Gallstones, Vomiting & Pregnancy. Part 2

When a pregnant woman experiences nausea and vomiting, gallbladder disease must be considered. However, other causes must be entertained as well. Keep in mind that some nausea and vomiting occurs in over half of all pregnancies. But obviously, a pregnant woman who vomits for eight months is not the typical case.

An entity known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) occurs in about one in 300 pregnancies. In this condition, nausea and vomiting are severe and intractable, requiring hospitalization and IV fluids to prevent or treat dehydration. HG usually begins in the first trimester, and usually disappears by the end of the second trimester. It occurs most commonly in older women during their first pregnancy and is also associated with obesity. The cause is unknown.

Gastroparesis is also a relatively common cause of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. In this condition, the stomach fails to contract and empty properly after a meal. Again, high levels of hormones may be implicated. Other less common conditions that can lead to nausea and vomiting in pregnancy include hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland), pancreatitis (inflammation in the pancreas) and hepatitis (inflammation of the liver).

I would expect that in your friend’s case, given that her symptoms have been present for almost the entire pregnancy, a proper workup was done to find the cause. If not, she should discuss this with her doctor. Often no cause is found, and these cases are usually attributed to HG. The key is to rule out other causes, such as gallstones, for which a therapy is available.

In case you are having trouble getting pregnant, find ways to boost odds of having a child and discovering facts about when to have intercourse, ovulation, menstrual cycles and also signs of pregnancy.


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