You may not know the term, but if you've ever been pregnant, you might have experienced it. It's called Hyperemesis, and it affects one out of 100 pregnancies.
Hyperemesis is defined as extreme persistent nausea and vomiting, usually during the first trimester of pregnancy. Lots of women have morning sickness, but the key word in Hyperemesis is extreme.
"It got to the point where it kept escalating and I wasn't even able to drink any water, suck on hard candy, anything I ate or drank, I vomited," says Alisha Borelli, Hyperemesis patient.
"She was markedly dehydrated when she came to the emergency room. She required intravenous fluids and some nutritional supplements. It can be deadly. There have been reports of maternal deaths and fetal deaths because of the severe electrolyte abnormalities," says Dr. Christy Dibble, gastroenterologist.
So, up until recently, Alisha's doctor had her on IV medications at home to help control her symptoms and keep her nourished. Doctors can also recommend a Hyperemesis diet that may help pregnant patients keep their food down.
So, the message here is if you are pregnant and struggling with morning sickness, your doctor needs to know. That's why pre-natal care is so important. Because if routine morning sickness moves into Hyperemesis, you may need special attention to protect you and the baby.