Hyperemesis gravidarum history and symptoms

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

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Symptoms

When HG is severe and/or inadequately treated, it may result in:

  • Altered sense of taste
  • Dehydration and ketosis
  • Difficulty with daily activities
  • Food leaving the stomach more slowly
  • Loss of 5% or more of pre-pregnancy body weight
  • Metabolic imbalances
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Physical and emotional stress of pregnancy on the body
  • Rapidly changing hormone levels during pregnancy
  • Sensitivity of the brain to motion
  • Stomach contents moving back up from the stomach

Some women with HG lose as much as 20% of their body weight. Many sufferers of HG are extremely sensitive to odors in their environment; certain smells may exacerbate symptoms. This is known as hyperolfaction. Ptyalism, or hypersalivation, is another symptom experienced by some, but not all, women suffering from HG.

As compared to morning sickness, HG tends to begin somewhat earlier in the pregnancy and last significantly longer. While most women will experience near-complete relief of morning sickness symptoms near the beginning of their second trimester, some sufferers of HG will experience severe symptoms until they birth their baby, and sometimes after birthing. A chart comparing morning sickness to HG can be found.

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