Constant burning sensation in pregnancy The woman, who becomes pregnant for the first time experiences a completely new change in her life. Her body is also new to this challenging situation. Her abdominal cavity which was normally filled with intestines now starts to be occupied with an evolving uterus. The evolving uterus exerts a pressure on abdominal organs and intestine, this causes reflex of food from the stomach to oesophagus and cause heartburn or burning sensation in abdomen. Hormonal and lifestyle changes in pregnancy cause gastric upsets, for example, hyperacidity, nausea, vomiting and heartburn.

In order to treat pregnancy-related heartburn or constant burning sensation in abdomen certain things can be done.

First of all, avoid fatty, and spicy food. Spicy food tends to damage the protective mucosal covering of the stomach. So the acid burns the inner cavity of the stomach which causes the feeling of burning sensation inside the abdomen. Because the baby is also present in the abdomen, it exerts a positive pressure in the abdomen which slows down the gastric emptying. Food remains in the stomach for a longer period of time and this causes a constant burning sensation in the abdomen.

Drink more water, as water washes off and dilute the stomach acid. Don’t lie flat on the bed at night. Lie on one side, preferably lie on your right side. It promotes gastric emptying and decreases abdominal pressure.

Magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesia), calcium carbonate and a bicarbonate containing antacid suspensions are safe in pregnancy. It is better to avoid aluminium containing antacid because it tends to cause constipation and also aluminium is toxic in high concentration.

If the above treatment doesn’t work then H2 blockers, Famotidine and Ranitidine may also be used. These are pregnancy category B drugs. It is best to avoid them if the above treatments don’t work then H2 Blockers may be used cautiously.

Proton pump inhibitors are powerful antacids, Omeprazole and esomeprazole are pregnancy category C drugs and should be avoided in pregnancy. Lansoprazole and Pantoprazole are pregnancy category B drugs and can be used cautiously and in extreme conditions.

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