Hyperemesis Gravidarum – What You Need To Know

by | November 22, 2018

Just what is this “morning sickness” illness affecting celebrities and princesses alike? Known as hyperemesis gravidarum, it may be a little tricky to pronounce, but it’s more common than you think

Most women experience some nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. HG however, occurs in about 0.5 to 2 percent of pregnancies; it’s severe and continuous vomiting and nausea that’s more debilitating than regular morning sickness.

Mild cases can be treated with natural home remedies, whereas severe cases can lead to weight loss, electrolyte imbalances, malnutrition, and dehydration — which often leads to hospitalization.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum
By napatsorn aungsirichinda/shutterstock

When does hyperemesis gravidarum happen?

It can begin around the same time in first trimester as usual morning sickness, between week 4 and 8 of pregnancy, and subsides on its own between weeks 12 and 20 — but some cases it can continue throughout pregnancy.

Who is most at risk?

This pregnancy complication is more common in first-time mothers, in young moms, obese women, women carrying multiples, women with a gestational trophoblastic disease and women who suffered from the condition in a previous pregnancy. Studies have shown that it may be genetic, women whose own mothers experienced it are more likely to experience the condition themselves. Extreme emotional stress may increase your risk, as well as vitamin B deficiencies and H. pylori infection, a bacterial stomach infection that often causes ulcers.

How do you know it’s not just morning sickness?

The symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum are persistent and significantly more acute than regular morning sickness.

  • Severe nausea that doesn’t go away
  • Vomiting several times per day
  • The inability to keep any food or even liquid down
  • Little to no appetite
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Weight loss of more than 5 percent
  • Blood in the vomit

If you think you may be suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, talk to your doctor.

If your symptoms are relatively mild and you are able to keep some food and liquid down, you can try some of these natural methods used to fight morning sickness:

  • Eating foods with real ginger (ginger tea, ginger candies, ginger ale or ginger cookies)
  • Tweaking your diet to eliminate fatty and spicy foods
  • Avoiding smells or tastes that tend to set you off
  • Grazing on six to eight small, high-carb and high-protein meals throughout the day
  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure
  • Wearing Sea-Bands or acupressure wristbands

If those don’t seem to help, talk to your health practitioner before taking any medication.

If you’re vomiting non-stop and/or losing significant amounts of weight, your health practitioner will assess your need for intravenous fluids and/or hospitalization, and she may possibly prescribe an anti-nausea drug.

The great news is that if you receive proper treatment, your baby should remain totally unaffected.

Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via [email protected]


Categories: Pregnancy


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