Hyperemesis Gravidarum

What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum?

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is a severe form of morning sickness, the intense nausea and/or vomiting of pregnancy. HG sufferers experience frequent bouts of vomiting and nausea. This can cause dehydration, weight loss, and malnutrition. HG affects up to 1 in every 100 pregnant women, and is a serious medical condition which can require hospital admission.

Symptoms of Hyperemesis Gravidarum

The symptoms of HG vary from person to person and from pregnancy to pregnancy. Common symptoms include:

  • Severe and prolonged nausea and vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Lack of energy
  • Low blood pressure
  • Hypoglycemia

What Causes Hyperemesis Gravidarum?

The exact cause of HG is not known. Some theories suggest that it may be caused by excessive levels of pregnancy hormones, such as human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). It is thought that these hormones may cause a woman's body to become overly sensitive to normal hormone fluctuations. Other factors that may contribute to HG include genetic predisposition, low blood pressure, low blood sugar, and food aversions and sensitivities.

Treatment of Hyperemesis Gravidarum

There is no single treatment for HG, and treatment plans vary from woman to woman. Generally, the main goal of treatment is to prevent further weight loss and dehydration, and to address the underlying cause. Treatment may include:

  • Antiemetic medications to relieve nausea and vomiting
  • Fluids and electrolytes to combat dehydration
  • Nutritional supplements to combat malnutrition
  • Antihistamines to help with food aversions and sensitivities
  • Bed rest and/or lifestyle modifications

Women who suffer from HG should strive to get the necessary treatment to manage their symptoms. It is important to seek medical advice and treatment as soon as possible, as HG can have serious implications for the health of the mother and the developing baby.