Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is an uncommon condition characterized by frequent, persistent, and severe vomiting and nausea during pregnancy. As a result, you may be unable to take in a sufficient amount of food and fluids. It can cause a weight loss of more than 5% of your pre-pregnancy body weight. This can also cause dehydration and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Treatment may require hospitalization.
HG is a more severe form of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP), also called morning sickness. Morning sickness affects anywhere between 50% to 90% of pregnant women. HG is estimated to occur in 0.5%-2% of pregnancies.
There are many theories about the causes of HG, but none have been confirmed. HG is a complex disease that is likely caused by many factors. Some of these include:
- Vitamin B deficiency
- Human chorionic gonadotropin (hyperemesis most severe during period of highest HCG levels)
- Hyperthyroidism (may be a result of high chorionic gonadotropin levels)
- Endocrine imbalances (high levels of estrogen)
- A multiple pregnancy (twins or more)
- Brain nausea-control-center sensitivity to pregnancy changes
The Brain May Be Cause of Nausea
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Last reviewedSeptember 2012by Andrea Chisholm
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.