Beaumont OB/GYN talks about hypermesis gravidarum - Fox 2 News Headlines

Hypermesis gravidarum: Expert talks about serious form of morning sickness affecting Duchess Kate

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By Deena Centofanti
Fox 2 News

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -- While morning sickness in pregnant women is common, the problem that has caused the Duchess of Cambridge to be hospitalized is not.

The Palace is reporting Kate is in the hospital with a dangerous type of morning sickness in which the vomiting is so severe no food or liquid can be kept down.

"In less than one percent of women, they can have so much throwing up that they lose weight.  They can't tolerate anything orally, and as a result then they become a condition we call it hypermesis gravidarum -- too much throwing up in pregnancy," says Dr. Mark Dykowski with Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.

He has delivered thousands of babies and is an expert in treating hypermesis gravidarum.

To protect mom and baby, women with the condition are usually given intravenous fluids and nutritional supplements.  Only a small fraction of women need to be hospitalized.  There are serious risks such as dehydration, weight loss, fainting and depression.

Imagine feeling extreme nausea 24 hours a day for weeks.  Some women can't handle it.

"When we look at it in its most extreme form, there are women who actually terminate their pregnancy as a result of having such bad hypermesis.  So obviously that's the ultimate risk to a baby, and as long as we can get mom past that time, we can get her gaining weight, getting calories, babies tend to be fine," says Dykowski.

The doctor also says there usually are not long term effects on the baby as long as women can get past the first trimester.  Sometimes hypermesis gravidarum can last eight to twelve weeks.

What causes it?  Doctors don't know, but it might be hormones.

The Palace says Kate will be in the hospital for several days.

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