Ask the Experts
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Q: I have irritable bowel syndrome and want to get pregnant in the next few months. Can I continue to take medication for IBS after I conceive?
A: Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is caused by abnormal bowel motility, which means that its motion either is too fast or too slow. This results in bloating, painful cramping and episodes of both diarrhea and constipation. I prefer treating this condition with diet rather than drugs and recommend that you work with a gastroenterologist and perhaps a nutritionist to wean yourself from your medication before becoming pregnant. This may involve keeping a daily log of the foods you eat and noting those that cause discomfort so that you can avoid them. You'll also need to drink lots of fluids and stay away from stimulants such as coffee and chocolate.