In this article, we will be looking at the use of vitamin B6 in relieving nausea caused by morning sickness in pregnancy.
Pregnancy is a beautiful time in a woman’s life, typically filled with expectation and hope. However, it also has some unpleasant parts to it. One of the single most common complaints among pregnant women is morning sickness and nausea. Although the exact cause of this uncomfortable pregnancy symptom is unknown, various theories have been put forward to try and explain it. Some experts argue that morning sickness is caused by the surge in hCG levels in the blood, while others contend that nausea and the urge to vomit is nature’s way of protecting the fetus from harmful foods.
Vitamin B6 and Morning Sickness
Recent research has shown that the consumption of vitamin B6 can help alleviate morning sickness. The nutrient can help minimize feelings of nausea, although it might not be of much help with vomiting. Consuming 10 to 25 milligrams of the vitamin three times a day is enough to reduce nausea and queasiness.
The vitamin does not cause any harmful effects to a fetus. In fact, it is beneficial to its growth. The nutrient promotes proper growth and development of the fetus’ nervous system and brain. It can also help prevent low birth weight and skin conditions like eczema.
Besides assuaging morning sickness, vitamin B6 has other benefits for an expectant mother. For one, it enhances the production of blood cells, which is critical in ensuring that the woman has sufficient blood levels. This prevents conditions like anemia. Additionally, consuming enough of this vitamin ensures that a mother has healthy blood sugar levels. The vitamin also contributes significantly to the mental well-being of a mother. Vitamin B6 is also essential for numerous body processes like breaking down macronutrients and producing amino acids.
Although this nutrient plays a pivotal role in many physiological processes, consuming it in excess can be harmful to your body. This is especially true when one ingests more than 100 milligrams of the vitamin in a day. Some symptoms of excessive vitamin B6 consumption include numbness and nerve damage. However, there is no evidence that taking too much of the nutrient can cause harm to the fetus. Nevertheless, it is best to err on the side of caution and avoid consuming the vitamin in excess.
The best way to ensure that your intake of vitamin B6 is just right is to discuss it with your healthcare provider. Most prenatal multivitamins contain enough of the nutrient, and there is no need to take special vitamin B6 supplements. However, if you need to get the nutrient from supplements, the doctor will recommend the right dosage depending on your unique needs.
Getting Vitamin B6 From Your Diet
You can also source your vitamin B6 from food. Foods like legumes, cereals, nuts, fish and whole-grain wheat are rich in the vitamin. Various fruits, like papayas and bananas, are also excellent sources of the vitamin.
Signs of Vitamin B6 Deficiency
Depriving your body of vitamin B6, especially in pregnancy, can lead to several uncomfortable symptoms. The most common symptoms of inadequate consumption to the nutrient are tongue inflammation, depression, ulcers and sores. In extreme cases, vitamin B6 deficiency can cause anemia, which in turn makes you susceptible to fatigue.
Other Remedies for Morning Sickness
Other than increasing your consumption of vitamin B6, you can also adopt other methods to reduce the frequency of morning sickness. Try to eat small meals several times a day, and avoid any foods that trigger feelings of nausea. Also, always ensure that you have a snack on hand since hunger can spark an episode of vomiting.
You could also try eating foods that have a soothing effect on the stomach. Consuming ginger or herbal teas like cinnamon and chamomile, for instance, can alleviate morning sickness. Be sure to take enough water if you do vomit to avoid getting dehydrated.
Aromatherapy may also prove beneficial to you. Lemon aromatherapy, in particular, can help reduce queasiness and instances of vomiting. Simply inhaling the scent of a fresh cut slice of lemon or adding a few drops of lemon juice can reduce nausea significantly.
There is no denying that nausea and morning sickness are some of the most uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy. Thankfully, consuming vitamin B6 can help ease these unpleasant signs. You can get the vitamin from supplements and eating a healthy diet. Just be sure to consume the recommended amounts of the nutrient since overconsumption can have adverse effects.