Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is an uncommon condition characterized by frequent, persistent, and severe vomiting and nausea during pregnancy. As a result, you may be unable to take in a sufficient amount of food and fluids. It can cause a weight loss of more than 5% of your pre-pregnancy body weight. This can also cause dehydration and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Treatment may require hospitalization.

HG is a more severe form of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP), also called morning sickness. Morning sickness affects anywhere between 70% to 80% of pregnant women. HG is estimated to occur in 0.5%-2% of pregnancies.

There are many theories about the causes of HG, but none have been confirmed. HG is a complex disease that is likely caused by many factors. Some of these include:

  • Vitamin B deficiency
  • Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)—hyperemesis most severe during period of highest hCG levels
  • Hyperthyroidism —may be a result of hCG levels
  • High levels of estrogen
  • A multiple pregnancy
  • Brain nausea-control-center sensitivity to pregnancy changes
The Brain May Be Cause of Nausea
Brainstem and brain
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