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Severe morning sickness affects mom, baby

Posted at 12:14 AM, Sep 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-05 00:14:55-04

(CNN) - When Kensington Palace announced that the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, is pregnant with her third child, it was also revealed that, once again, the duchess is suffering from acute morning sickness, a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum.

During a previous pregnancy, she was hospitalized because of the condition. It’s a serious condition that can impact the health of both mother and baby.

Many pregnant women experience the nausea and vomiting of morning sickness, which usually peaks around week nine and disappears by week 18.  But with expecting moms with hyperemesis gravidarum, known as HG, the nausea and vomiting doesn’t go away.

HG can cause electrolyte disturbances because the mother can’t keep food or liquids down, Nutritional deficiencies and metabolic imbalances can cause headaches, extreme fatigue and confusion, so much that sufferers have difficulty with their daily activities.

In severe cases, HG can lead to weight loss greater than 5 percent of pre-pregnancy body weight, and sometimes 10 percent. In addition to the physical problems, HG can cause secondary anxiety and depression.

Mild cases of HG can be treated with rest, antacids and dietary changes. But severe cases can require hospitalization so the mother can receive intravenous fluid and nutrition.

The Hyperemesis Education and Research Foundation says the condition can have a profound effect on quality of life and result in financial disruptions due to medical care and lost work hours.

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