What is Hy­per­eme­sis Gravi­darum?

Friday - - Health -

yper­eme­sis gravi­darum (HG) is se­vere nau­sea and vom­it­ing dur­ing preg­nancy. Women with this con­di­tion can’t keep enough food and fluid down to stay healthy. The re­sult is de­hy­dra­tion, weight loss, and risks to their un­born ba­bies. HG can be dif­fi­cult to man­age, but the sooner you’re di­ag­nosed, the sooner you can be­gin treat­ment – usu­ally a hos­pi­tal stay and in­tra­venous flu­ids.

“Women who are likely to de­velop HG are those ex­pect­ing twins or triplets and 50 per cent of the cases could be due to hered­i­tary fac­tors or ge­netic pre­dis­po­si­tion,” says Dr Maria Nikolopoulou, Ob­stet­rics/Gy­nae­col­ogy Spe­cial­ist at AMC Clinic, Dubai Health­care City. She treats one to two women suf­fer­ing from HG per month.

The symp­toms usu­ally ap­pear be­tween four and six weeks of preg­nancy and may peak around nine to 13 weeks. Dr Nikolopoulou says the ex­act cause of HG re­mains un­known, but it is be­lieved to be a re­sult of a com­bi­na­tion of fac­tors, in­clud­ing ge­net­ics, body chem­istry, and over­all health.

“One of the fac­tors is an ad­verse re­ac­tion to the hor­monal changes dur­ing preg­nancy, for in­stance in­creased lev­els of beta hu­man chori­onic go­nadotropin (hCG). This would ex­plain why most women ex­pe­ri­ence HG in the first trimester as hCG lev­els are high­est dur­ing this phase,” she ex­plains.

“HG has also been linked to an in­crease in lev­els of oe­stro­gens, which de­creases in­testi­nal motil­ity and gas­tric emp­ty­ing lead­ing to nau­sea/vom­it­ing.

“Also women who are prone to travel sick­ness, mi­graines or have a pre-ex­ist­ing liver dis­ease are pre­dis­posed to de­velop the con­di­tion.”

Dry, bland food and oral re­hy­dra­tion are first-line treat­ments. Acu­pres­sure of­ten works. “The pres­sure point to re­duce nau­sea is lo­cated at the mid­dle of the in­ner wrist, three fin­ger lengths away from the crease of the wrist, and be­tween the two ten­dons,” says Dr Nikolopoulou. “Lo­cate and press firmly, one wrist at a time, for three min­utes.”

In ex­treme cases pa­tients are hos­pi­talised and put on an in­tra­venous drip to re­store hy­dra­tion, elec­trolytes, vi­ta­mins, and nu­tri­ents. There is no known preven­tion of HD.

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