Sunday, January 17, 2016

Relief for Morning Sickness and Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. Please do your own research, and consult with your health care provider. This post is purely informational.   

When I published my original blog post, "The Cause and Cure of Morning Sickness and Hyperemesis Gravidarum," I started out by saying that my hope was that if people only ever read one post on my blog, that would be it. This hope of mine has come true, as that post is by far the most popular one on my blog, with hundreds of thousands of views. I am thankful for those who have written and said how much it helped them, as well as for other bloggers and writers online who continue to promote it on their websites and social media. Please, PLEASE keep spreading the word!

If you have not yet read it, please do so right now before continuing with this blog post. It will just make more sense that way, as everything I am about to share here will refer back to crucial info in that original post

I wanted to share an update on how I managed to deal with the morning sickness this time around, what worked, and what did not, in hopes of helping other mothers that are suffering.

First off, I just want to say that I am absolutely convinced of my original assertion, that any degree of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy (NVP), from mild morning sickness to severe hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), ultimately goes back to infection/colonization with the heliobacter pylori bacterium. 

I am not a medical professional, but I am a mom who is currently expecting her 9th child, and who has experienced varying degrees of morning sickness or hyperemesis with all of my pregnancies:


1st (Solomon) - severe HG until about 14 weeks, lost 12 lbs during that time
2nd (Isaac) - moderate NVP until about 14 weeks
3rd (John) - severe HG until about 16 weeks, injections with B vitamins
4th (Miriam) - extreme HG until about 18 weeks
5th (Rebecca) - mild NVP until about 14 weeks
6th (Anna) - severe HG until about 20 weeks, some NVP until delivery
7th (Stephen) - moderate HG from about week 8-12, moderate NVP for weeks 6-8 and 12-16
8th (Jachin and Boaz) - mild NVP until about 16 weeks*
9th (current) - mild NVP until about 14 weeks (I was nauseated 24/7 for weeks 7-12, but only threw up a handful of times, and was still fully functional in all areas of life)


 *Considering the fact that this was a twin pregnancy, which typically doubles the symptoms of morning sickness, it was a huge improvement to go from severe HG with the previous pregnancy to mild NVP with that one. We did lose one of our twins at 20 weeks, which accounts for why I say I am expecting our 9th (living) child.


You can read all about h. pylori and how it relates to NVP and HG in my original post. Some commented saying that it could not possibly be the cause, because they had been tested for h. pylori and been told they didn't have it. There are various ways to test for h. pylori colonization, some of which are more reliable than others. Even so, the tests all have fairly high false-negative results, because the h. pylori is not that easy to track down. If you suffer from severe NVP or HG, I strongly suggest you try the recommendations for addressing the h. pylori, and you are certain to find relief. 

In this blog post, I want to share more ways I have found to combat NVP and HG. In a perfect world, we would all be able to rid ourselves of these horrible bacteria before getting pregnant, but not only is this somewhat difficult to do, it may also be futile as the global colonization rate is about 50%, which makes it highly likely that you would be infected with it once again in a matter of months or even just weeks. 

Also, I am guessing that most people are finding this blog post because they are currently expecting and suffering, so telling them what to do when they are not pregnant won't help much. 

The degree to which the h. pylori will bother you during pregnancy varies greatly from one individual to the next. Some have minor morning sickness, while others are hospitalized with extreme HG. Accordingly, milder treatment approaches may completely do the trick for some, while others would have to aggressively make every effort to keep the h. pylori in check and still experience some degree of nausea. 

In my case, I have never been hospitalized for HG or taken the available drugs, but that was just because I was reserving those as last resort measures if the baby's or my life was in danger, which it thankfully never was. My HG was "only" of the variety where I threw up 15+ times a day, could not drink more than one sip of fluid every 15 minutes, would throw up if I ate anything, and would throw up even more if I didn't, could not tolerate the sight, smell, or mention of any food or most other substances, could not leave the house, any stimulation to any of my senses (light, noise, busy patterns, being touched) would make me start throwing up again, could not perform basic daily functions like showering or talking on the phone without major bouts of nausea, was unable to shop, clean, or cook, and literally wished to die at some point most days. 

I should add here that the idea to keep having babies in spite of this nausea was mine, lest you think my husband is some monster who makes me suffer through this hell on earth for his own pleasure. Husbands of HG wives deserve a special trophy of their own, as it takes its toll on the entire family. In the end, the babies really are so worth it, and I would do it all over again for any one of them.

In addition to the recommendations I made in my original blog post (please click through and read first), here are some more remedies I found helpful this time around:


http://pinkstorksolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/new-coco.png


- Cocolaurin: I used the Pink Stork brand Cocolaurin. I first found out about this product when I was offered a free sample at a time when I was not pregnant. I used it anytime there was a stomach bug going around, always with great results. I started taking it regularly (3 scoops, 3 x daily) before becoming pregnant, when I could tell another pregnancy was likely to happen sooner or later.

This product is truly a miracle cure in and of itself. For many moms, this alone will do the trick. You can check out the testimonials from other moms on their website, or you can find other personal accounts like mine on blogs like this one and many others.
Pink Stork sells several other of their products on Amazon, all of which I have tried. My favorites are the ginger peach tea (and that's considering I hate ginger tea), and their new probiotic, but they are all very helpful and work great together. For this pregnancy, since I already had a lot of other supplements on hand, I was only using the cocolaurin and the tea, with great improvement, so don't feel like you have to buy everything if it's not in your budget. You can find the Amazon reviews of their products here
I have shared my cocolaurin with a half dozen other pregnant ladies, and all had some improvement from taking it, many of them even getting complete relief. I will add here that although I have received several bottles of this product for free, I have bought others since then, and that I do not receive commission for recommending this product. It really is just very helpful, and I want others to know about it. 
For me, this time around, just the cocolaurin alone kept the nausea completely bearable until about week 7. From then until about week 12 I also followed the other tricks mentioned below, as well as in my original blog post. From weeks 12-14 I was back to just doing the cocolaurin, and after that, the NVP left completely.  


- Never drinking plain water: Ironically, drinking just water causes dehydration by further diluting electrolytes in the body, which are probably already running low if you have been throwing up. To offset this, I never drank any plain water for almost two months. I would add either apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice to my water, or make tea and dilute it heavily. Besides the Pink Stork peach ginger tea, I found the Whole Foods brand rooibos tea and the Trader Joe's mint melange tea the most helpful. Adding a pinch of salt to your beverage of choice makes it even more beneficial. As a funny side note, since Boaz was really starting to talk during this time, he learned to ask for a drink by saying "water tea". To this day, he asks for "water tea" when he just wants a drink of water.  

- Baking soda capsules: If you can stomach drinking baking soda water, good for you! I can't, so I filled my own size 00 gelatin caps with baking soda. During the worst phase of the morning sickness, I would take 3 capsules, 4 times a day on an empty stomach (upon waking, before lunch, before dinner, before bed), followed by 1 tbsp of colloidal silver, and then a meal/snack. The reason for this is that baking soda is great at getting the h. pylori out of all the nooks and crannies of the stomach lining, which is then more effectively killed off by following it with the colloidal silver. 
Also, the baking soda reduces the amount of bile/stomach acid, which for me is a major nausea trigger because I seem to produce way too much when pregnant. 
Please note: While countless women swear by using colloidal silver to alleviate morning sickness, there are no studies proving the safety of colloidal silver while pregnant, leading some to choose not to use it when expecting. Please do your own research and decide what you feel is best for you.

- Manuka honey: This pregnancy was my first time trying Manuka honey. Taking a teaspoonful anytime the nausea started to ramp up really seemed to make a difference. I would take the honey after the above baking soda and colloidal silver combo, just before a meal. It's great to have in the house anytime sickness is going around, too. I first tried one of the more expansive brands I bought online, but later found the Trader Joe's version to be just as effective.






- Probiotics: I love the Bio-K brand liquid probiotics, and took a half bottle of it each morning (after the baking soda/colloidal silver combo, but before breakfast). It's pretty pricey, so I only did this during the worst phase.


- Limiting carbs - or not: This one was sketchy. Some days, I would feel great so long as I stayed away from any and all carbs, following what is known as a VLC (very low carb) or LCHF (low carb high fat) diet. The reason for this is that h. pylori thrives on simple carbs. However, after about 2 days of this, I would become nauseous from a lack of carbs, because my body was needing and craving it for building baby. So for a couple of days, I would feel better eating carbs, even simple ones. For me, the trick was in cycling this off/on every couple of days - enough to give my body the nutrients it needed, but reigning it in before the h. pylori got out of hand. If you are already familiar with the Trim Healthy Mama style of eating, I found that cycling mostly S vs. mostly E days every couple of days seemed to be best.


- Besides foods and supplements, I found it helpful to pursue hobbies that took my mind off the nausea without being overly mentally challenging, such as the currently popular adult coloring books, puzzles, browsing Pinterest, reading, etc. Getting a couple of hours of extra sleep each day also helped, as did just feeling supported by my husband and kids. Finally, my nausea always lifted anytime I got out of town, so I have a feeling our questionable valley air is an aggravating factor for my morning sickness.




Even following all these recommendations, I still felt nauseated 24/7 for about weeks 7-12, and off an on until week 14. However, in spite of a lot of dry heaving, I only really threw up a handful of times during these weeks, which is a HUGE improvement from earlier pregnancies of mine when I would throw up more than a dozen times per day. I was also fully functional during this time, and able to go grocery shopping, cook, continue homeschooling, go to church, and even travel out of state with Miriam during this time. Being able to live a "normal" life makes a world of difference!

At 14 weeks, the nausea up and left for good from one day to the next. This has to do with the placenta taking over its own hormone production for baby, rather than my body having to do it all, so the h. pylori can finally settle down (it is aggravated by hormonal fluctuations, which is why some women experience nausea in the days before their periods start).

I hope this blog post has given you some new approaches for addressing morning sickness and hyperemesis. Please share your comments, advice, or other insight below.




7 comments:

  1. Wow, this is very useful advice! I was fortunate enough to have mild nausea and fatigue with my pregnancies, but I've known many women who have endured miserable morning sickness much like you're describing here. It made them never want to have children again. I'm saving this for future reference!

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  2. Well, there is no similarities depending on the sex of your babies! I was trying to see if I could figure out what you're having. From your picture, I think it's a girl. Will you be finding out?

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  3. Thank you for posting this!! I have suffered with h Pylori for quite some time and I had HORRID morning (noon and night) sickness with both of my daughters. It makes sense that there would be a connection.

    Is that a new family picture at the top of the post? You have a beautiful family.

    Best regards,
    Alicia

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  4. Hi, Zsuzsanna!

    Thank you so much for the hard work you have poured into this project. Your efforts are blessing women around the globe, myself included.

    The past couple of years have proven without a doubt that you HAVE found the cause and cure of your NVP/HG. The sharp divide between your pre-treatment pregnancies and post-treatment pregnancies has shown that beyond the shadow of a doubt. And from your description, I can tell that the HG you (used to) get is worse than mine - I never had light or pattern triggers.

    Two quick questions:

    (1) Do you bother with pre-conception milk thistle any more? I know that that's pretty standard for HG mamas, but if it's not worth the effort, I don't want to spend the money!

    (2) For the Cocolaurin, you said "(3 scoops, 3 x daily)" - did you really mean that you took a total of 9 scoops per day? Or did you mean 1 scoop, 3 times per day (for a total of 3 times per day)?

    Thank you for taking the time to write all of this out. I'm taking notes!! :)

    Diana

    P.S. I too think baby is a girl! :)

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  5. http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/never-consume-colloidal-silver/

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2522463/Woman-suffers-argyria-60-years-silver-built-body.html

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  6. I stumbled upon your first article of H. Pylori and went out and bought both the silver and Turmeric that day! We are planning our 5th baby and I am planning it around the morning sickness!!! I very much hope this works! I started exploring more of your blog and I think I love it! So refreshing so many of your articles, I live in Seattle, most of the time I feel isolated in my many views on Christianity, homeschooling, natural living and births, organic eating and my "big" family. Its so nice to meet someone of such like mind!
    Oh! I was excited to find pickles that are barrel fermented, they are called Britt's Pickles, just in the local grocer! I have also started taking Plexus and have had huge results in my day to day along with my kids, so in combination of that and all your tips, I hope and pray this will be a much easier pregnancy, as I am sick for the first 20 weeks, lose weight and am completely hormonal imbalanced! ha! Congratulations on your new pregnancy!

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  7. It is irresponsible for you to assert this when you have only personal anecdotal evidence to support your theory. I know I don't have H pylori because I don't have symptoms of it, and have eaten in a way that would treat it (for general health purposes) for years and I still get HG. I know women who have followed your advice religiously in preconception and have ended up with HG just as severe as ever. The leading research on HG (read at Helpher.org) has not linked h.pylori to HG. I know women who tested positive, treated it and still got HG. It's great that you had better experiences but it's not basis for asserting that you know the cause of HG and its cure. If you want to help HG women, stay up to date on the latest research and effective treatment options. Stay in contact with groups of women who currently have HG and learn from their experience. Don't just promote what you think might have helped you as fact.

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Your KINDLY WORDED, constructive comments are welcome, whether or not they express a differing opinion. All others will be deleted without second thought.