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Hyperemesis gravidarum is a situation in which the pregnant woman vomits several times throughout the day, for weeks, which can cause discomfort and end up compromising the nutritional status of the woman, generating symptoms such as dry mouth, increased heart rate and weight loss above 5% of initial body weight.
In milder cases, treatment can be done at home with changes in diet and use of antacids, for example, in more severe cases, it may be necessary to stay in the hospital to restore the fluid imbalance in the body and make medicine directly into the vein.
Symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum
In most cases, a woman suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum cannot relieve the urge to vomit using the most common natural remedies, such as lemon popsicle or ginger tea. In addition, other signs and symptoms may appear, such as:
- Difficulty eating or drinking without vomiting immediately;
- Loss of more than 5% of body weight;
- Dry mouth and decreased urine;
- Excessive fatigue;
- Tongue covered by a white layer;
- Acid breath, similar to alcohol;
- Increased heart rate and decreased blood pressure.
However, even if these signs and symptoms do not exist, but nausea and vomiting are making it difficult to carry out daily activities, it is very important to consult the obstetrician to assess the situation and identify if it is a case of hyperemesis gravidarum, initiating appropriate treatment.
Is excessive vomiting harmful to the baby?
In general, there are no consequences of excessive vomiting for the baby, but although they are rare, some situations can occur, such as the baby being born with low weight, having a premature birth or developing a low IQ. However, these complications only occur in cases where hyperemesis is very severe or when treatment is not initiated or performed correctly.
Hyperemesis gravidarum mainly happens due to the hormonal and emotional changes that happen during pregnancy. However, hyperemesis can also occur due to cytokines circulating in maternal blood, vitamin B6 deficiency, allergic or gastrointestinal reaction.
It is important that the cause of hyperemesis gravidarum is identified, so that the doctor can indicate the most appropriate treatment to combat the cause and, consequently, relieve the symptoms.
How the treatment is done
In milder cases where there is no marked weight loss or risk to the he alth of the mother or baby, treatment can be done with rest and good hydration. A nutritionist can advise nutritional treatment, correcting acid-base and electrolyte disturbances in the body.
Some home strategies that can help fight morning sickness and vomiting are:
- Eat 1 s altine cracker right after waking up, before getting out of bed;
- Take small sips of ice water several times a day, especially when you feel sick;
- Suck on lemon popsicles after meals;
- Avoid strong smells such as perfumes and food preparation.
However, in the most severe cases, it is possible that the pregnant woman does not feel any improvement after adopting these strategies, and it is necessary to consult the obstetrician again to start using a medicine for motion sickness, such as Prochlorperazine or Metoclopramide.If the pregnant woman still suffers from hyperemesis gravidarum and is losing a lot of weight, the doctor may advise staying in the hospital until the symptoms improve.