Digestive Disease Week 2010: PPI’s Negative Effect on Pregnancy

SSuchy Editor
  • As if pregnant women needed one more thing to worry about, a new study out of the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine suggests that expectant mothers who use Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI) to quell acid reflux symptoms put their unborn babies at a higher risk of cardiac complications.

    More than half of all pregnant women suffer from gastro esophageal reflux (GERD), or heartburn, during their pregnancy. Due to the fragile nature of a developing fetus, especially in the early stages of pregnancy, women are significantly limited in the medications they can ingest.

    Adding to the list of barred medications, researchers led by Andrew D. Rhim, MD, found that women who use PPIs during pregnancy double the risk of cardiac birth defects in their newborn.

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    Given the findings, experts suggest the pregnant women use lifestyle changes to combat their GERD symptoms. While these techniques may not be as effective as medications, they are much less likely to cause any harm to the fetus. Some of these remedies include adjusting your diet with sensitivity to your symptoms and personal trigger foods and adjusting the way you sleep.

    The findings were presented at the annual Digestive Disease Week (DDW) conference in New Orleans, La. DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians and researchers in the field of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

    Have you or someone you've known had to change your lifestyle to quell acid reflux symptoms? What kind of home remedies did you try and how well did they work?

Published On: May 07, 2010