Hyperemesis Gravidarum

By Dr. Anukriti Singh|3 - 4 mins read| May 01, 2024

What is hyperemesis gravidarum?

Hyperemesis gravidarum is very severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. It is sometimes known as severe morning sickness. It is so serious in fact that it may lead to dehydration or a loss of weight.

How is morning sickness and hyperemesis gravidarum different?

Morning sickness is very common in pregnancy and is present in up to 80% of pregnant women. It causes occasional nausea or vomiting but does not lead to any dehydration or weight loss. It also subsides after 12 week of pregnancy. In contrast hyperemesis gravidarum is very severe and very frequent nausea and vomiting. It also leads to weight loss and dehydration. It may not disappear after 12 week. Also, it may cause problems which might need treatment in a hospital.

What are the signs and symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum?

The signs and symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum appear during the first trimester of pregnancy around 6 weeks and can last for weeks or months, sometimes even up to the time of delivery. The commonly seen signs and symptoms are:

  • There is severe nausea and vomiting. There may be vomiting more than 3 to 5 times a day.
  • Dehydration is present due to the vomiting.
  • There is a loss of weight which may be up to 5% of the pre pregnancy weight.
  • The person is unable to hold down liquids and solid food.
  • There is a loss of appetite.
  • The person feels weak and may feel dizzy as well.
  • The person is extremely tired and unable to do daily activities.

Does hyperemesis gravidarum cause any complications for the baby?

Excessive nausea and vomiting may not allow your body to absorb proper nutrients from the food. This can lead to some problems for the baby and the mother. The most common complications in the baby are having a low birth weight or being born prematurely. The mother can have malnutrition if not managed properly. Repeated vomiting can also lead to minute new tears in the oesophagus or the foodpipe which can cause some bleeding.

How should I take care at home?

The best thing to do if you have hyperemesis gravidarum is to consult your health care provider. Only your doctor will be able to treat the complications such as dehydration completely and prescribe medications to control your condition. In the meanwhile, there are a few things you can do at home which can make you feel better. These include:

  • Eat small and frequent meals instead of heavy meals 3 times a day.
  • Avoid fatty and spicy food. Try to eat bland food.
  • You can take ginger or B6 to help you with the nausea.
  • You should avoid your triggers such as travelling in a car.

When should I consult a doctor?

Nausea is a normal part of pregnancy but excessive vomiting which leads to a disruption of daily activities isn’t. You should consult your health care provider if :

  • You are vomiting more than three times a day.
  • You are unable to keep your food down.
  • You are losing weight.
  • You are feeling dizzy or light headed.
  • You are peeing less than usual or the colour of your pee is very dark.
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About The Author:

Dr. Anukriti Singh

Last Updated: Wed May 01 2024

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