Morning Sickness

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“Morning sickness” is a term that is used to refer to the nausea and vomiting that is present in most pregnant women.

A similar condition may be observed in some women undergoing hormone replacement therapy.

Morning sickness usually affects a woman during the early hours of the morning; the situation gets better as the day progresses.It is usually the first sign of pregnancy and begins around the sixth week and for most cases stops around the twelfth week.

The nausea is usually mild or it may cause vomiting. In severe cases, complications such as dehydration, alkalosis, hypokalemia or alkalosis occurs, and this condition is termed "hyperemesisgravidarum".

Research has revealed that morning sickness is a kind of defense mechanism that protects the fetus from the toxins ingested by the mother. Fetal vulnerability to toxins is the highest during third month and it is precisely during this time that morning sickness is at its severest!

There are reports that claim that women who do not suffer from morning sickness are most likely to miscarry.

Differential diagnosis

1. Pregnancy - Nausea and vomiting is closely associated with most pregnancies.

2. Gastrointestinal diseases - GI diseases involving infections obstructions, inflammations or food poisoning is likely to present with nausea and vomiting.

3. Uremia - Uremia is excess of uric acid in blood; people with this condition sometimes experience vomiting and nausea.

4. Hypercalcemia - The gastrointestinal manifestation of this condition involves nausea vomiting and even constipation.

5. Carbon monoxide poisoning can result in nausea and vomiting.

6. Toxic ingestions can also result in symptoms associated with morning sickness.

7. Middle ear diseases, such as labyrinthitis or vertigo could result in nausea or vomitting.

8. Diseases of the central nervous system such as brain tumor, meningitis or hemorrhage could result in nausea or vomiting.


1) Who treats morning sickness?

If you suffer from morning sickness consult your gynecologist or your family physician.

2) What are the causes of morning sickness?

Morning sickness can result from –

An increase in estrogen hormone level

Low blood sugar

Increase in progesterone levels

Increase in progesterone levels

Increase in sensitivity to triggers such as odors or food

3) How can I control morning sickness?

The following are some of the methods by which morning sickness can be controlled-

Smell freshly cut lemons

Avoid an empty stomach

Eat small meals

Try taking ginger tea or ginger ale

Drink liquids about 30 min after eating solid foods

Sucking ice cubes made of water or fruit juice

Suck on a lollipop

4) Are there medicines to counter morning sickness?

Usually no medicine is required unless the person is dehydrated or mal nourished. In severe cases anti-nausea medications may be prescribed.

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