What Are the Symptoms of Pregnancy? The early signs and symptoms of pregnancy can vary wildly from person to person. It is essential to be aware of the common symptoms and the possible and rare symptoms. So, what are the symptoms of pregnancy? We will dive into the specifics. Common Symptoms of Pregnancy 1. Missed Period Missing your period is most often the first sign of pregnancy. Your body recognizes the conception and stops making the hormone that sheds the lining of your womb. Your menstrual cycle is essentially paused, and you won’t have another period until after the baby is born. 2. Morning Sickness Contrary to what is shown on TV, morning sickness can also happen at noon and night. Feeling nauseous and vomiting is a normal part of early pregnancy. It is most common in the morning, and this is what coined the term. 3. Overtiredness or Fatigue You know the feeling when you sleep well but still feel tired? That is fatigue, and it is common in early pregnancy. Experts say this is due to the rise of hormone levels. This feeling tends to improve over time. 4. Frequent Urination Are you going to the bathroom every 10 minutes? This is another sign of pregnancy. Your body’s blood supply increases to support the new life, which means your kidneys must work harder. More waste plus more urine equals extra trips to the bathroom. 5. Aching Breasts Your breasts may start to feel sore and tender. You may have felt this before during your period, or it could be a completely new experience. This feeling is due to your fluctuating hormone levels and should fade with time. Some people describe this as an aching or tingling feeling. You might also experience a slight enlargement of your breasts. 6. Mild Cramps and Spotting Don’t panic if you see you have light spotting or cramping in the first few weeks. Spotting can indicate that the embryo has implanted in the lining of your womb. Implantation usually takes place a few days after you conceive and can cause blood spots or brown discharge. This symptom is crucial to know about, as it causes many people to believe they are not pregnant. If you are concerned or the bleeding persists, speak to your doctor without delay. 7. Headaches Persistent headaches can be a sign of so many things. That is why people don’t recognize them as a sign of pregnancy. If you are experiencing frequent headaches, there may be more to it than you think. Make sure you find a headache treatment option that safe for you. 8. Metallic Taste in Mouth Some people experience a metallic, coppery taste during early pregnancy. It can happen when eating or at seemingly random times throughout the day. Again, people do not consistently recognize the taste as a possibility of pregnancy. 9. Changes in Food Preferences This symptom varies from person to person, and some don’t experience it at all! You may crave certain foods; you may feel sick after certain foods; you can have a complete aversion to food altogether. Nutrition during pregnancy is important, and you should discuss this symptom with your doctor. [youmaylike] Rare Symptoms of Pregnancy Other symptoms that are rare but could affect you are: Heightened sense of smell. Heart palpitations. Increased saliva production (more drool). Nosebleeds. Swollen gums or tooth problems. More pimples or acne. Hot sweats. Are At-Home Pregnancy Tests Reliable? The sure-fire way to know if you are pregnant is to take an at-home test. These tests are reliable, and though false positives occur, it is rare. Always check the label, as different brands show different symbols to indicate pregnancy. The tests generally take a few minutes to develop, and digital tests can even display the word pregnant. When Should You Talk to a Doctor If You Think You’re Pregnant? If you suspect that you are pregnant, have a positive test result or are currently trying to get pregnant, the next step is to talk to your doctor. Your doctor will want to take a complete medical history, and if you are already pregnant, they may prescribe prenatal medication. The doctor can guide you on the steps throughout the pregnancy and lend an ear if you have any questions. It is vital to discuss everything with a medical professional. Your doctor is the gateway to an informed and happy pregnancy.
How to Treat GERD
You may have heard of it, but what is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)? Is it serious or something to be worried about? This article will explain GERD’s causes, symptoms, and both medical and non-medical treatment options. So, let’s find out how to treat GERD.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition wherein acid from the stomach goes back up through the esophagus (the passageway that connects the mouth and stomach). This can cause pain and discomfort in the chest and throat area. GERD is commonly called heartburn or acid reflux. This is because the type of discomfort is characterized as a burning sensation in the chest area.
What Causes GERD?
There are many ways by which GERD can occur. As previously mentioned, GERD occurs because of the reflux of acid. Normally, this is prevented by the contraction of a ring of muscle at the end of the esophagus. When this weakens, the stomach’s acid goes back up the digestive tract, irritating the lining of the esophagus.
This muscle can weaken through a variety of causes. Smoking can weaken it, and some medications can trigger acid reflux as well. Medications such as muscle relaxers, iron supplements, pain relievers, potassium supplements, and medications to control blood pressure are among those that can worsen or trigger acid reflux.
Acid reflux can also occur because of increased pressure in the abdomen, which can push stomach contents up the esophagus.
Who Can Have GERD?
Anybody can have GERD, but some people are predisposed to have it more than others.
Usually, this condition occurs in the older age group. People who have a family history of GERD or heartburn are at increased risk of having the same disorder, suggesting a genetic link to the illness.
Pregnancy and obesity are also conditions wherein GERD would most likely occur due to the increased pressure in the abdomen. Those with other illnesses such as a hernia can also have a greater chance of having GERD. Activities such as smoking can impair the muscle and destroy mucus membranes, increasing the risk of developing GERD.
What Are the Symptoms of GERD?
Symptoms that are suggestive of GERD include:
- Chest pain, usually a burning sensation that is worse at night
- Chest discomfort (sensation of movement of fluid up and down the chest)
- A sensation of a lump in the throat or difficulty swallowing
- Bitter or sour taste in the mouth or regurgitation of good
- Chronic cough
- Sleeping problems
- Sore throat or hoarseness of voice
Chest pain is common and worse at night because the reflux is more significant when lying down. Sometimes chest pain is a cause of worry or anxiety because it may mimic heart problems and can be confused with a heart attack.
What Tests Are Done to Diagnose GERD?
Although it can be diagnosed from patient history and a physical exam, the following tests can also diagnose GERD.
A thin tube with a tiny camera is inserted into the throat and esophagus. This checks any erosions or structural problems in the gastrointestinal tract.
A pressure-sensitive tube is passed through the nose to the stomach. This measures the pressure of muscle contractions and checks the muscle function of the gastrointestinal tract.
GERD can also be diagnosed through 24-hour esophageal pH monitoring to measure the acidity that goes through the esophagus within 24 hours. These tests are usually done if GERD does not resolve after medical or non-medical remedies.
What Can Happen if I Have GERD?
GERD can be a cause of discomfort for some, especially if it occurs frequently. If severe, it can interfere with daily activities and affect the quality of life. GERD also has some serious complications that must be noted.
It can cause erosion or narrowing of the esophageal wall. Repeated exposure of the esophagus to acid can cause damage and changes in the cellular composition of the esophageal lining. This is a condition known as Barrett’s esophagus. Barrett’s esophagus should be monitored because patients with this condition may develop esophageal cancer. This is why GERD must be treated and controlled as soon as symptoms are noticed.
How Do I Treat GERD?
So, want to know how to treat GERD? Treatment options for GERD may be medical or non-medical. Non-medical treatment options include at-home remedies that are simple and easily accessible to alleviate symptoms of GERD. Non-medical options include:
- Lifestyle changes, including weight loss if you are overweight
- Quitting smoking
- Avoiding foods that can trigger acid reflux, such as carbonated beverages, citrus fruits, caffeinated beverages such as coffee or tea, fatty or fried foods, spicy foods, and alcohol
- Discontinuing or changing any medications that can cause acid reflux
Simple techniques after eating or before bedtime also can significantly help in controlling GERD. These include not immediately lying down after a meal and sleeping with your upper body elevated (you can use a foam wedge support to help).
If the symptoms persist or do not improve, you will need to seek medical treatment options. The most common treatment options belong to a class called proton pump inhibitors. This group of drugs controls acid production in the stomach. Antacids are another group of drugs that can help in the reduction of acid exposure. A physician should prescribe these medications as they may have side effects. Severe and persistent cases of GERD can require surgical intervention.
GERD is a common illness and can easily be diagnosed and treated. There are many options as well for patients who have this condition. It is best to consult a doctor if symptoms of GERD occur frequently and do not improve with non-medical treatment. A doctor’s evaluation can help determine whether medical treatment is needed.