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Hyperemesis -- ninshin oso

Japan With Kids - Forums: Health Topics: Pregnancy/Birth/Childrearing: Hyperemesis -- ninshin oso
By Natasha on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 - 8:12 am:

Some women have experienced a total lack of sympathy from their OB regarding a valid medical condition called Hyperemesis, a sort of super exaggerated morning sickness. Aside from the usual advice of switching doctors, this is one thing that you can possibly handle without professional help. There is a fair bit about it on the internet.

A quick description of the symptoms: while many women suffer nausea and the occasional vomiting or dry heaves, women with hyperemesis may actually be vomiting everything they swallow including water (in some cases upwards of 20 times a day). Many women develop an acute sense of smell during pregancy, but some women with hyperemesis may become so sensitive to smells that it sets them off vomiting again. In extreme cases of weight loss women have been hospitalized and put on a drip.

The good news is that as a rule it ends after the first trimester. After sifting through material written on the internet, the following advice seems to stand out. Eat some dry toast or saltine crackers while laying down. Standing up sets the cycle off again. Butter, jam, etc. will also get you going again. Also contact with friends seems to help and ginger powder capsules (swallowed while in prone position -- drink using a straw). It is not uncommon for women to lose weight during the first tri-mester of a pregnancy, but women suffering hyperemesis may lose too much, in particular fluids.

In Japan, if you are hospitalized for hyperemesis it is classed as a medical complication of your pregnancy and it is covered by NHI.

By Marie Kawachi on Saturday, June 5, 2004 - 3:55 pm:

Hi Natasha,

You are very right about hyperemesis, I was 12 weeks ahead of my pregnancy when I was hospitalized for extreme weight loss, nausea and vomiting and I had to put on a drip for 24 hours for 2 days. My doctor told me as well at least I have to stay in the hospital for 10 days. But after 5 days of being there my doctor told me that my baby died inside and they can't give me any explanation. I was really so disappointed since we really tried our best to save our baby. Any thoughts or ideas what could have happen would be appreciated or anybody with the same experience as mine can share some opinion.

By Bethan Hutton on Monday, June 7, 2004 - 10:48 am:

Hi Marie,

Very sorry to hear about the loss of your baby. Has this just happened? And has the hospital asked you to go back for any more check-ups or blood tests?

One condition that can cause both extreme nausea and miscarriage is molar pregnancy - this is when something goes wrong genetically at conception, and the placenta develops out of control, producing pregnancy hormones at levels hundreds of times higher than normal. This can lead to exaggerated pregnancy symptoms, including extreme nausea.

Most commonly, a molar pregnancy is "complete", which means that the embryo never develops beyond the first few cells, and if you have an ultrasound scan all you can see is lots of dots and random shapes, which is the abnormal placenta. Sometimes, you get a "partial" molar pregnancy, in which the embryo does start to develop, but the placenta also develops abnormally and in the end you are certain to lose the baby too.

If the hospital found anything unusual when you lost the baby which could indicate that you had a molar/partial molar pregnancy, they should be getting you back for blood or urine tests to check that your hormone levels are returning to normal, because one possible complication of molar pregnancy is that some cells from the placenta can remain in your uterus after a miscarriage or D&C, and they can start growing back, so you need another D&C to get rid of them. They also advise you not to try to get pregnant again for at least a year to make sure that it does not recur.

In very rare cases the cells can also spread around the body and turn into a very fast-growing (but almost 100% curable with mild chemotherapy) form of cancer in the lungs, brain etc.

The doctors can tell if the cells are growing back or spreading by monitoring the levels of pregnancy hormones in your blood - normally after losing a baby, the hormones disappear from your body very fast, but if you are still producing pregnancy hormones (eg enough to test positive in a home pregnancy testing kit) a few weeks later, it may mean that the abnormal cells are growing back.

About 1 in 1,000 pregnancies is a molar or partial molar pregnancy, so it is rare, but a possibility. No one seems very certain about what causes molar pregnancy, but it is more common in some countries and ethnic groups (including Japan). If you look up "molar pregnancy" on Google, you will find a lot of useful information, if you want to find out more.

Most likely you were just very unlucky that you had both hyperemesis and lost the baby for unrelated reasons. Miscarriage is much more common than most people think.

Good luck with your recovery, and with trying again when you feel ready.

By Marie Kawachi on Monday, June 7, 2004 - 12:00 pm:

Hi Bethan,

Thank you for the information, Yes, I just got out from the Hospital last June 4, 2004. And the doctors never say anything that I have to go back for more blood tests and urine test and whatsoever. In fact, the doctor told my husband that we can try again after my 3rd month menstrual cycle which ofcourse I didn't buy it. I will try your suggestion to blood and urine test and for another D&C.
Actually what happened was the night before I was awaken by a nurse to listen to the baby's heartbeat and I heard it myself the baby was doing good and the next day around 3pm. they check me again and the doctor all of of the sudden said that she couldn't see or hear any heart beat and the baby died. It's just that I really had a bad experience with that hospital that I am so disappointed. Thank you so much for the information.


By Bethan Hutton on Monday, June 7, 2004 - 2:17 pm:

Hi Marie,

It sounds like your hospital is just not very good at giving you information or answering questions - sadly a lot of Japanese hospitals and doctors can be like that.

If you had a D&C, then presumably the hospital did check what they removed, and they would have asked you to come back if there was anything unusual, so you probably don't need to worry about it being a molar pregnancy.

But if you are concerned, you could do a home pregnancy test in a couple of weeks, or go back to the hospital and ask for one, particularly if your menstrual cycle does not return to normal.

Unfortunately a lot of babies do die in early pregnancy, and it is not always easy to work out why. I hope your experience has not put you off trying again in due course, but maybe you should look around and find a more sympathetic, communicative doctor for next time...

All the best,


By Caroline on Monday, June 7, 2004 - 2:32 pm:

Dear Marie,

So sorry to hear of your loss... I went through a similar experience in 2000 when I lost my baby at 14 weeks. I too had just had a check-up and heard my baby's heartbeat. Three days later I was bleeding and was told the baby had died inside of me. I had a D&C and was told not to try getting pregnant again for another 6 months. I was devastated. There was no apparent reason why the baby should have died, and I decided against doing further tests. I did have severe nausea also, but I've had that when I carried my two other kids (one before this and one a year after), so I don't think there was any relation.
The hospital staff totally ignored my feelings and focused on my medical condition exclusively. I sure was happy that my husband could take a couple of days off from work to help me with the ordeal.


By Marie Kawachi on Monday, June 7, 2004 - 3:14 pm:

Dear Caroline,

Thank you for sharing your expeience with me. You are right that hospital staff here totally ignore our feelings and they just do what they have to do. I had severe nausea too and my I really lost so much weight. Same here I was happy for my whole family was there during the ordeal even my in laws were here to help me out and my husband was there to help me out all the way.

Thank you.


By Amanda Jones on Monday, June 6, 2005 - 9:06 pm:


I am so sorry for your loss. I suffered with hyperemesis during both of my pregnancies but luckily my children were born healthy. During my first pregnancy my OB was very unsympathetic and I ended up changing doctors in my seventh month. After being hospitalized for severe dehydration and losing a lot of weight I was given a medication called Zofran. It was originally designed for people having chemo therapy and it is safe to take when pregnant. It completely cured my nausea and I also took it during my second pregnancy. I had both of my kids in the US and I am not sure if this medication is available or prescribed during pregnancy here but I thought it might be useful for you to have the name and know that there is something that can help if you experience the same problem with nausea and vomiting again.


By Marie Kawachi on Tuesday, June 7, 2005 - 5:32 pm:

Dear Amanda,

Thank you for the information and sharing me your experience. I didn't have any problem with my first pregnancy and my daughter will be 5years old this coming June 15. It' just on my second pregnancy and I didn't really know what to do that time and I was so thankful to know this site, I was able to get some information which helped me so much.

Now, I am 30weeks pregnant and doing great but ofcourse I was hospitalized for almost 2 months just for us to keep the Baby and thank you for I met a doctor that really took care of my case. Thanks again Amanda.


By Teresa Williams-Leon on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 4:44 am:

Dear All:

Thank you for sharing your experiences. I seem to learn so much more from each of you than from my doctors (for the most part) who are quite insensitive and unsympathetic. Many of them often minimize my concerns (and treat me as if I'm overeacting). I've had several miscarriages. In 2003, I lost my baby at 11 weeks. I have never been given any explanations for my miscarriages (other than "advanced maternal age.") So, reading all of your posts offers me both enlightenment and inspiration. Thank you so much.

Currently, I am 17 weeks pregnant. I have been a little on edge throughout my pregnancy, worried about having another miscarriage. Also, when I was 13 weeks pregnant (last month), I broke out into a miserable rash all over my body, with chills, a slight fever, excessive vomiting, etc. I am concerned about this, but the doctors keep telling me, "Stop worrying!" I wish they could offer me explanations, possibilities, and options in an honest, straightforward, and reasonable way. I rely on their expertise. (I'm glad to find this message board. I'm getting a lot of great information from all of you).

I am now in my 2nd trimester. I am not nauseous all the time (and thank goodness, the rash has not come back!), but I get nauseous quite a bit. I am quite sensitive to both smell and sight. I don't feel like eating at all (and can only eat small amounts at a time, even if I am hungry --UNLESS it's good Japanese food). I gained a lot of weight (4kg) during the first 6 weeks of my pregnancy because I had a hearty appetite then, but I have lost about 3 kg. since then. I have been taking a prenatal vitamin everyday but worry that I am not offering my baby all of the necessary nutrients.

Again, I appreciate all of your wisdom, personal stories, and inspiration. Good luck to each of you!


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