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American College of Gastroenterology Offers Updated Clinical Guidance for Managing Pregnant Patients
Date:12/7/2007

Gastrointestinal Symptoms Among Frequent Complaints in Expectant Mothers

BETHESDA, Md., Dec. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Physician experts from the American College of Gastroenterology have released an updated educational monograph highlighting the unique clinical challenges of caring for women with chronic digestive disorders during pregnancy and managing GI complications relating to pregnancy.

"Given the large number of pregnancies each year complicated by GI disorders, gastroenterologists need to be aware of the underlying physiologic changes in GI motility during pregnancy and provide appropriate therapy for pregnant patients with special consideration being given to the safety of the mother and fetus," according to ACG President Amy E. Foxx-Orenstein, DO, FACG.

This seven-chapter monograph entitled, "Pregnancy in Gastrointestinal Disorders," provides up-to-date clinical recommendations on managing common gastrointestinal disorders and challenges during pregnancy:

-- Constipation

-- Diarrhea

-- Hemorrhoids

-- Heartburn

-- Nausea

-- Vomiting

-- Hyperemesis gravidarum

-- Liver diseases in pregnancy

-- General guidelines for sedation and surgery

-- Endoscopy in pregnancy

-- Managing inflammatory bowel disease during pregnancy

The monograph explores the physiologic changes during pregnancy that may contribute to GI disorders in pregnant patients. Various studies attribute increased levels of female sex hormones, particularly progesterone, with changes in GI motility in pregnancy. Another highlighted study found elevated levels of progesterone accompanied by increased intra-abdominal pressures from the enlarging uterus, may lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure contributing to heartburn symptoms, one of the most commonly reported complaints of pregnant women.

Another important focus of the monograph addresses the challenges encounter
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SOURCE American College of Gastroenterology
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