What causes HG?

Frequently asked questions from mothers.

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What causes HG?

Postby admin » Mar 17, 2004 4:07 pm

The exact cause of HG is still unknown and many theories exist. Too little research is 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 your fault, and you cannot control whether or not you vomit or are nauseated when pregnant. 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 hormones. Emotional distress may worsen vomiting but is not the cause. Many causes of hyperemesis are related to the various hormonal changes of pregnancy to which you may be 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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