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Hyperemesis Gravidarum – Causes and Symptoms of Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Hyperemesis gravidarum is a rare complication observed in pregnant women. It is morning sickness condition that only affects during pregnancy. It happens as a result of dehydration, imbalance of electrolytes and malnutrition during pregnancy. The condition is accompanied by vomiting and nausea that can occur at any time. The pregnant women do not feel like eating and having water but continue to gain weight. Some pregnant women may develop severe morning sickness and the condition may aggravate and stay throughout the pregnancy.

It is estimated that about 70 to 85% women get affected with this condition during pregnancy. Hyperemesis gravidarum is more common in young pregnant women or women who had multiple pregnancy in very short period of time. The condition subsides by the end of 14 weeks of pregnancy i.e by first trimester.

Causes of Hyperemesis Gravidarum

The exact cause of hyperemesis gravidarum is not known till date. But some theories explain that there are few factors that may cause hyperemesis gravidarum. The factors include:

  • Emotional changes occurring in pregnancy such as anxiety and stress
  • Hormonal changes such as increased levels of progesterone, estrogen and beta HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotrphin)
  • Digestive tract dysmotility i.e food does not move smoothly along the digestive tract
  • Deficiency of nutrients
  • Women who had the condition in previous pregnancy are at risk
  • A bacteria called Helicobacter pylori mat also play a role in causing hyperemesis gravidarum. But a precise explantion was not given to this factor.
  • Hyperemesis gravidarum may also be a genetic cause. Pregnant women with family history of morning sickness are at higher risk to develop the condition.

Symptoms of Hyperemesis Gravidarum

The signs and symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Frequent urination
  • Confusion
  • Palpitations
  • Headaches
  • Severe dehydration
  • Nausea accompanied with vomiting
  • Food aversions, which means the food doesn’t seem to be tasty
  • Jaundice
  • Fainting
  • Sensitivity to environmental odours

1 response to Hyperemesis Gravidarum – Causes and Symptoms of Hyperemesis Gravidarum

  1. “It is morning sickness condition that only affects during pregnancy.”
    Well, no kidding. When does morning sickness NOT occur during a pregnancy??

    This article is poorly written and I doubt it was researched much at all. It starts out by saying it is a rare condition, but then goes on to describe very common ‘morning sickness’.

    Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a rare and SEVERE form of morning sickness. The woman loses weight (more than 5% of pre pregnancy weight) despite her efforts to gain due to excessive vomitting.

    This condition is NOT ‘a result of dehydration…’ It CAUSES dehydration and malnutrition because she can’t keep anything down!
    These patients may require IV for treating dehydration and in very rare cases tube feeding so nutrients can be replenished. If there are inadequate nutrients in the mother’s diet, or if she is unable to consume food, the fetus will pull nutrients from the mother’s own body. This puts the mother at an increased risk of malnutrition

    There is NO way that 70-85% of pregnant women experience this condition or our population would not be increasing as quickly as it is because it takes a toll on the entire family. Many women who truly have HG are so desperate for relief that they terminate their pregnancies!
    Perhaps the writer meant this statistic in relation to ‘normal morning sickness’, which is experienced by a far larger amount of women, however that’s not how it is worded.

    HG only affects between 0.3-2.0% of pregnant women.

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