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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
"My suggestion is that you go see your doctor immediately so they can prescribe an antiemetic. I suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum during my second pregnancy. It was so bad I couldn't even keep down water, much less lemons and crackers. I ended up being admitted to the hospital twice for dehydration.
Mild nausea can be treated with home remedies, but if you feel sick to the point where nothing is working it may be something more serious that can only be treated by your doctor." -- GEYSTER
"I have been using phenergan (spelling could be wrong, aka promethazine) suppositories. They have helped extremely especially when you cant keep anything down!" -- SCALLYSGIRL
"It does sound like that's what you have. I had it for most of my pregnancy, it's just easing up now and I am almost 34 weeks. My doctor ended up prescribing me diclectin. I spelt it wrong but can't think of the proper way right now. It doesn't bring your appetite back but it lets your body absorb some of the nutrients you ingest. And after a while the vomiting eases up a lot and so does your nausea. Just keep your head up because it does get better." -- AMDARI1
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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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