Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

When morning sickness lasts all day

Date:
February 26, 2013
Source:
The Research Council of Norway
Summary:
Severe nausea during pregnancy can be fatal, yet very little is known about this condition. Hormonal, genetic and socio-economic factors may all play a role.

Severe nausea during pregnancy can be fatal, yet very little is known about this condition. Hormonal, genetic and socio-economic factors may all play a role.

Almost all women experience some nausea or vomiting when pregnant. Approximately one out of every hundred suffers from acute nausea during pregnancy (hyperemesis gravidarum) and may need hospital treatment to restore hydration, electrolytes and vitamins intravenously.

"At worst, women may die if they go untreated. Many women find that the condition has an adverse effect on their work and family lives," states Åse Vikanes, senior researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and specialist in gynaecology and obstetrics.

Making up for insufficient research activity

Hyperemesis came under the spotlight earlier this winter when Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, was hospitalised because of it.

But research projects on this illness have been few and far between. When Dr Vikanes completed her doctoral degree in 2010 with funding from the Research Council of Norway, her thesis was the first in this field in Norway in 70 years.

"This is a relatively common affliction among women and even so it has been difficult to win understanding for the need for research. Not too many years ago, people sincerely believed that the cause could be the woman's subconscious rejection of the child and the child's father. The attitude in part has been that the pregnant woman needs to pull herself together," Åse Vikanes explains.

The real cause behind severe nausea during pregnancy remains unknown and looks to be complex. But there is little to support the idea that the explanation is psychological.

Both hormones and genetics involved

Several studies have shown that elevated levels of oestrogen and the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), may be involved. The likelihood is that hormonal, genetic and socio-economic factors all play a part.

In her doctoral project, Åse Vikanes demonstrated that there is wide ethnic diversity in the occurrence of hyperemesis. In addition, the risk is higher among women whose mothers suffered from the syndrome. Non-smokers with a BMI that is higher or lower than the norm also show a higher tendency to experience severe nausea during pregnancy, whereas smoking appears to provide protection from the nausea.

The occurrence of hyperemesis also varies with the mother's age and the gender of the fetus, with younger mothers carrying baby girls at the greatest risk.

Nutrition and physical activity part of the picture

Dr Vikanes and her colleagues are now working to identify more risk factors linked to hyperemesis and to examine possible consequences of the condition on mother and child. Recent research has actually shown that the mother's diet during pregnancy may be significant to the health of the child later in life.

Dr Vikanes is also involved in projects examining the impact of nutrition, physical activity and what can be referred to as "candidate genes." Candidate genes are genes that may cause an individual to be predisposed to illness -- in this case, hyperemesis.

"We need to learn more about this so we can help women who suffer from this condition to get better treatment," Dr Vikanes concludes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Research Council of Norway. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Research Council of Norway. "When morning sickness lasts all day." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130226081023.htm>.
The Research Council of Norway. (2013, February 26). When morning sickness lasts all day. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130226081023.htm
The Research Council of Norway. "When morning sickness lasts all day." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130226081023.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins