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Scientists discover cause of severe morning sickness in pregnancy

Research published in Nature suggests that the hormone GDF15 may drive severe nausea during pregnancy, leading to potential treatments.

Researchers have made a breakthrough in understanding the cause of severe morning sickness in pregnancy, which could lead to better treatments for pregnant women. A study published in the journal Nature reveals that the hormone GDF15 plays a significant role in the severity of nausea and vomiting during the first trimester of pregnancy.

It has been confirmed that the levels of GDF15 in a pregnant woman's bloodstream, as well as her exposure to the hormone prior to pregnancy, are key factors in driving the severity of morning sickness. This new insight could potentially lead to the development of hormone-blocking supplements as future treatments for hyperemesis gravidarum, an extreme form of morning sickness characterized by persistent nausea and vomiting.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, between 70% and 80% of women experience morning sickness during pregnancy, with symptoms peaking between eight and 10 weeks of pregnancy. Hyperemesis gravidarum, which affects only 3% of pregnant patients, can lead to weight loss, dehydration, and other health risks for both the mother and baby.

The study's findings have significant implications for maternal healthcare, as they provide a biological explanation for morning sickness and support the belief that it is a real medical condition rather than something psychological. This new understanding could lead to improved treatments and support for pregnant women experiencing severe morning sickness.

Overall, this research sheds light on the underlying causes of morning sickness and opens the door to potential new treatments that could greatly benefit pregnant women.

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