Nausea and vomiting are the most common symptoms during the first trimester of your pregnancy. These symptoms are not serious, don’t lead to dehydration, and go away on their own. However, in rare cases, a pregnant mother may experience an extreme case of nausea and vomiting even after the first trimester which might lead to excessive dehydration and fatigue.
This condition is called Hyperemesis gravidarum and is a pregnancy complication that requires immediate intervention and care. A pregnant woman suffering from this condition might find it difficult to keep any fluid or food down. Hyperemesis gravidarum might not have a direct impact on your pregnancy or your fetus but may lead to preeclampsia or pre-term delivery due to the decrease in the fluid level in your body. While there is no proof of what causes this, the good news is that it can be managed with constant monitoring, care, and medications.
Researchers point out that the contributing factors for this condition may be:
• The sudden rise in levels of hormones like estrogen, HCG, and progesterone during the early phase of pregnancy
• Increase in the levels of blood thyroxine
• Liver abnormalities or fat abnormalities (increased level of blood lipids or lipoproteins)
• Deficiency of zinc and pyridoxine in the body
• Abnormality in the movement of food in the gastrointestinal tract
• An infection due to Helicobacter pylori leading to stomach ulcers
• Multiple pregnancies or a trophoblastic ailment which might lead to a mass inside your uterus.
A woman suffering from HG may experience all or some of these symptoms:
• Increase in heart rate
• An elevated sense of smell and taste
• Rapid loss of body weight (5%-10% of the pre-pregnancy body weight)
• Excessive fatigue, dehydration, and salivation
• Jaundiced skin and eyes
• Light-headedness leading to dizziness and fainting episodes
• Extreme nausea, dizziness, inability to hold the food down, and electrolyte imbalance in the body
• The probability of rapid mood swings, and an increase in anxiety levels
You need to keep your doctor informed about any of the above symptoms in order to get immediate medical intervention.
If you are diagnosed with HG, your doctor may advice over-the-counter remedies initially. You would be prescribed a B6 supplement to start with.
You would have to undergo a physical examination which would include a check for your blood pressure and heart rate. A blood and urine sample would also be taken to check for dehydration.
Depending on the severity of the condition, you may be prescribed an anti-histamine which can help in controlling the vomiting and medicine like Domperidone to improve your digestion process. In case you continuously end up throwing up the medications, you may be advised to take it rectally or in the form of injections. You may even be given oro-dispersal tablets that easily dissolve on your tongue.
In rare and extremely severe conditions, you may have to be put on an IV to get fluids in your body.
While these conditions don’t usually last post the 21st week of your pregnancy, some women experience these symptoms throughout their term. Constant monitoring, regular fluid intake, and medication can definitely help you in managing this condition and ensuring a smooth delivery without any further complications to both, your health and to the fetal development.