Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Almost all women experience nausea or vomiting, known as morning sickness, during their first trimester of pregnancy. However, a more severe case is known as hyperemesis gravidarum. Some women may lose weight and have an electrolyte imbalance which may hurt the fetus and the mother. Hyperemesis gravidarum is:

  • Nausea accompanied by severe vomiting
  • Nausea that does not subside
  • Vomiting that causes severe dehydration
  • Vomiting that does not let you keep food down
  • Food adversions
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Jaundice
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Secondary anxiety and depression
  • Fainting.

A physician will order a hematocrit and a urine ketones blood test on top of other blood work to rule out liver and gastrointestinal problems. Moreover, a hydatidiform mole and a multiple pregnancy will be ruled out.

Treatments include:

  • Small, frequent meals
  • Dry foods – crackers
  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Seltzer
  • Ginger ale
  • Sparkling water
  • Vitamin B6
  • A doctor may prescribe anti-nausea medicine or IV fluids
  • Tube feeding
    • Nasogastric
    • Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy
    • To help keep food down
  • Medications
    • Metoclopramide
    • Antihistamines
    • Anti-reflux medications
  • Other
    • Bed rest
    • Acupressure
    • Herbs
    • Homeopathic
    • Hypnosis.

The symptoms may regress by the end of the first trimester, but may last longer into the 15th week of pregnancy. Complications include dehydration and poor weight gain during pregnancy. There may be some social or psychological problems due to the fact women may not be able to go eat in public due to the urge to vomit.

 

 Figure 1 – Risk factors associated with developing hyperemesis gravidarum.

Figure 1 – Risk factors associated with developing hyperemesis gravidarum.

 Figure 2 – A physician may rule out these disorders in order to make a diagnosis.

Figure 2 – A physician may rule out these disorders in order to make a diagnosis.

If you reside in Denver and have any questions, visit the Denver Holistic Center for more information. Pregnant women should not hesitate to meet with their physician if their morning sickness progress beyond what one feels is normal or what they are used to.