I wasn’t always this obsessed with figuring out the why behind Hyperemesis Gravidarum. It took me a long time just to figure out that what I had when I was pregnant even had a name and was “a real thing”. And then for awhile, I bought all the lies: that it meant the baby was healthier, that the baby could get everything it needed from me, even if I wasn’t eating or I was eating junk food and, the biggest one, that there’s nothing I could do about it.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s no simple answer for most people. But as science has advanced (especially since I took genetics in college) we have a better understanding of genetics. We no longer are doomed by our genes, but can effect change on our genes. We can turn genes on and off. So even if there is a genetic component to HG, that doesn’t mean we can’t have an affect on them through our nutrition and exposure to our environment.
I’ll give you an example from my own life. When I was 9 years old, I developed asthma. I started coughing and wheezing and no one could figure out why, so they took me to the ER. They decided I had asthma and was allergic to wheat dust. And I lived in Kansas on a wheat farm. So, I took a lot of medicine. I never left the house without an inhaler. I wore a mask during wheat harvest and I coped. I wasn’t severe. It went up and down with the seasons and exposure, but I was fine. I was manageable. I moved away to college and it was the same thing. Up and down, don’t leave the house without an inhaler. I was an asthmatic and I believed I always would be.
All throughout my pregnancies and moving all around the country, I kept that albuterol inhaler nearby. It wasn’t until right before I got pregnant for the fifth time, that I had a paradigm shift. Or the start of one. I made an appointment with a new doctor as we had just moved to the area. She asked me if I’d be willing to change my diet. I thought that was weird, because I had asthma. Why would I need to change my diet? She gave me a prescription for medication, a list of supplements I should look into taking and some foods I should consider excluding. I took her advice. Not all right away. Especially because a month or so later, I found out I was pregnant for the fifth time. Having had a terrible time with my fourth pregnancy, I immediately went to the first OB appointment I could get and got a prescription for Zofran and took that and Unisom as soon as the nausea started.
That was the beginning of the end for me, though because it was being attached to those drugs and the words of my doctor echoing in my head that made me say, “Why? Why do I have to take medication at all?” It didn’t seem right to me.
I’ve learned a lot since then. I’ve changed a lot since then. I’m still learning and changing and growing. But here’s the best part. I am no longer taking asthma medication. I still have an inhaler in my medicine cabinet. I don’t consider myself CURED, but I do consider myself recovered. And this experience, as well as talking to many other women who have changed their own health, has made dig deeper into the why of Hyperemesis Gravidarum. I don’t believe it’s normal. I don’t believe it’s healthy. And I don’t believe it’s not fixable.
I don’t believe I needed to suffer like I did and it pains me that so many women are still suffering so much just to have a baby.
And I do believe that in finding out what is causing Hyperemesis Gravidarum, we can help countless women take back their health. Not just during pregnancy, but for the rest of their life.
References in the podcast:
Gelbvieh cattle (They’re handsome beasts aren’t they?)
Unisom -I didn’t mention vitamin B6, because I could never keep it down. But the unisom helped. (I would notice if I didn’t take it.)
What’s your experience with Hyperemesis Gravidarum been like?