Allergies and Intolerances during Pregnancy – How to avoid them?

Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful stages of a woman’s life. But being pregnant doesn’t only mean taking care of the baby, but taking care of self, as well. Taking care of self is one of the vital things during pregnancy. And, if you have allergies, you should consult your doctor regarding the same. Because when you stay fit and healthy, only then will the baby receive all the vital nutrients required for proper development.

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Image Courtesy:  http://www.livestrong.com/article/351157-lactose-intolerance-in-pregnancy/

 

What is an allergy?

An allergy is a response by the body’s immune system to allergen, which may not be very harmful. Some people are sensitive to the allergens and get affected when exposed to them. Though most of the allergies are mild and don’t do much harm, some are severe and life-threatening. The life-threatening ones are known as Anaphylaxis. Food allergies are the most common form of allergy which occur during pregnancy.

Food Allergies and Food Intolerances

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Food allergies are not to be mistaken with food intolerances. Though seemingly similar, each has different signs and symptoms. But it is very difficult to differentiate between the two. The following will help you know the difference:

  • Food allergies occur when the immune system of the body reacts abnormally to certain foods. Food intolerances, however, don’t have an allergic reaction.
  • Allergic reactions happen quickly while the symptoms of food intolerance usually manifest a few hours after having food.
  • In case of food allergy, even a small amount of the food can cause allergic reaction. But the case is not same for food intolerance.

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Symptoms of Food Allergy:

  • Vomiting
  • Itching and tingling
  • Swelling of mouth, lips and throat
  • Constipation
  • Atopic eczema
  • Loose motion
  • Blood or mucus in stool
  • Tiredness
  • Poor growth


Symptoms of Food Intolerance:

  • Diarrhoea or loose stool
  • Bloating and tummy pain
  • Skin rashes and itching

How to Avoid Allergies and Intolerances?

Change in the hormonal level during pregnancy leads to change in allergy symptoms. Pregnant women should note the following to help avoid allergies and intolerances.

  • Avoid food that causes allergy and intolerance
  • Consult your doctor if you are allergic to certain foods
  • Take medications for allergy and intolerance as per your doctor’s advice
  • Check the medication information if it is suitable for use or not during pregnancy
  • Make a list of your allergic and intolerance factors
  • Inform emergency staff about your allergies
  • Ensure all your medicines are easily accessible
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking

Remember, it is very essential for pregnant women to take care of their own health along with the baby in the womb.

References:

http://patient.info/health/food-allergy-and-intolerance

http://www.babble.com/pregnancy/food-allergies-2/

http://www.allergyuk.org/causes-and-risks-of-allergy/allergies-during-pregnancy?cookieaccept=true

 

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