Hyperemesis Gravidarum – A Rare Problem in Pregnancy

Hyperemesis Gravidarum or HG is an extreme morning sickness case accompanied by severe nausea, vomiting and prevents food intake and fluids. This is considered a rare problem in pregnant women and is often confusing to diagnose. It is predominantly haunted by vomiting and nausea, which are anyway typical signs during pregnancy.

Approximately 0.3% to 2 % of pregnant females suffer from this problem. Hyperemesis Gravidarum comes from the Greek word hyper, which means excessive, and emesis, which means vomiting. Gravida comes from the Latin word, which means pregnant. So the term Hyperemesis Gravidarum means vomiting in pregnancy.

Causes of Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Causes of Hyperemesis Gravidarum

The cause of this rare pregnancy problem is still unknown. Some theories hold that pregnant women undergo a lot of hormonal changes. Hyperemesis is related to an adverse reaction to the hormonal level in the woman. Hyperemesis is traced to the stories of beta HCG hormones or the beta Human Chorionic gonadotrophin hormone in the body. It is said that an increased Beta HCG results in Hyperemesis Gravidarum.

It is more common in cases where there are multiple pregnancies and also where there is a gestational trophoblastic disease. So this theory also covers the doubt and the query as to why Hyperemesis Gravidarum is usually found in the first trimester, during the 8th to the 12th week of gestational pregnancy.

HCG levels are highest during this time and then later get reduced. Estrogen is said to produce a lot of regurgitation feeling and also nausea. This is due to the acids in the stomach. Another theory holds that the leptin levels could lead to Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Another angle to the cause of this rare pregnancy problem is the genetic component.

Symptoms of Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Sometimes the pregnant woman aggravates her morning sickness problem by remaining hungry or tired, or sometimes the prenatal vitamins containing iron also give her the situation. Besides the morning sickness can also be increased by diet changes and odors.

Under these conditions, the symptoms of Hyperemesis Gravidarum remain hidden as it is challenging to find out if the typical morning sickness has got aggravated or whether it is the onset of Hyperemesis Gravidarum.

Yet we can conclusively say that when the Hyperemesis Gravidarum is severe, then it could result in the following symptoms :

  • There is a sudden substantial reduction of body weight as compared to the pre-pregnancy weight. This weight loss could be around 5%.
  • The pregnant woman has a lot of constipation and also sometimes suffers from ketosis.
  • There are nutritional deficiencies in the woman.
  • The pregnant woman faces a lot of metabolic imbalances.
  • A visible change in the taste of the individual is noticed during the onset of Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
  • The brain is susceptible to motion.
  • The stomach seems to be full. The food leaves the stomach at a slower rate.
  • Pregnancy has a lot of hormonal changes, but during Hyperemesis Gravidarum, the difference is even more.
  • There is a feeling that the food and the stomach contents move back and forth in the stomach.
  • There is a lot of emotional and physical stress on the body.
  • Sometimes there are broken blood vessels in the eyes. This is called a subconjunctival hemorrhage.
  • The woman has a lot of difficulty with her daily routine.
  • The pregnant woman hallucinates.

Many women with Hyperemesis Gravidarum lose as much as around 30% of their weight. Many are sensitive to odors too. This is called hyper olfaction. If the woman feels very nauseatic, then it is called hypersalivation.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum naturally occurs in early pregnancy and remains for a long time. While most pregnant women are relieved from their morning sickness stress, most women suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum would rarely feel this relief.

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