What causes HG?

Frequently asked questions by family and friends of HG sufferers.

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What causes HG?

Postby admin » May 27, 2004 12:08 am

The exact cause of HG is still unknown and many theories exist. It is, however, a real disease. Too little research has been done, and that which is done is often inconclusive or only identifies commonality among half of research participants. What is known is that hormonal changes, dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, and the overall stress on the body's chemistry and functioning contribute to nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.

The cause is likely due to several factors that may differ for each woman. Some women may be more likely to vomit due to genetics. It is not a woman's fault, and she cannot control whether or not she vomits when pregnant, nor can she control the severity of her nausea. Vomiting is almost always stimulated by a place in the brain known as the vomiting center. It may also be stimulated by changes in the stomach and intestines caused by pregnancy. Emotional distress may worsen vomiting but is not the cause. Many causes of hyperemesis are related to various hormonal changes of pregnancy to which some women are more sensitive. Some known causes include the following:

Altered sense of taste
Sensitivity of the brain to motion
Food leaving the stomach more slowly
Increased sense of smell
Insufficient fluids or nutrition
Rapidly changing hormone levels during pregnancy
Stomach contents moving back up from the stomach
Physical and emotional stress of pregnancy on the body
Vitamin deficiencies
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