Pregnancy Vivian | 05 Aug 2010 04:26 pm

Extreme Pregnancy Nausea

Usually women suffer from nausea during the first trimester of their pregnancy (between the fourth and sixth weeks). However, some women suffer from persistent and extreme nausea throughout their pregnancy. This rare condition is known as Hyperemesis gravidarum.

Hyper means “over,” emesis is “vomiting” and gravidarum refers to the “state of being pregnant.” Hyperemesis gravidarum affects one out of 300 pregnant women. It can lead to severe malnutrition and dehydration which is dangerous for both the expectant mother and the unborn child.

The reason behind this condition is attributed to increased levels of hormones such as human chorionic gonadotropin and estrogen. It can also be caused due to multiple pregnancies or hydatidiform mole (an abnormal tissue growth which is untrue pregnancy).

Here are some factors that can make a woman more prone to Hyperemesis gravidarum than others:

?Being overweight

?Being a first time mother

?Multiple pregnancies

?Previous history of HG during last pregnancy

?Trophoblastic disease which causes abnormal cell proliferation in a womans uterus

Hyperemesis gravidarum normally affects pregnant women during the first trimester of their pregnancy. Some of the indications that a woman may be suffering from this condition are that she vomits more than three to four times in a day, loses more than 10 pounds, becomes dehydrated, and feels dizzy and light-headed.

When diagnosing Hyperemesis gravidarum, a doctor takes into account previous patient medical history, enquires about symptoms and conducts some lab tests in addition to physical examination.

The type of treatment recommended depends on the severity of the condition. If a woman hasn’t been able to eat or drink for a period of 24 hours due to nausea and vomiting, she must contact a doctor immediately.

Since it is extremely important for pregnant women to maintain adequate fluid intake, women with severe cases of hyperemesis gravidarum are hospitalized and given intravenous (I.V.) fluids. These can be discontinued when the woman is capable of taking fluids through her mouth.

Persistent vomiting can result in malnutrition due to lack of food absorption from the stomach. In such a case, nutrition must be provided to the woman in the form of I.V. fluids. This is known as total parenteral nutrition (TPN).

When Hyperemesis gravidarum becomes so dangerous that it poses a risk to the expectant mother and the unborn child, she must be given medicines. However, if medications can’t be ingested by mouth, they must be administered directly into the veins using IV injection or suppository. The commonly used medications are Droperidol, Promethazine and Meclizine.

No known ways to prevent Hyperemesis gravidarum exist; however, its severity can be decreased by:

1. Eating small meals frequently. Small snacks that include dry food such as crackers, toasts and herbal tea, fruit juices are helpful.

2. Eating bland food.

3. Using pressure point wristbands. These bands work on the principle of acupressure to prevent nausea.

4. Vitamin B6 and ginger also help in suppressing the feeling of nausea.

5. Waiting until nausea has subsided before taking iron supplements.

6. It is also important to get as much rest and fresh air as possible.

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