Because of my wife’s heroic battle against Hyperemesis Gravidarum I am hoping bring awareness to the condition and raise $5000 for education and research.
Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a severe form of morning sickness, with “unrelenting, excessive pregnancy-related nausea and/or vomiting that prevents adequate intake of food and fluids.” Hyperemesis is considered a rare complication of pregnancy but, because nausea and vomiting during pregnancy exist on a continuum, there is often not a good diagnosis between common morning sickness and hyperemesis. Estimates of the percentage of pregnant women afflicted range from 0.3% to 2.0%
As compared to morning sickness, Hyperemesis Gravidarum tends to begin somewhat earlier in the pregnancy and last significantly longer. While most women will experience near-complete relief of morning sickness symptoms near the beginning of their second trimester, some sufferers of HG will experience severe symptoms until they give birth to their baby, and sometimes even after giving birth.
The cause of HG is unknown. The leading theories state that it is an adverse reaction to the hormonal changes of pregnancy. In particular, Hyperemesis Gravidarum may be due to raised levels of beta HCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin) as it is more common in multiple pregnancies and in gestational trophoblastic disease. This theory would also explain why hyperemesis gravidarum is most frequently encountered in first trimester (often around 8 – 12 weeks of gestation), as HCG levels are highest at that time and decline afterward. It is thought that estrogen produces nausea and regurgitation of stomach acids in some women. A recent study gives preliminary evidence that there may be a genetic component.
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