Nausea is a common symptom during early pregnancy, affecting up to 80% of women. The cause of nausea is not entirely understood, but it may be related to hormonal changes or to the increased blood flow in the pregnant woman’s body. Some women find that nausea subsides by the second trimester, but for others it may persist throughout the pregnancy. Nausea can lead to dehydration and can make it difficult for pregnant women to eat a healthy diet. In severe cases, it can lead to weight loss and malnutrition.
Have you ever wondered why pregnant women get nauseous ? Here are some reasons that explain this phenomenon
- Hormonal changes
- Increased blood flow in the pregnant woman’s body
- Dehydration and difficulty eating healthy food
- Emotional stress
- Mental illness
Hormonal changes are believed to be one of the main causes of nausea during pregnancy. These changes can lead to a variety of symptoms, including nausea and vomiting. Hormones such as estrogen and progesterone may play a role in these symptoms. These hormones are responsible for many of the changes that occur during pregnancy, including the enlargement of the uterus and the development of the placenta.
Increased blood flow in the pregnant woman’s body
Pregnant women also experience an increase in their blood volume. The amount of blood travelling to the uterus can increase by 50%. This increased blood flow may be the cause of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. It can also lead to other pregnancy symptoms such as lightheadedness, headache and shortness of breath.
Additionally, the woman’s stomach may be more sensitive to certain changes in her body during pregnancy. For example, increased blood flow can lead to increased stomach acid production. This, in turn, can make it difficult for some women to eat or drink without feeling nauseous . During late pregnancy, increased pressure on the surrounding veins and arteries can cause the veins to expand. This is sometimes noticeable as varicose veins on the legs and around the vulva.
Dehydration and difficulty eating healthy food
Even though women are constantly told that they must drink plenty of fluids and eat healthy and well-balanced meals, this is often easier said than done. To make matters worse, this advice can be given just as a woman feels nauseous , making it difficult for her to keep the food down.
Nausea can make it difficult for pregnant women to eat a healthy diet. If they are nauseous, then getting the necessary nutrients can be a challenge. Eating smaller meals which contain a variety of healthy foods which are high in carbohydrate, protein and vitamins, can help to overcome the problem.
Many women find that nausea during pregnancy is due to emotional stress such as anxiety, tension, and stress.
It may not seem like it when you are feeling sick, but stress is also a trigger for nausea. Although this is an indirect cause of morning sickness , it can play a role in triggering nausea during pregnancy. This is because stress can affect a woman’s digestion and cause her stomach to tense up.
Some women experience nausea in association to mental health problems such as depression and bipolar disorder. This may be because the hormones which are responsible for morning sickness have an effect on serotonin levels, which in turn affects moods and emotions. This is why stress and anxiety are thought to be indirect causes of nausea during pregnancy.
Consult a Doctor
If you are experiencing nausea during pregnancy, then it is best to consult a doctor. Your doctor will be able to check your blood pressure and conduct other tests needed for diagnosis.
Nausea can be a sign of various different conditions. These include vitamin deficiency anemia , and pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH).
To treat nausea, you will need to discuss with your doctor the best course of action. It is important to pinpoint the cause of your nausea by taking some tests, especially if it is accompanied by vomiting.