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Hyperemesis Gravidarum and Its Management
What is hyperemesis gravidarum?
It’s funny how the smallest of things affecting famous people can raise awareness about issues concerning a large section of the population. Hyperemesis gravidarum is one such issue, and thanks to Catherine Middleton a.k .a, the Duchess of Cambridge, almost everyone has now heard of it!
Hyperemesis gravidarum is a pregnancy-related condition that leads to severe nausea during pregnancy and vomiting. Almost all women experience some amount of nausea during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. Hyperemesis gravidarum is a much more serious version of this benign and common morning sickness. It makes the pregnant woman lose weight and more often than not, binds them to the bed.
Mild Hyperemesis Gravidarum versus Severe Hyperemesis Gravidarum
Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a debilitating condition that only a few women suffer from during pregnancy. It is characterized with constant morning sickness that transcends mornings and can happen all through the day, with severe nausea and severe vomiting during pregnancy. It is accompanied by weight loss and a major electrolyte disturbance within the body.
In cases of mild hyperemesis gravidarum, symptoms usually resolve with rest, antacids and simple dietary changes in everyday life.
In the more severe cases, the pregnant woman might need to be hospitalized and receive fluids intravenously to help her cope better with the incapacitating condition.
In rare cases, the condition is so severe, that medical termination of pregnancy might be considered.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum Causes:
The true cause behind hyperemesis gravidarum remains unknown, but it is believed that the hormone HCG (Human Chronic Gonadotropin) secreted by the placenta is the cause. Studies also show a genetic link between related members of the same family.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum Complications:
A lot of complications can arise from hyperemesis gravidarum:
- Non-subsiding nausea and food aversions
- Weight loss (more than 5% of the pre-pregnancy weight)
- Dehydration due to vomiting
- Poor urination
- Fainting spells and confusions
- Lowering of blood pressure and/or heart palpitations
- Loss of skin’s elasticity
- Increased risk of complications for the baby
Hyperemesis Gravidarum Management:
Mild cases can be treated with natural, household remedies. More often than not, having peppermint and ginger is found to be very useful in this disease. Consumed in any form, with tea or as biscuits, or any other way, these two herbs have usually worked wonders at helping the pregnant woman in dealing with extreme morning sickness and excessive vomiting.
Along with that, there’s always bed rest, eating at times the disease is the least affecting or when extremely hungry is also seen to help.
As a nursing care plan for hyperemesis gravidarum, the doctor may be able to recommend some medicines for hyperemesis gravidarum that can make it easier to manage this condition. In severe cases, injecting fluids through IVs is the only thing that helps along with tube feeding.
Some women have also found benefit by using alternative therapies like clinical hypnosis and acupuncture.
All in all, it is best when the family understands the expectant mother’s plight and provides her with help when needed to help her cope through the pregnancy. In times of dire despair, it may help to remember that the champion of the cause (Kate Middleton) is now suffering through all of it for the third time and yet, bravely putting up with everything!