Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is a clinical condition mainly characterized by severe vomiting, nausea, weight loss, and electrolyte disturbance. This should not be confused with morning sickness that happens to be a milder situation of a woman in early pregnancy. Mild cases of HG are mostly treated with dietary changes, antacids and rest. When it becomes severe, it requires an admission in the hospital for the mother to receive fluid and nutrients through an intravenous line. It is not advisable to take any medications in an attempt to solve this problem without a consultation with your health care provider.

 

What causes HR?

About 70-80% of pregnant women experience some type of morning sickness and there are cases that are more severe termed hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). It is generally believed that a rise in hormone level causes severe nausea, the absolute cause remains unknown. Symptoms may appear between 4-6 weeks of pregnancy. There are ways to manage this condition but there is no known preventive measure.

For easy differentiation between morning sickness and hyperemesis Gravidarum:

Hyperemesis GravidarumMorning Sickness
Nausea is accompanied by severe vomitingNausea sometimes accompanied by vomiting
Nausea fails to subsideNausea subsides by end of first trimester or soon after
Severe vomiting result to dehydrationVomiting does not result to dehydration
Does not allow food intake and storageAllows some food intake and storage.

 

Symptoms of HR

  • Food aversions
  • Severe nausea and vomiting
  • Weight loss of 5% or more
  • Decrease in urination
  • Fatigue
  • Hypotension
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Headaches
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion

 

Treatment of HR

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is quite severe and may necessitate hospitalization. When you are admitted, you can be treated with some or all of the following:

Bed rest. Basically to promote comfort and conserve energy

Rehydration. This is basically through intravenous fluids (IV) to restore lost body fluids and electrolytes, vitamins and nutrients.

Tube-feeding. A naso-gastric tube may be passed through the nose into the stomach to ensure nutrients are restored. Restoration of nutrients through a tube passing through the abdomen into the stomach requires a surgical procedure termed percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy.

Medications. To reduce vomiting, and associated symptoms. This can include antihistamines, anti-reflux medications, metoclopramide.

 

Other interventions may include:

Use of herbs.  This may include peppermint or ginger