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Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a rare condition characterized by frequent, persistent, and severe vomiting and nausea during pregnancy. As a result, women are often unable to take in a sufficient amount of food and fluids, and thus lose more than 5% of their pre-pregnancy body weight. They become dehydrated, and experience vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Treatment may require hospitalization.
HG is a more severe form of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP), also called morning sickness . Morning sickness affects anywhere between 50% to 90% of pregnant women. HG is estimated to occur in 0.5% to 2% of pregnancies.
Treating HG symptoms early in pregnancy can make you less sick in the long run and can decrease recovery time. Because HG is caused by many factors that vary between women, it is difficult to find a treatment that works for everyone. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:
Frequent small meals, bland or dry foods, high-protein choices.
Reducing nausea, and thus allowing eating and drinking, will hasten recovery. Due to the risk of stating that a drug is safe for use during pregnancy, very few pharmaceutical manufacturers will say that their drugs are intended for a pregnancy condition like HG (examples: promethazine or prochlorperazine ). However, physicians often recommend that women with HG take certain anti-nausea medications, balancing the potential benefits and risks. Talk to your doctor about the right medications for you.
A common and safe remedy is to take supplemental vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that first-line treatment of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy should start with pyridoxine with or without doxylamine. Pyridoxine has been found to be effective in significantly reducing severe vomiting.
IV Hydration and Anti-nausea Medications
In urgent visit situations, HG can be managed by giving the woman fluids and vitamins intravenously. This can sometimes be done without hospitalization. Very rarely, some women require IV fluids throughout the entire pregnancy.
Nutrition by Vein
If a woman is unable to tolerate food by mouth, she may need to receive nutrition by vein. This is called parenteral nutrition. A special kind of catheter is placed in a large vein and liquid nutrition is given. This can sometimes be done without hospitalization. Enteral feeding —supplying food through a feeding tube into the intestines—is another option (albeit unpopular).
Acupressure may help to reduce nausea. Acupressure is when pressure is applied to acupuncture points.
If you are diagnosed with HG, follow your doctor's instructions .
Best,September 18, 2017 - 7:03am