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Question
Posted by: R | 2011/06/06

Headaches during pregnancy - diet?

HI Doc,
I am 3 months pregnant wth my 2nd baby, and have started to experience terrible headaches. I experienced the same during the 1st pregnancy, from the 2nd trimester, and it lasted a few months.
I wonder if this not be related to my diet.
I eat 5-6 various fruit during the day, drink lots of water, and have a cooked meal for supper (any of rice, veggies, any meat, pasta, bread). I have 1 mug decaf coffee a day
The reason I am sticking to fruit during the day is because I suffered from constipation for a while, and then I also do not want to have excess weight gain. Generally I am eating healthy and do not starve myself.
I have posted this question on gynea doc, but I don''t know when I''ll get an answer. The headaches are worst at night, but I go through the day with it, and it''s also making me depressive and moody.
Hope you can help.
Thanks!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear R
I am pleased for your sake that you are expecting a second baby, but worried that you are suffering from terrible headaches. The headaches can be due to a variety of factors: a) hormonal changes - some migraines can be triggered by fluctuations in hormone levels; b) low blood sugar because you are practically starving yourself during the day when your blood sugar needs to be kept constant; c) a lack of nutrients such as calcium because you don't mention that you drink any milk or eat any dairy products and pregnant women require 1500 mg of calcium a day to ensure that they and their babies do not suffer from calcium deficiency; d) excessive water intake can also be harmful because it can wash important minerals such as potassium and sodium (the so-called 'electrolytes') out of the body and upset the electrolyte balance of the body, which is something that you should avoid at all times - adults, including pregnant women require about 2,5 litres of liquid a day for good health and liquid includes all drinks (tea, coffee, milk, water, fruit juice, cold drinks, etc). Please make any appointment to see the dr who is overseeing your pregnancy and discuss these headaches with him/her and please mention that you eat only fruit during the day and were wondering if low blood sugar is causing the headaches. It would be good if the dr would also test your blood calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and sodium levels just to make sure that they are all normal. I would also recommend that you consult a registered dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area), to help you with an individual diet prescription that does not cause excessive weight gain, but does ensure that you and baby ingest all the nutrients you require for good health.
Best regards
DietDoc

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Our users say:
Posted by: DietDoc | 2011/06/06

Dear R
I am pleased for your sake that you are expecting a second baby, but worried that you are suffering from terrible headaches. The headaches can be due to a variety of factors: a) hormonal changes - some migraines can be triggered by fluctuations in hormone levels; b) low blood sugar because you are practically starving yourself during the day when your blood sugar needs to be kept constant; c) a lack of nutrients such as calcium because you don't mention that you drink any milk or eat any dairy products and pregnant women require 1500 mg of calcium a day to ensure that they and their babies do not suffer from calcium deficiency; d) excessive water intake can also be harmful because it can wash important minerals such as potassium and sodium (the so-called 'electrolytes') out of the body and upset the electrolyte balance of the body, which is something that you should avoid at all times - adults, including pregnant women require about 2,5 litres of liquid a day for good health and liquid includes all drinks (tea, coffee, milk, water, fruit juice, cold drinks, etc). Please make any appointment to see the dr who is overseeing your pregnancy and discuss these headaches with him/her and please mention that you eat only fruit during the day and were wondering if low blood sugar is causing the headaches. It would be good if the dr would also test your blood calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and sodium levels just to make sure that they are all normal. I would also recommend that you consult a registered dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area), to help you with an individual diet prescription that does not cause excessive weight gain, but does ensure that you and baby ingest all the nutrients you require for good health.
Best regards
DietDoc

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