Hyperemesis Gravidarum

When there is severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy accompanied by weightloss and electrolyte imbalance it is called “ Hyperemesis Gravidarum”. The exact reasons of it are not completely known but a rise in hormone levels are believed to cause it.

Hyperemesis gravidarum is more common in

  • first-time mothers,
  • twin or multiple pregnancies
  • women who have had this condition in previous pregnancies


The symptoms of this condition may include:

  • persistent vomiting
  • dehydration and malnutrition
  • food aversions
  • inability to keep any food down
  • confusion, headache, fainting
  • very high ketone levels in the body
  • electrolyte disturbances
  • weight loss of more than 5% of body weight
  • low blood pressure


Hyperemesis gravidarum usually does not appear to have an adverse effect on the outcome of pregnancy or the baby’s health as long as the mother can keep hydrated. If you are suspecting yourself to be experiencing it, you need to check with your doctor as soon as possible so that it is managed properly.

In some cases it is so severe that hospitalization might be needed.

In any case, if you have severe morning sickness, your doctor should rule out other potentially serious causes. These could include gastrointestinal disorders, genitourinary tract disorders such as kidney stones, certain metabolic disorders, neurological disorders such as migraine headaches or tumours, or drug toxicities. You may require an ultrasound to help rule out disorders of the gallbladder, liver, or kidney.

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