Kate's condition more than "morning sickness"

December 3, 2012 3:38:20 PM PST
The Duchess of Cambridge has been a trendsetter, and in announcing her pregnancy, is raising awarness for a serious medical condition

Hyperemesis gravidarum, or HG, is more than queasiness, and happens to about 2 per cent of pregnant women.

It usually appears about 5 to 7 weeks into the pregnancy, and can last up to delivery, though most of the time, the symptoms wane by 16 to 20 weeks in.

The severe nausea and vomiting can lead to excessive weight loss, dehydration, and abnormal levels of potassium or sodium.

At first, doctors usually recommend avoiding foods or smells which trigger the nausea. A modified diet, with smaller, more frequent meals, and more bland foods, such as bread, rice, and apples, is recommended.

Ginger and Vitamin B6 can sometimes reduce the vomiting, along with antihistamines like doxylamine.

Women can be admitted to the hospital when they can't keep their fluid levels up. There, they will receive I-V fluids and anti-nausea medications like those given to chemotherapy patients.

No one knows what causes HG, but it occurs more in women expecting twins, those who have had nausea with birth control pills, or those women with a history of acid reflux.

The Hyperemesis Education and Research Foundation (HER) has been working to raise awareness of HG, and to get lawmakers and the medical community to take HG serious and find better treatments. For more informantion, log onto: www.helpher.org.


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