Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Nausea and vomiting are pretty much the bread and butter of pregnancy. Even if you are not really a medically-educated individual, you would suspect pregnancy when people who like they were going to throw up. In most of the cases, it is true but for some, it can be due to other medical conditions such as food poisoning, infections or they were simply taking too much alcohol the night before.

Now, hyperemesis gravidarum sounds complicated but they were just severe continuous nausea and vomiting, much worse than your typical ‘morning sickness’. The term “gravidarum” refers to a pregnant woman while “hyperemesis” simply means excessive vomiting. Some cases can be treated with home remedies but if it is severe, a medical consultation would be a wise approach. After all, you were risking a myriad of complications such as electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, malnutrition and weight loss. Some patients require hospitalization for strict monitoring purposes.

You can expect this condition to arise during the 4th to 8th week of pregnancy. Some might experience a prolonged hyperemesis gravidarum but generally, it should resolve by 12th to 20th week of pregnancy.

Risk factor

There are a few risk factors which predisposed to this condition such as:

  • Primigravida (first-time mothers)
  • Obese women
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • History of hyperemesis gravidarum
  • Women who have gestational trophoblastic disease
  • Emotional stress
  • Vitamin B deficiencies

Some studies have shown some genetic predisposition to this medical condition.

Hyperemesis gravidarum vs morning sickness

There are a significant number of differences when we compare these two. People with hyperemesis gravidarum tend to have:

  • A few vomiting episodes per day
  • Cannot keep any liquid or food 
  • No appetite
  • Prolonged and severe nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Blood in the vomitus (vomit content)
  • Experience significant weight loss (exceeding 5 per cent)

However, do note that it isn’t always this objective. Sometimes, it can be mild and difficult to recognize. So if you were unsure, consult your doctor.

Tips for mild hyperemesis gravidarum

If your appetite is still low, you can practice different approaches to overcome this condition:

  • Avoid smell or food with a taste that can set you off
  • Instead of taking heavy meals, take several small meals throughout the day
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Avoid spicy and fatty food
  • Take ginger-based foods (tea, cookies or candies)
  • Acupuncture (if permitted by your doctor)

Don’t take any unprescribed medication. Ask your doctor first as some might complicate your pregnancy. Be calm and know that most of the studies have shown that this medical condition will not affect your baby. Even if you have the most severe case of hyperemesis gravidarum, with proper treatment, you and your baby should be fine. Ask your doctor if you are not sure. 

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