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Hyperemesis and Pregnancy: Severe Morning Sickness and Weight While Pregnant

Updated on December 31, 2011


Being pregnant is a joyous experience. Even that morning nausea can bring a smile to your face knowing that it is caused by the baby growing within your stomach. However, how do you know when it's just "morning sickness" and not something more?

Hyperemesis gravidarum or HG is a rare disorder characterized by severe and persistent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

What is Hyperemesis?

While experiencing morning sickness, it is normally in the sign of nausea or occasional vomiting, primarily in the mornings and for the first 3 months of pregnancy. Morning sickness can usually be calmed by crackers or a piece of dry toast. It does not last all day or for very long.

Hyperemesis is far more extreme. Hyperemisis usually begins within the first or second month of pregnancy. Because of this, many pregnant women ignore the signs by thinking this is normal morning sickness. Hyperemesis may last until the birth of the baby or even after birth.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Sever and persistant vomiting or nausea
  • Weight Loss
  • Dizziness or near fainting
  • Decrease in urination
  • Headaches

The cause may be related to:

  • Rise in the hormone, hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)
  • High levels of Estrogen
  • Thyroid imbalance
  • Electrolyte imbalance

Although the real cause of Hyperemesis is unknown, researchers continue to investigate the exact answer. Approxamently 1% of all pregnancies will experieince Hyperemesis.

By being aware of what you are experieincing, you can receive the beneficial treatments available. As always, notify your doctor if any of the symptoms are present. Do not wait until your next OB appointment. The sooner the treatment, the better you will feel and your baby.


Having Hyperemesis can cause dehydration, weight loss, fatigue, and electrolyte imbalances.

I experienced hyperemesis while pregnant with my last daughter. I was pregnant at 37 years of age, lost 26 lbs during pregnancy, obtained hypertension (high blood pressure) and felt like the "bones in my legs hurt." The pain in my legs were to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, hypertension due again to dehydration and weight loss from not being able to keep down anything, and I mean not even water!

Treatments include:

Medications - anti-nausea medications and others such as B-6 are normally prescribed. Be aware of the ide effects of thiese as with all new medications.

IV intravenous hydration - this is used to rehydrate your baody and give nutrients that are needed but not being delivered by food. I was fortunate that my Doctor office offered at home IV treatment twice a week.

**If Hyperemesis is extreme, the person may be hospitalized, restricted to bed rest or if the pregnancy jeopardizes the life of the mother, termination of pregnancy may be required.

However, with treatment, there have been no linked health problems for the baby.


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