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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hyperemesis: danger to pregnant women

Hyperemesis. It sounds like an evil character in a Harry Potter book. Unfortunately it's not ficticious but something very real and very dangerous. If you have an adult daughter or grand daughter who is pregnant, there is a 3% chance that she may be suffering from this horrific condition. Hyperemesis is a very rare condition/disease that befalls 1 to 3% of pregnant women. Doctors frequently misdiagnose it as acute morning sickness. It's not! Symptoms include severe nausea and unrelenting vomiting from morning to night. The sufferer is unable to hold down any food or fluids---not even water. This results in loss of body weight, headaches, dizziness, weakness, depression and life threatening dehydration. Hyperemesis should be treated immediately as a medical emergency. Hospitalization and IV rehydration are required. After release from the hospital, patients often require at home IV care for continuous rehydration.

Our family is currently experiencing hyperemesis first hand. Our 34 year old pregnant daughter is suffering from hyperemesis. She has been bedridden for 4 months and has been in the hospital three times. We nearly lost her. Nothing seemed to stop the vomiting. She was dangerously dehydrated. Doctors tried all sorts of meds and nothing worked for her. She had severe reactions to some of the medication which made the situation even worse. Finally one doctor suggested she try Benadryl. Over the counter, inexpensive Benadryl! And it worked! Every day she takes Benadryl along with a prescription drug called Zofran. After 4 months of absolute misery, she is able to eat and drink without vomiting. The only drawback is that the Benadryl makes her extrememly drowsy. So she is functioning in very slow motion. But we are grateful that she can get out of bed. She has gained some weight and seems to be getting some strength back. Thankfully, tests reveal that her baby is doing well. If you know of a young pregnant woman who is experiencing the symptoms of hyperemesis, take her to a doctor or hospital immediately. Not only is hyperemesis a dangerous conditon but it disrupts one's daily activities, career and even relationships. Hyperemesis can last throughout the entire pregnancy or for just a few months. There does not seem to be any fast and sure cure. Luckily for us, Benadryl was the answer. Sphere: Related Content


Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks for warning us.

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