Hyperemesis gravidarum or toxic pregnancy is a severe condition of nausea and vomiting that women feel especially in the morning, with manifestations much more acute than the usual nausea from pregnancy. This is also the case of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, who was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum in all three pregnancies.
Hyperemesis gravidarum affects between 1 and 3% of pregnant women
About 70-80% of pregnant women suffer from morning sickness in the first trimester of pregnancy, but a smaller percentage, between 1 and 3%, are experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum.
Recent studies have shown that at least 60,000 cases of hyperemesis gravidarum are treated in hospital, and pregnant women need medical attention. Most doctors believe that Toxic pregnancy occurs because of excess BHCG hormone, the pregnancy hormone, but the causes that lead to the onset of the disease are not fully known.
Also, women who have a twin pregnancy, women who suffer from obesity, those who have also suffered from this health problem or those whose mother or sister have faced this problem are more likely.
Also prone to toxic pregnancy are women suffering from thyroid disorders, those with migraines and car sickness, but those who have been diagnosed with diabetes.
How hyperemesis gravidarum manifests
Usually, Symptoms of toxic pregnancy occur in weeks 4-6 of pregnancy and begin to improve or disappear between weeks 14 and 20 of pregnancy. However, 20% of pregnant women experience symptoms throughout pregnancy. Here's how hypermesis gravidarum manifests itself:
- frequent nausea, not just morning, and a pregnant woman can vomit even 40-50 times a day;
- lower blood pressure;
- weight loss, up to 5% of the weight that the woman who became pregnant had before pregnancy;
- dehydration, some women feel exhausted;
- increased fatigue;
- episodes of urinary incontinence;
- loss of skin elasticity;
- depression (over 55% of women diagnosed with toxic pregnancy feel depressed);
- excessive salivation;
- state of discomfort caused by stress;
- rapid heartbeat;
- decrease in the volume of urine removed.
Hyperemesis gravidarum is a condition whose diagnosis is made after a medical consultation, by the gynecologist.
Toxic pregnancy is not a life-threatening condition, as long as the pregnant woman who suffers from this condition is careful to follow the doctor's instructions. To relieve the symptoms, the doctor may prescribe several types of medicines. These include creams that reduce nausea and vomiting (anti-vomiting), but also certain minerals and vitamins.
Women with this problem vomit everything they eat, which is why their body has no place to make the necessary vitamins and minerals. Therefore, in severe cases, hospitalization may be required.
You may need to stay for weeks at bed, as may be needed for hospitalization. Here, the pregnant woman will receive intravenous fluids to treat dehydration. The treatment is also part of the bed rest, because it helps the future mothers to cope with the tiredness, it makes them feel more comfortable.
It is important that women who face this problem during pregnancy do not take dietary supplements and do not seek herbal remedies without asking the doctor for advice beforehand.
The prospective mother who suffers from toxic pregnancy should remain under close medical supervision until the symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum disappear.
Pregnant women suffering from this condition can often not carry out their daily activities. But many of the women with this problem can very well keep the symptoms under control, with the help of the medication received from the doctor.
Photo: Instagram @kensingtonroyal
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