Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG)

What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum?

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a pregnancy complication characterized by severe nausea and vomiting. Unlike typical morning sickness, HG can lead to dehydration, weight loss, and electrolyte imbalances. It affects up to 3% of pregnancies and can require medical treatment to ensure the health of both the mother and the baby.

Symptoms

  • Persistent nausea and vomiting that does not subside
  • Dehydration signs such as dry mouth, feeling faint, and producing little urine
  • Weight loss or failure to gain pregnancy weight
  • Food aversions
  • Sensitivity to smells

Causes

The exact cause of HG is unknown, but it is believed to be related to hormonal changes during pregnancy. Factors such as high levels of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), estrogen, and hereditary predisposition can contribute to its development.

Diagnosis

HG is diagnosed based on symptoms, clinical examination, and ruling out other conditions. Your doctor may perform blood tests to check for dehydration and electrolyte imbalances and an ultrasound to ensure the pregnancy is progressing normally.

Treatment

Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and ensuring you and your baby remain healthy. Options include:

  • Hydration, either orally or through IV fluids if necessary
  • Nutritional support, including dietary changes and supplementation
  • Medication to control nausea and vomiting
  • Hospitalisation in severe cases for closer monitoring and treatment

Self-care Tips

  • Eat small, frequent meals instead of large meals.
  • Avoid triggers, such as foods and smells that worsen nausea.
  • Stay hydrated by sipping water throughout the day.
  • Rest as much as possible.
  • Consider ginger supplements or acupressure bands, which may help alleviate nausea.

When to Seek Help

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You’re unable to keep any food or drink down for 24 hours.
  • You’re losing weight.
  • You feel dizzy or faint.
  • You’re producing very little urine or it’s dark in color.
  • You experience abdominal pain, fever, or both.

Complications

If left untreated, HG can lead to severe dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, and weight loss, potentially impacting both maternal and fetal health. Early treatment can help manage symptoms and reduce the risk of complications.

Support

Dealing with HG can be challenging both physically and emotionally. Support from family, friends, and healthcare professionals is crucial. Consider joining support groups such as

Pregnancy Sickness Support (Tel 024 7638 2020) or Hyperemesis Education and Research  where you can connect with others experiencing HG. Remember, you’re not alone, and help is available.

For More Information

For a consultation and for additional resources and support, please call us on 0345 2303386 and our office team will be glad to help.