Constipation and pregnancy
Unfortunately constipation can be a common problem during pregnancy and once again it can be down to those pesky hormones! An increase in the hormone progesterone relaxes the body’s muscles, including the intestines. Relaxed intestines means slower digestion which can lead to constipation.
If you are taking iron tablets for anemia (another common pregnancy condition), then these too can cause constipation.
Diet, hydration and exercise also play a huge part in the digestive heath and bowel movements.
But how can you remedy this problem when you have gestational diabetes?
Remedies to try that should not raise blood sugar levels
- Ensure you are drinking plenty
- Increase the amount of green leafy vegetables in your diet
- Add flaxseed or chia seeds into your diet – add it on top of Greek yogurt or try overnight chia seeds for breakfast!
- One cup of hot water and fresh lemon
- One cup of coffee in the mornings – filter coffee is great, but stay within your caffeine amounts for the day
- Raise your feet onto a stool when going to the toilet
- Laxatives – if natural remedies are not working then make an appointment with your GP to get a prescription for laxatives which are suitable for use during pregnancy. Commonly prescribed laxatives are Fybogel, Movicol and lastly Lactulose.
Lactulose contains sugars, galactose and fructose. It is not digested in the intestine like other sugars. It reaches the colon where bacteria digest it and thereby alter the composition of the stool. Therefore, the absorption of sugars is minimal and should not have significant impact on blood sugar levels. This is why lactulose is safe for diabetics to use.
Things to avoid – all these things will cause high blood sugar levels
- Prunes or prune juice
- Dried fruits; figs, apricots, dates, raisins e.t.c
- Fruit juices
- High fibre breakfast cereals e.g. Weetabix, All bran e.t.c
- Molasses or sugared water