Hyperemesis GravidarumHow can nausea and vomiting become so severe?
Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe form of morning sickness, with unrelenting, excessive pregnancy-related nausea and/or vomiting that prevents adequate intake of food and fluids. Hyperemesis is considered a rare complication of pregnancy but, because nausea and vomiting during pregnancy exist on a continuum, there is no clear boundary between common morning sickness and hyperemesis. Estimates of the percentage of pregnant women afflicted range from 0.3% to 2%.
The cause of HG is unknown. The leading theories speculate that it is an adverse reaction to the hormonal changes of pregnancy. In particular Hyperemesis may be due to raised levels of beta HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin) as it is more common in multiple pregnancies and in gestational trophoblastic disease.
Additional theories point to high levels of estrogen and progesterone, which may also be to blame for hypersalivation; decreased gastric motility (slowed emptying of the stomach and intestines); immune response to fragments of chorionic villi that enter the maternal bloodstream; or immune response to the "foreign" fetus.
Historically, HG has been blamed upon a psychological condition of the pregnant women. Medical professionals believed it was a reaction to an unwanted pregnancy or some other emotional or psychological problem. This theory has been disproved, but unfortunately some medical professionals espouse this view and fail to give patients the care they need.
When HG is severe and/or inadequately treated, it may result in:
- loss of 5% or more of pre-pregnancy body weight
- dehydration and ketosis
- nutritional deficiencies
- metabolic imbalances
- difficulty with daily activities
- altered sense of taste
- sensitivity of the brain to motion
- food leaving the stomach more slowly
- rapidly changing hormone levels during pregnancy
- stomach contents moving back up from the stomach
- physical and emotional stress of pregnancy on the body
Some women with HG lose as much as 20% of their body weight. Many sufferers of HG are extremely sensitive to odors in their environment; certain smells may exacerbate symptoms. This is known as hyperolfaction. Ptyalism, or hypersalivation, is another symptom experienced by some, but not all, women suffering from HG.
As compared to morning sickness, HG tends to begin somewhat earlier in the pregnancy and last significantly longer. While most women will experience near-complete relief of morning sickness symptoms near the beginning of their second trimester, some sufferers of HG will experience severe symptoms until delivery.
Comments: Hyperemesis Gravidarum
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Read the full article on wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperemesis_gravidarum
1 2 NextTammySA
1052 days ago.
Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences .I don't know if I have hg although my doc thinks I might.Here I am feeling sorry for myself because I vomit over 10 time a day most days ( that means heave until all that comes up is bile , spit and sometimes blood ) , salivate constantly , have acid reflux , frequent severe diarrhea ,painful bloating and water retention and am so tired that I could sleep constantly and this has been going on since before my pregnancy was confirmed at 4 and a half weeks .However , you guys have made me feel thankful for the positives that some days are better than others , that I am gaining weight ,that the meds although I can't take them and drive do have some effect ,that I haven't passed out or had to go into hospital ,that my baby seems to be doing just fine and that finally now in my 10 th week I think that it may be starting to get slightly better.So thank you for helping me see the brighter side and for making me realise that I am not alone . SweetUdha
1132 days ago.
I cried reading all the posts here. When I was pregnant with my first child, I had HG which started as early as 4 wks. It lasted till the day I gave birth. I was so depressed. I vomitted 40x a day, I lost weight, I couldnt eat and I couldnt drink. Everything came out..I couldnt function at work, at home..I took unpaid leave, slept in the toilet, wasted time in Sick bay... Admitted to hospital and put on drips. I totally understand how it felt. I couldnt imagine how i went thru it all.. I gave birth at 38 wks to a small but healthy baby..Now 3 yrs later,Im pregnant again, 8 wks now... This time it isnt that bad. I can eat and it stays in the stomach. I do vomit at times but this experience is definately better than the first. This time I only get depressed juggling with a 3yr old craving for attention and my morning sickness. I am so tired always... I neglected her and I am so unhappy and depressed. Though this is just mng sickness, how can I get to be myself and do things I should do? :-( wilson2013
1132 days ago.
i have only been pregnant 6 weeks so far Hyperemesis Gravidarum has been kicking my butt. Have already been to hospital once cause started voimting blood. But still having a hard time keepin anything down and dealing with heartburn and throat burning still. I was giving zoflan to help but doesnt seem to be and is really hard to keep down any food. is there anything i can do to feel even alittle better. Plus keep waking up in middle of night feeling like i cant breath. Any advise would help racemom84
1413 days ago.
Hello everyone. I am 16 weeks pregnant and have hg. It's been hell.... I finally got my picc line taken out but now I'm having problems with my acid reflux. I take meds for it and still have not been able to keep the nausea away because of it. I'm having problems gaining weight just like I did with my first child. Any suggestions? internetgal22
1432 days ago.
Hello everyone. I am 8.wks with twins. Ive been diagnosed with hg and its been hell ever since.My arms are bruised from nurses poking new iv lines everyday. Soon ill be getting a picc line for that. Im taking gravol, zofran, and zantac for acid reflux. My have no more energy, even bathing has become a chore. I havent eaten in 6 days and lost 11lbs in 2wks. Does this hell ever end? Also, any suggestions on food i can try? Saltines dont stay down. wombforjoy
1437 days ago.
Im a little over 4 weeks into my third pregnancy. My first pregnancy, I had severe HG from the beginning all the way through delivery of my son. I was admitted and given a feeding tube through my nose. Then eventually I was given a zofran pump, which did help me gain weight and I didn't throw up quite as much each day. Some of the doctors did try to encourage me to terminate pregnancy but that wasn't an option for us. I am so thankful that it wasn't because I gave birth to a healthy little boy. All my pregnancies are high risk, so Im at the MFM clinic every week (sometimes twice) and I give myself blood thinner shots everyday. We are going to try to wait until after my first trimester to see if I need a zofran pump this time. I know that I am in for a long nine months, but I am just grateful to experience a baby growing inside of me again and consider it a true joy! :) I'll be praying for all you mommas dealing with HG! taniamommyx3
1446 days ago.
I wanted to let you all know I am on my 3rd pregnancy and I dont have MS nearly as bad as my 2nd pregnancy. I only gained 5 pounds my 2nd pregnancy, was hospitalized 4 times and had my soon 4 weeks early. But he is an angel and a blessing and it makes me so sad a woman would terminate due to MS/HG. I went through hell and back but its so worth it. I would never judge anyone so please dont think I am. Just know it DOES end, you DO feel better and you can have more babies without HG. it may be a hard, even almost impossible 9 months but your bodies are made to do this and you both will make it through. My son was a preemie but you would never know after just a few months. he even scored a 9/10 on his Apgar! luoja
1513 days ago.
HG is absolute hell on your body mind and spirit! This is my 3rd HG pregnancy and it will be my last. It started at 6 weeks and I am currently 16 weeks. i hope it slows down soon or disappears altogether. denise1987*pink*
1529 days ago.
,ugh hg go away! im sick of being sick all the time avoided hospital so far been on the anti sickness tablets and off work from week 6 now nearly 14 weeks of course my boss assumes im putting this on or saying its worse than it already is grrrrrr why do be have to judge when they have no idea what your going through LoobieLou2011
1568 days ago.
this is my first pregnancy and im at 20 weeks now. been suffering with HG since week 5. its awful but i am fighting through it because im excited to becoming a mother :). 3-4-me
1629 days ago.
Hi ladie. I've had HG with all 3 pregnancies, my 2nd was by far the worst. Now my 3rd, I have lost 16 lbs in 8 weeks, weight loss is finally slowing down. I'm currently taking 8mg zofran twice a day and had a picc line inserted in my arm for nightly fluids. I can't even begin to tell you how much the iv fluid helps. I have more energy and don't throw up nearly as much. If you do have HG, talk to your dr about a picc line and see if it'll help. It was tough decision for me to get it but, really worth it! I hope you get some relief! ladiebug2663
1670 days ago.
I have severe HD. In the beginning around 4 months pregnant i ended up in the ER 12 times in 45 days for IV fluids and Zofran. Finally i have it under control as long as i don't miss my meds. I take Reglan every 12 hours, zantac every 6, If i miss my meds even by an hour i have to take a phenergen suppository and sleep most of the day away. Will it go away? probably not as i am now 28 weeks pregnant. but my wieght gain is good at 27 pounds. I have learned to not hesitate going to the ER. Zofran pills do not work for me, but the IV drip does. it works IMMEDIATELY! but they can also give you phenergen. the only downside is that phenergen will make you very tired! dlanas
1924 days ago.
I have been suffering with hyperemesis grav since 7 weeks and I am now 12 weeks. When will this go away? I am spitting up excessive mucus and salvia every 2 seconds. I have no appetite, lost weight and all. I am so depressed :( NavyWifeHelms
1935 days ago.
in this month's Fit Pregnancy magazine, they had a short article about the newest esearch concerning Hyperemesis Gravidarum: 'Infection with H. pylori, a common bacterium notorious for causing stomach ulcers. An analysis of 25 studies found that pregnant women with hyperemesis were three times more likely to test positive for H. pylori than women with mild to moderate morning sickness. Research is needed to determine what treatments are safe during pregnancy.' mareeliza
2040 days ago.
If you have it one pregnancy I don't think it means you'll have it for all of them.
My first pregnancy with my daughter I wasn't sick at all, just a bit tired here and there. THIS pregnancy has been giving me a great view of the opposite. I didn't even know HG existed until I was admitted to the hospital last week. I was so nauseated and dizzy that I couldn't walk in a straight line or hardly function.
Oh, and I'm allergic to Zofran. I convulse when I take it. heinz
2041 days ago.
Hi Everyone, its been great to read all your comments and know im not alone.i am 14 weeks gone in my first pregnancy, i was diagnosed with HG in my first 6 weeks and hospitalised twice before i was 10 weeks. any mediction i was given only made me worse. its become such an emotional rollacoster. everyday is a different battle from sitting up in bed to being terrified to have the smallest sip of water. my boss is making this so hard too by asking silly things like 'keep the noise down' as i throw up and asking 'how long are you going to be as i need the loo!!' im not asking for sympathy but alittle understanding would be helpful. does anyone have any tips on dealing with HG in the work place? thanks Hels
2041 days ago.
Hi. I can completely sympathise. I am a twin and my sister suffered HG with her first, she is now pregnant with her second (she has HG again) and a couple weeks after her announcement I discovered I was pregnant too, with my first! Well I had sickness from before AF was due and by around week 5 I was so ill. Thankfully my GP recognised this as HG and not morning sickness and I was put straight onto anti-ameatics and signed off work. I am now at nearly 15weeks and so far have avoided a hospital admission *touches wood* but it is hard. I have been so lucky with my prompt diagnosis. shushi
2075 days ago.
It s been great reading your comment. i am 13 +4 weeks and have been feeling tertible since week 8. I stayed in hospital and doctors gave me medication to reduce the vomiting but the nausea is still horribel. i have tried everything but feel like dying, I can't bear it anymore and I am not sure I can be strong enought to go to the end. I think I am getting depressed. I have never writen anything on any forum before but would reallly appreciate conforting words as I don't know anyone suffering from HG around and other people with normal morning sickness are driving me mad with their advice! thank you, nanamari
2089 days ago.
My daughter has hyperemesis gravidarum and was taking zofran for weeks but it didn't take the nausea away, only dicreased the vomiting but kept losing weight. Then she started going to an homeopathy doctor and from the day she started with that, to now, she has gotten like 90% better. No more vomiting, almost no nausea at all and she is gaining weight! We totally reccomend it. amytie48
2106 days ago.
My doctors are pretty good, but the nurse whose job it is to receive call ins for prescriptions doesn't believe that I could possibly have morning sickness past the first trimester. She's a barrier to me getting more zofran when I run out. I had gotten around this by getting enough refills when I see the doctor, but today I need to call in for more. I'm so nervous! JennMomof3
2120 days ago.
After having HG with my first and second pregnancies, I'm now on my third and so far so good! My doctor put me on Zofran around the clock since week 4 and also on vitamin B6 supplements and Unisom at night. The combination has made it so I do feel slightly nauseated but made it to 9w2days and haven't thrown up yet. They say HG sufferers have a B6 deficiency and I swear by taking supplements... it has helped SO much. In 2008 I sent 22 days admitted in the hospital, had a PIC line, Feeding pump of TPN etc all from HG and that almost made me not want to get pregnant again lol Good luck to all of you :) MamaCulver
2147 days ago.
Hi Ladies. I have never joined a site like this before...but once you have been through HG it brings tears to your eyes thinking of those currently going through it. I am currently 24 week pregnant with my second child. I was in the hospital from week 7 to about week 15. I went 8 solid weeks unable to eat or drink, only living off of IV fluid. I continually threw up bile the entire time. I spent Christmas and New Years in a hospital bed wishing someone would just kill me. I thought the sickness would never end. They had me on SO many medicines, I now hope and pray my little guy is normal. I did not experience this with my first pregnancy. No one knows what its like until you go through it. I have to say I'm glad I stuck it out as it ended for me around 18 weeks.. I have been great ever since, but I did have many moments in which I thought I wanted to die. I've already said a prayer for all of you. Please know that you will make it through. It will eventually end. You are not alone! amytie48
2147 days ago.
Oh and also annoying? My father thinks it is all in my head. amytie48
2147 days ago.
I went to the doctors for a prenatal check up and was told I need to try and gain weight. I've been on Zofran for the majority of my pregnancy so far and lost about 12 pounds. At w17 I'm not as severe, I even have some rather good days, but I'm also still throwing up 3-5 times a week. An improvement from 3-5 times a day, but still. So anyway, how am I supposed to gain weight when I can barely eat? nl2002
2155 days ago.
I am 13 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child and I have been suffering from HG, lost 24lb in 3 weeks, went for a few trips to the hospital and realised they couldn't control it. although they were pumping me all sorts of anti sickness, drips, vitamins, you name it, I was still throwing up my stomack lining and was hyper dehydrated. I decided to try something different as I felt I was going to die if I carried on like this. I contacted a homeopath who gave me some remedies. I started taking them at the hospital and the vomiting stopped. I wasn't sure if it was the medicines or the remedies. After pleading the hospital to let me go, I went back home and stopped all the anti sickness I was given. and I was still not throwing up! I started eating a bit but then I got a bit greedy and ended up at the emergency with a gastritis!!I was back in square one, vomiting and on top of my aversion of food and drink, I was scared to eat...it was really bad. I called the homeopath again, she came to see me and gave me some remedies again and guess what?? it stopped!!!I am seeing the end of the tunnel, I don't vomit anymore, I eat soups every 2 hours, I can drink and my body and starting to function properly again! I am still quite weak but I think we managed to stop it. I was so scared to carry like this until the end... homeopathy is amazing and very safe for pregnancy unlike all those anti sickness and medicines...maybe u should try, it works!!! good luck girls, my heart is with you....