Metro doctors raising awareness about rare, severe morning sickness

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Metro doctors are raising awareness about a medical diagnosis some pregnant women are facing.

Nausea and vomiting are norms for pregnant women like Allison Hilliard.

“Just the smell of any food, I was like no, I can’t do that,” Hilliard said.

Hilliard is near the end of her pregnancy. She said her morning sickness has finally died down.

But an unlucky few have it much worse.

“Hyperemesis Gravidarum is more of a progression of morning sickness,” family practice doctor Michael Parra said.

Hyperemesis is described as severe nausea and excessive vomiting. Less than 2% of women in the U.S. suffer from the condition each year.

But for the women who do — it’s debilitating.

Many can’t lead their normal lives. Some are so sick they can’t make it to work.

“That leads to electrolyte problems, nutritional problems. That may require hospitalization,” Parra said.

Hyperemesis can last for months. No one’s quite sure what causes it. Doctors can help patients manage their symptoms though.

“You’ll start with IV fluids. They’ll want to calm your surroundings, they’ll put you in a dark room. They’ll give your medications that help with nausea through your IV,” Parra said.

Parra said it’s important to always speak up for yourself when something doesn’t feel right.

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