Morning sickness is almost universal during pregnancy. Nearly every woman feels queazy at some point during the first trimester, and feels like throwing up when they are confronted with their own triggers, usually certain smells. Just about every pregnant woman throws up at least once during their pregnancy. And vomiting on a daily basis is not at all unusual. But these normal and usual symptoms of pregnancy nausea cannot be compared to what you feel like if you have hyperemesis gravidarum. When you have hyperemesis gravidarum, you are sick all the time. Simply put, hyperemesis gravidarum is a very extreme form of pregnancy nausea that prevents the adequate intake of food and drink.
Women who suffer from this condition, which literally means "extreme vomiting in pregnancy", can't keep down hardly any food and fluids, and vomit all the time. It is not uncommon for these women to have to be hospitalized due to dehydration. Not long ago, there was a story in the news where a woman with hyperemesis gravidarum opted to have an abortion. Her pregnancy was planned and very wanted, but she simply could not cope with the constant vomiting any more. This is a condition that is truly impossible to imagine for anyone who has not been there themselves. What makes things worse is that the cause of hyperemesis gravidarum is unknown. What is clear, is that the outcome can be catastrophic without treatment. Loss of a large amount of weight, dehydration resulting in constipation and ketosis, changes in the stomach flora, and nutritional imbalanced would quickly result if adequate treatment is not received.
Emotionally, the impact of hyperemesis gravidarum can be severe too. It can cause hallucinations, problems in carrying out simple day-to-day activities, and extreme amounts of stress. Vomiting in the first trimester is normal, but not being able to eat or drink anything is not. If you suspect you are suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum (when you can't keep down anything you eat or drink), please contact your doctor right away. Treatment, while unpleasant, is available. Bed rest and IV rehydration keep you and your baby safe. Have any of you had hyperemesis gravidarum, or are you currently struggling with this extreme form of pregnancy sickness? Please share your stories!