‘I’m pregnant, not sick!’
October 15, 2018
You already know that being pregnant for most ladies means a period of nausea and vomiting.
This is commonly in the early stages of pregnancy.
After this, things appear to settle – for most women.
However, some women experience Uncontrollable Vomiting (sickness), usually within the first 3 months of their pregnancy.
This condition is known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
From frequent vomiting, a pregnant woman may end up becoming quite unwell.
This is because severe vomiting leads to severe dehydration and loss of nutritional supplements.
Very quickly, the doctor can spot what is going on if you start showing hyperemesis symptoms.
This is because, during your physical check, they would also request a urine sample to check for Ketones.
When the body breaks down food substances for energy, it begins from the simplest to the most complex to the hardest.
This means the breakdown of – carbohydrates, fat and protein – in that order.
Since the person with hyperemesis is not eating, they have no readily immediately available carbohydrate stores.
Their body quickly latches on to the fat stores and starts to break these down into ketones (i.e. it goes into starvation mode).
Weight loss is another feature of Hyperemesis.
Your doctor can, therefore, tell how severe your hyperemesis is by testing for Ketones in your urine sample.
If the ketones are very high, you may need hospitalisation.
Treatment helps to stop the vomiting and the process of breaking down your fat stores.
This is done using anti-emetic (anti-sickness) medication to help you tolerate food/drink again.
In addition, you are given intravenous fluids to help replace the fluids lost from vomiting.
If untreated, it can affect the baby; but this is rare.
We don’t yet know how to prevent Hyperemesis.
Pregnancy-related vomiting improves by eating small amounts of food frequently during the day and protein snacks at night.
Other helpful measures to take when pregnant are:
We recommend speaking with your healthcare worker if you have any concerns.
Editing by AskAwayHealth Team
All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising Medical Practitioners on various healthcare conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and help promote quality healthcare.
The advice in our material is not meant to replace the management of your specific condition by a qualified healthcare practitioner.
To discuss your condition, please contact a health practitioner or reach us directly
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