A Nutritional take on Hyperemesis gravidarum
What is Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG)? HG is an extreme form of morning sickness and is the most common cause of hospital admissions during the first trimester. Women with HG also have higher levels of anxiety and stress. In this article we discuss HG hyperemesis gravidarum and nutrition.
Some common characteristics of HG includes dehydration, severe nausea and vomiting, electrolyte imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, weight loss, increased thirst, metabolic imbalances and abnormal liver function tests.
There are a few factors which worsen HG which includes increased hCG levels, elevation of oestrogen in pregnancy, stress, anxiety, depression, a family history and hyperthyroidism.
Before we dive deep into some great dietary management techniques for HG Hyperemesis Gravidarum and Nutrition lets talk the basics.
- First up avoid offensive smelling foods and those that make you nauseous.
- It’s also best to eat cold food due to the decreased smell and taste.
- It’s also great to consume electrolyte containing drinks such as hydralyte or coconut water.
- Eat small meals or snacks every 2-3 hours, keep hydrated and only drink small amounts continuously away from meals.
- Changes of blood sugar levels and feelings of fullness increases nausea and vomiting. Therefore aim to stay in bed until you have consumed a dry snack, bread, crackers etc. Have your go to snack next to your bed the night before as this will decrease the chances of feeling dizzy upon standing which increases nausea and vomiting.
- Aim to eat protein and omega 3 sources when you can. Protein and omega 3’s assist with stabilising blood sugar levels as unstable blood sugar levels cause an increase of nausea, vomiting, anxiety and irritability. Some great sources (only eat what you can tolerate) includes chicken, meat, nuts, seeds, legumes, lentils, tofu and fish (no more than two times weekly allowed during pregnancy).
The biggest beneficial impact i have seen for the reduction of HG symptoms is through gentle liver detoxification.
HcG and oestrogen are one of many causative factors for HG and both are detoxified through the liver and excreted through the bowels. It is best to avoid synthetic fragrances, any chemicals in your household (think skincare, makeup, soaps, washing detergents) along with sugar and packaged food. Along with oestrogen and hCG these also need to be detoxified in the liver which can put a burden on the liver and worsen vomiting and nausea.
We can also gently detoxify the liver which will decrease the nausea and vomiting. Drinking dandelion root tea two-three times daily, consuming cruciferous vegetables if they can be tolerated: broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower and brussel sprouts along with citrus foods all contain active constituents which assist in liver detoxification.
In my clinic we also work with the use of herbal medicine (which are safe during pregnancy) that assist in up regulating liver detoxification which has great results for clients with HG.
Some other great changes you can include are eating slowly, brushing your teeth regularly and reducing your stress and anxiety as this is increases HG symptoms.
Wishing you all the best in your pregnancy journey and remember to be kind to yourself, that this too shall pass and that you are doing the best you can everyday.
In love and light, Brooke Klower
Want more health tips? follow @balancedbeings_
Balanced Beings Collective | Naturopath & Nutritionist BHSc
If you would like to read more about my (Britt’s) coping and management of HG click here.
Dec 14, 2020