When morning sickness becomes extremely severe, it is known as hyperemesis gravidarum.
So, this article will explain the definition, causes, people who may suffer, symptoms, risks from it, treatment,etc of hyperemesis gravidarum.
In the US: Hyperemesis gravidarum occurs in 0.5-2% of pregnancies, with the variation in incidence arising from different diagnostic criteria and ethnic variations. Studies have found an admission rate of 0.8% for hyperemesis gravidarum and an average of 1.3 hospital admissions per hyperemesis patient, with an average hospital stay of 2.6-4 days.
Nausea and vomiting are common in pregnancy, occurring in 70-85% of all gravid women. Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe and intractable form of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. It is a diagnosis of exclusion and may result in weight loss; nutritional deficiencies; and abnormalities in fluids, electrolyte levels, and acid-base balance. The peak incidence is at 8-12 weeks of pregnancy, and symptoms usually resolve by week 20 in all but 10% of patients. Uncomplicated nausea and vomiting of pregnancy is generally associated with a lower rate of miscarriage, but hyperemesis gravidarum may affect the health and well-being of both the pregnant woman and the fetus.
Causes of Hyperemesis gravidarum
The precise causes of Hyperemesis gravidarum remains unknown as well and Researchers are continuing to study hyperemesis gravidarum in the hopes of finding the exact cause of the disease. There are some causes which will increase the risk of suffering Hyperemesis gravidarum. These causes include:
1, High levels of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). Levels of this pregnancy hormone rise quickly during the early stages of pregnancy and may trigger the part of the brain that controls nausea and vomiting.
2, Increased estrogen levels. This hormone also affects the part of the brain that controls nausea and vomiting.
3, Helicobacter pylori. A research study in Obstetrics &Gynecology reported that 90% of pregnant women with hyperemesis gravidarum are also infected with this bacterium, which may sometimes cause stomach ulcers.
4, Thyroid imbalances
5, Vitamin B deficiency
6, Gastrointestinal changes. During your entire pregnancy the digestive organs displace to make room for the growing fetus. This may result in acid reflux and the stomach emptying more slowly, which can cause nausea and vomiting.
7, Psychological factors. Stress can often make you physically ill. The anxiety that can accompany a pregnancy may trigger acute morning sickness.
8, High-fat diet. Recent research shows that women with a high-fat diet are at a much greater risk for developing hyperemesis gravidarum. Their risk increases five times for every additional 15 grams of saturated fat (such as a quarter-pound cheeseburger) they eat each day.
People who are at the risk of HG
Those with the following characteristics are at a higher risk of HG:
1, being obese
2, being of young maternal age
3, carrying twins
4, having previous hyperemesis gravidarum
How to recognize HG
The symptoms of HG typically begin around the sixth week of pregnancy. Usually, symptoms disappear around the 20th week, however, in about 5% of women, symptoms can continue throughout the third trimester.
The most common symptoms of HG are:
1, Persistent, excessive vomiting or the urge to vomit. Vomiting is considered excessive if it occurs more than three or four times per day and prevents you from keeping down any food or fluids for a period of 24 hours.
2, uncontrollable vomiting
3, vomiting blood or bile
4, vomiting after eating or drinking
5, vomiting not related to eating
6, severe weight loss (at least 5% of pre-pregnancy weight) over a 1-2 week period.
7, increased heart rate
9, extreme fatigue
10 increased salivation
12 nutritional deficiencies
13 Lightheadedness or fainting.
14 Infrequent urination.
15 Pale skin.
How HG can affect you and your baby
HG is a serious illness that can pose potential health complications. If left untreated, hyperemesis gravidarum can lead to continued weight loss and malnutrition, which may become life threatening. The illness also causes extremely poor quality of life. If vomiting continues, there is a risk of developing liver or stomach complications. The disease is also associated with an increased risk of gallbladder disease.
Though serious, hyperemesis gravidarum does not appear to pose any severe complications for your baby. If treated immediately, most babies are born completely healthy. However, if treatment is not pursued, there is an increased risk of going into preterm labor or having a baby with a low birth weight. Certain drug treatments given to mothers with hyperemesis gravidarum have been known to cause defects in baby.
Treatment for HG
Treatment for HG is to reduce nausea and vomiting,replace fluids and electrolytes and improve nutrition and weight gain.
It is important to contact your health care provider if you are experiencing severe nausea and vomiting. If properly treated, there should be no serious complications for you or your baby. Your health care provider can tell you whether your case is mild or severe. If it’s mild, you should change your diet by eating more protein and complex carbohydrates, such as nuts, cheese and crackers, and milk. It’s best to eat these foods in small portions, several times throughout the day. You should also avoid eating fatty foods, drink plenty of water, and get as much rest as possible. (For more suggestions, see our morning sickness article). Your doctor may also recommend taking antacids and an antiemetic (anti-vomiting) medication.
Medications your doctor may prescribe for severe cases include:
1, Antihistamines, which help ease nausea and motion sickness.
2, Vitamin B6, which helps ease nausea (if you’re unable to take it orally your doctor can give you an injection).
3, Phenothiazine, which helps ease nausea and vomiting.
4, Metoclopramide, which helps increase the rate that the stomach moves food into the intestines.
5, Antacids, which can absorb stomach acid and help prevent acid reflux.
6, Corticosteroids (such as Medrol)
Severe cases of hyperemesis gravidarum require hospitalization. Once there, you may receive intravenous fluids, glucose, electrolytes, and, occasionally, vitamins and other nutritional supplements. Your vitamin levels may also be monitored since women suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum are often deficient in thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin A, and retinol-binding proteins. Remember, pregnant women need to maintain a much higher level of calories, protein, iron, and folate than nonpregnant women. Your health care provider will talk to you about the sufficient levels and how to maintain them.
Anti-nausea drugs and sedatives may be given, and you will be encouraged to rest. After receiving intravenous (IV) fluids for 24 to 48 hours, you may be ready to eat a clear liquid diet and then move on to eating several small meals a day. You will be monitored by your health care provider after you leave the hospital, and be readmitted if problems continue or recur.
Some women opt to use natural treatment methods to handle side effects of the illness. Acupuncture, acupressure, and hypnosis have proven to be effective treatments, and produce no side effects in baby.
Hyperemesis is the second leading cause of hospitalization in pregnancy, second only to preterm labor. Additionally, many women experience significant psychosocial morbidity, occasionally interfering with assumption of the maternal role and rarely leading to termination of the pregnancy. Women with hyperemesis gravidarum are often encouraged to work with a counselor since emotional problems may not only contribute to this condition, but may result from it as well.
Note: The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.Call 911 for all medical emergencies.