By Anne Cavicchi
3 out of 4 women will experience some degree of morning sickness
with pregnancy. For a small percentage of these women, their "morning
sickness" is far from just a normal part of pregnancy. If your morning
sickness is severe, you may be one of the unfortunate sufferers
of Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
is Hyperemesis Gravidarum?
Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is a very severe form of morning sickness.
It is described as extreme vomiting, dehydration, nutritional deficiencies,
and electrolyte imbalances combined with a first trimester weight
loss of aproximately 10% of your normal body weight.
affected women have numerous episodes of vomiting throughout the
day with few if any symptom-free periods, especially during the
first three months. This can lead to hospitalization. Although usually
resolved by 21 weeks, it often lasts the entire pregnancy.
There are numerous theories regarding the etiology of HG, however,
none are conclusive as of yet. The most commonly held belief is
that the increase in HCG and estrogen hormones in early pregnancy
is the cause.
if I have extreme morning sickness, I have HG?
Not necessarily. Extreme nausea and vomiting in pregnancy may indicate
other potentially serious disorders including:
mole, which is an abnormal tumorous growth of the placenta
pregnancy (twins, etc.)
which is an inflammation of the gallbladder
It is important to visit your doctor for diagnosis.
How is it Diagnosed?
Diagnosis is based on a history of the woman's symptoms and a physical
exam. Lab tests are also done to look for indications of dehydration
and electrolyte imbalances. Signs may include:
low blood pressure
or the breakdown of fat in the urine
blood count, or hematocrit
potassium level in blood
that may help to rule out other disorders include:
serum for hepatitis testing
to look at gallbladder
and culture to test for bacteria
to look for twins or a tumorous growth of the placenta
it be Prevented?
Unfortunately, there is no known prevention -- only treatment.
Will HG harm my baby?
Some studies show that some women who have HG will have low birthweight
babies. However, the good news is that most women with HG do have
medical supervision is essential. If HG is left untreated, the mother
may become so metabolically imbalanced that abortion is recommended
to save the life of the mother. However, it should be considered
only a last resort.
What are the long-term effects of the condition?
Properly treated, HG generally does not present serious long-term
problems for the mother or infant.
How is it treated?
Treatments vary from diet modification, medicines, vitamins and
herbs to homeopathy, accupressure, and chiropractic. Discuss your
best options with your doctor.
article is just a brief overview. If you think you may be suffering
from Hyperemesis Gravidarum, please consult your doctor as soon