Are you expecting a baby? Are you also experiencing excessive morning sickness? If your nodding states a yes, you are probably suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum. It is a medical condition during pregnancy in which a woman goes through extreme nausea and vomiting. Though it is a rare condition and occurs only in approximately five per cent of pregnancies, it can be debilitating. This is because morning sickness like this can cause severe dehydration and inadequate nutrition in babies making them susceptible to autism, says a new study published in the American Journal of Perinatology.

Causes of severe morning sickness (Hyperemesis gravidarum)

Morning sickness during pregnancy happens due to the secretion of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). It is produced by the placenta through which your baby remains connected to you for the supply of all the essential nutrients. In some women, this hormone is secreted at a high level leading to problems like severe nausea and vomiting.

Risk factors for severe morning sickness 

If you have a family history of hyperemesis gravidarum, you are more likely to suffer from the same problem. Also, being pregnant with twins or more than one baby, being obese, or being a first-time mother, make you susceptible to the problem.

Diagnosis and line of treatment

First and foremost, your doctor will ask you questions about yours and your family’s medical history. Then, he will look for symptoms like a fast pulse or low blood pressure. He may also perform a blood and urine test to understand the level of dehydration. In some cases, an ultrasound may also be created.

As far as the treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum is concerned, you may be firstly given vitamin B-6 or ginger, as these are associated with the prevention of nausea. You may also be asked to drink plenty of fluid and eat dry foods frequently. In serious cases, medications like anti-nausea drugs will be given.