Loperamide.

Many self-help products are available over the counter and in health food stores. While they may provide relief for a period, the effect often diminishes due to the previously mentioned placebo effect. It is relatively few who experience significant help from medications and self-help preparations. Some preparations may also contain FODMAPs, such as fructose, inulin, and sorbitol which can worsen symptoms.


Probiotics are defined as "live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer health benefits on the host" (WHO 2002). An imbalance in the gut flora, dysbiosis, can lead to various diseases, including IBS. For some people with IBS, a probiotic supplement may be part of the treatment, helping to restore the balance of the gut flora. A probiotic with good evidence for IBS is Alflorex. Probiotics can also occur naturally in food, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.

Mindful eating

When dealing with IBS, it is crucial to consider HOW, WHEN, WHERE, and WHY you eat, not just WHAT you eat. Regular meal timing is essential and it is better to have several small meals throughout the day rather than a few large ones as these may worsen symptoms. Portion size and eating speed also have a significant impact. Eat mindfully and experience the meal with all your senses: see, smell, and taste the food to encourage slow eating and pay attention to your body's signals. Avoid eating while doing other things, such as watching TV, talking on the phone, or sitting at the computer. This increases the chances of noticing the body's natural signals of both hunger and fullness.

  • Choose to have more small meals throughout the day over fewer large ones.
  • Pay attention to portion size and the speed at which you eat.
  • Eat mindfully and experience the meal with all senses: sight, smell, taste.
  • Avoid eating while doing other activities (such as watching TV, talking on the phone, etc.) to observe the body's natural signals of hunger and fullness.

Belly Balance Belly Balance is a digital IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) treatment that helps you take control of your stomach. For more information about the service, visit Belly Balance's website and download the app.


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