On Monday morning (September 4, 2017) we woke up to the news that Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton are expecting their third child.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte will have to wait until April 2018 to find out whether they will welcome a baby brother or sister.
As soon as the news about pregnancy broke out, numerous reports also confirmed that Kate Middleton is battling hyperemesis gravidarum once again, just like in her previous pregnancies. What is hyperemesis gravidarum? How serious is it? Keep reading to find out!
What Is Hyperemesis Gravidarum?
Hyperemesis gravidarum is, basically, severe morning sickness. The condition is so rare it affects only about 1% of pregnant women.
While morning sickness is a common symptom of pregnancy that most women experience, hyperemesis gravidarum is its most severe form and it isn’t that common.
The condition is caused by rapidly increasing* serum levels of hormones like HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) and estrogen. It is also important to mention that hyperemesis gravidarum might indicate that a woman is carrying more than one baby.
Of course, this doesn’t mean Kate Middleton is carrying twins. Remember, she had the same condition during her first two pregnancies as well. In some instances, severe morning sickness can be a sign of hydatidiform mole or abnormal tissue growth that isn’t a true pregnancy at all.
Symptoms Of Hyperemesis Gravidarum
The condition is associated with a number of symptoms including:
- Decrease* in urination
- Decreased* concentration
- Dysgeusia (distortion of the sense of taste)
- Hyperolfaction (extreme sensitivity to odors and smells)
- Low blood pressure
- Mood changes
- Ptyalism (excessive salivation)
- Rapid heart rate
- Sleep disturbance
- Weight loss* of 5% or more of pre-pregnancy weight
Am I At Risk Of Developing This Condition?
If we take into consideration that hyperemesis gravidarum is an extreme form of morning sickness, every pregnant woman is at risk of developing it. However, the condition isn’t that common and some factors increase* the odds of having hyperemesis gravidarum. They are:
- Being a first-time mother
- Being overweight/obese
- Carrying more than one baby
- Experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum in previous pregnancy
- Presence of trophoblastic disease which involves abnormal cellular growth in uterus
How Is Hyperemesis Gravidarum Treated?
In most cases, the condition can be so severe to require hospitalization. Treatment in the hospital usually involves intravenous fluids (IVs) to restore hydration, vitamins, nutrients, and electrolytes.
Tube feeding and medications are also standard procedures during hospitalization for severe morning sickness.
Even though there are no known ways to prevent this condition, some preventative measures can be taken to relieve the severity of morning sickness.
These include consumption of small, frequent meals, eating bland foods, waiting until nausea has improved* before taking iron supplements, using a pressure-point wristband, ginger or vitamin B6 as recommended by the doctor.
Morning Sickness Vs. Hyperemesis Gravidarum
It is important to learn the difference between morning sickness and this condition. Here is how to tell them apart:
|Morning Sickness||Hyperemesis Gravidarum|
|Vomiting allows you to keep some food down||Vomiting doesn’t allow you to keep some food down|
|Nausea sometimes accompanied by vomiting||Nausea always accompanied by severe vomiting|
|Vomiting doesn’t cause severe dehydration||Vomiting causes severe dehydration|
|Nausea subsides at 12 weeks or soon after||Nausea doesn’t subside|
Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, and her husband Prince William announced their third pregnancy.
The Duchess suffers from a rare and severe form of morning sickness that already prevented her from participating in some royal engagements. The risk of developing this condition increases* if a woman has already had this symptom in previous pregnancies.
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In-Post Image: globalnews.ca