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More Than Morning Sickness

What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum?
-- By Tanya Jolliffe, BabyFit Healthy Eating Expert

About half of all pregnant women experience morning sickness. For the vast majority of women, morning sickness isn't a serious condition, and it doesn't pose risk to their babies. However, a severe and serious form of pregnancy sickness, known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum, can pose health risks to both mother and baby.

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is frequently described as consistent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy that prevents the woman from eating food and drinking fluids. This severe nausea and violent vomiting prevent the body from retaining and utilizing food and fluid. Some common concerns associated with untreated hyperemesis include:
  • rapid loss of weight (sometimes more than 10% of pre-pregnancy weight)
  • dehydration
  • critical nutrient deficiencies in early pregnancy
  • metabolic imbalances, including ketosis
  • inability to participate in previous levels of activity, including daily living
How Do I know if I have typical morning sickness or hyperemesis gravidarum?

BabyFit Member, DeCole, experienced this condition during her second pregnancy.  "I was losing weight at a rapid pace and not enjoying any part of life," DeCole recounts. "I was not able to keep down water, ice chips, or anything they recommend to ease morning sickness. My job was suffering, my family was suffering, and no one knew what to do to help me." DeCole informed her doctor of her "severe morning sickness" during a routine checkup.

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Member Comments About this Article
"Sounds like it could be. Talk with your medical provider about what you are experiencing so you can work together to find what might work for you. Some members of reported that sucking on Lemonhead candy or chewing peppermint or wintergreen gum has helped their nausea so maybe that is something to try as well." -- TONKA_14
"Hi everyone,i'm about 6 weeks and haven't been able to keep ANYTHING down. I've tried ice,cold water,gingerale & saltine crackers..i have no appetite morning,noon,or night(it's especially worse @ night. I can't sleep ..i don't want to eat & even when I force myself to it comes right back. I have tried Zofran which doctors say is okay during the first trimester but that comes right back too..could this be more than morning sickness?" -- L33L392
"Hello Everyone,
Want to share my story to give some of you some hope as well as encouragement to keep fighting. I have a 17 yr old & a 7 yr old. With both of my Boys I experienced this horrible condition with no help, concern or sympathy from my hospital, doctors or friends. My family were the only ones that could see what I was really going through & prayed that my babies or I would not die. I lost 30 pounds with each pregnancy. Hospitalized twice with each & my last pregnancy I threw up so m..." -- CHRISTI987
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About The Author
Tanya Jolliffe
Tanya earned a bachelor's degree in dietetics and nutrition and has more than 15 years of nutrition counseling experience. She has worked with clients in such areas as prenatal nutrition, general family nutrition and therapeutic nutrition in end-stage organ disease.

 
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