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Is It Safe to Take Tums While Pregnant

Is It Safe to Take Tums While Pregnant

Raising a baby is a magical thing, but it's not always easy. For many parents-to-be, the physical symptoms of heartburn, like upset stomach and indigestion, can really put a damper on the entire pregnancy experience. Whether these annoying symptoms are persistent or intermittent, the discomfort of heartburn can leave parents looking for safe ways to calm the "gastro storm."

Looking for relief, pregnant parents may wonder if it's okay to use common over-the-counter treatments like TUMS. The good news is that TUMS is recognized as a safe treatment option for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms in pregnancy.

We turned to pregnancy experts to learn more about the safe use and recommended precautions for TUMS as a treatment for those pesky, magic-stealing symptoms of heartburn

What is TUMS?
TUMS is an over-the-counter antacid with the main ingredient calcium carbonate. It is used to relieve symptoms of heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux. According to Shannon M. Clark, MD, professor of maternal-fetal medicine in Galveston, TX, most pregnant patients will experience some symptoms of GERD because pregnancy-induced hormones slow gastrointestinal transit.

However, pregnancy hormones are not the only culprits. Clark says, "As the uterus grows, it puts pressure on the stomach and gastroesophageal junction, which allows stomach acid and food contents to leak up into the esophagus." TUMS help neutralize refluxed stomach acid and prevent it from entering the esophagus.

Every pregnancy is different. Be sure to consult a healthcare professional about your circumstances if you have any questions about taking TUMS while pregnant.

Is It Safe To Take TUMS During Pregnancy?

According to Rami Khatib, RPh, CDE, manager and owner of Sechelt Pharmacy in British Columbia, Canada, "It's safe to reach for TUMS any time you experience indigestion, acid reflux, heartburn, or a stomach ulcer flare-up."

Khatib points out two possible side effects of using TUMS during pregnancy, constipation and bloating, which are known to already come with the area of ​​pregnancy.

Taking TUMS to relieve the symptoms of GERD during pregnancy is generally safe and effective. But Clark warns those who have kidney disease to talk to a doctor before taking TUMS. Antacids can upset the body's electrolyte balance if you have chronic kidney disease.

Safety precautions
While safe, it's a good idea to take a few precautions when taking TUMS. Knowing what ingredients to look for when choosing an over-the-counter antacid, understanding how TUMS can affect your ability to absorb iron from foods and supplements, and being aware of the recommended dose can help guide your and Keeping your growing baby safe will keep your symptoms at bay.

Choose calcium carbonate
Clark recommends choosing a calcium carbonate-based antacid (like TUMS) and avoiding antacids that contain sodium bicarbonate and magnesium trisilicate, as well as those with aspirin.

"The recommended daily allowance for calcium during pregnancy is over 1200 mg of elemental calcium from all sources," says Khatib. But be careful with your calcium intake. You should not consume more than 2,500 mg of calcium per day.

Taking too much calcium can lead to constipation, kidney stones, problems absorbing minerals like iron and zinc, irregular heartbeat and low levels of calcium in the baby's body.

Watch your iron levels
Be careful and follow your doctor's guidelines for iron and calcium intake. "Don't take TUMS at the same time as an iron supplement, as it may interfere with the absorption of iron or temporarily worsen your symptoms," says Dr. Clark.

Don't treat TUMS like candy
As with most things, moderation is key. According to the manufacturer's website, pregnant women are advised to limit themselves to a maximum of 15 TUMS Regular Strength 500 in any 24-hour period. Maximum levels vary from product to product, so read the bottle carefully and consult a healthcare professional if you have any questions or concerns.

dr Clark suggests keeping track of intake and symptoms. "If you find yourself using TUMS daily or not getting relief from your symptoms, be sure to tell your obstetrician."

But if TUMS doesn't relieve your symptoms after a while, don't worry. "It might be time to consider alternative therapy for your symptoms of GERD, such as a prescription drug," says Dr. Clark.

Pregnancy-safe alternatives
dr Clark reminds us that antacids like TUMS can provide relief but do not prevent GERD. If you're interested in addressing the source of your heartburn holistically, Michelle Durkin, ND, owner of the Quinte Naturopathic Center offers some suggestions.

Try visceral manipulation
dr Durkin suggests seeing a qualified doctor, most often an osteopath, who can assess whether your gastroesophageal sphincter needs treatment. The pyloric sphincter, explains Dr. Durkin, is the flap at the top of your stomach that can open as the baby grows or relax when progesterone levels are higher during pregnancy.

Consult a doctor before attempting any visceral manipulation, especially during pregnancy. Always give them a full medical history and consult a reputable doctor before receiving any treatments.

Adjust your diet
It pays to think about which foods trigger your symptoms. dr Durkin suggests some common heartburn-triggering culprits that you might want to eliminate or limit, such as fried or fatty foods, caffeine, chocolate, soda, garlic, onions, sugary foods, tomatoes, citrus fruits, dairy, or even gluten.

dr Durkin also suggests eating smaller and more frequent meals, sitting while eating, and not lying down immediately after eating.

Heartburn can certainly make pregnancy less comfortable, but if TUMS works for you, rest assured that it's a safe treatment option. If TUMS isn't working for you, be sure to speak to a healthcare provider so you can find some relief.

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