The Other Morning Sickness
The news of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton’s third pregnancy drew attention to her uncommon yet severe condition called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG).
Pregnancy can be exciting and traumatic at the same time. Some women experience skin changes, weight gain, poor circulation, high blood pressure, bone deficiency and morning sickness. The Duchess of Cambridge is part of one to two percent of women who experience hyperemesis gravidarum during pregnancy.
What is hyperemesis gravidarum?
According to the American Pregnancy Association, morning sickness affects roughly 70-80 percent of pregnant women. Hyperemesis gravidarum, an extreme version of morning sickness is a condition characterised by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and electrolyte disturbance. Mild cases are treated with dietary changes, rest, and antacids. Some women may need to be treated in hospital where they receive fluid and nutrition through an (IV) intravenous line. HG is characterised by persistent nausea and vomiting which can lead to dehydration and inability to keep food down.
Cause of HG
The Association posits that it is the changes in hormone levels however the true cause is unknown.
The symptoms of the condition include headaches, severe nausea, confusion, dehydration, reduced urination, fainting, rapid heart beat, blood pressure and extreme fatigue. There is no one way to treat HG but there are several ways to manage it.
Treatment for HG may include bed rest, acupressure, herbs like ginger or peppermint, homeopathic remedies are a non-toxic system of medicines and hypnosis. Or treatment in the hospital of intravenous lines: Nasogastric – restores nutrients through a tube passing through the nose and into the stomach and Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy – restores nutrients through a tube passing through the abdomen and into the stomach; requires a surgical procedure and medications, – metoclopramide, antihistamines, and antireflux medications. (KPB)