I myself most likely dealt with hyperemesis gravidarum with my first pregnancy, though I didn't know to look for such a diagnosis. My second pregnancy was somewhat better, and I tried about a third of this list with that pregnancy, but with almost no success, I kept researching. Hopefully I'll be able to find some relief with some of these suggestions if I'm so blessed again!
From the research I've done, there are many causes and facets to to this issue, so you have to find what helps the underlying problem for you. Liver health and overall toxicity seem to be the main components, but they are by no means the only reasons. Even the mainstream drugs are inconsistent in their ability to help. When it comes to nutritional deficiencies, correcting them prior to conception is key, especially since so many critical aspects of development happen in those early weeks. Many women also have reduced stomach acid during pregnancy as well, which inhibits absorption!
So here is my list, do comment if you have any additional suggestions or find that something here was a help to you.
Supplements:• Drinking Chiro-Klenz tea before pregnancy has reduced or eliminated morning sickness for many friends of mine. Build up to the standard dosage slowly, and watch for any negative reactions, as some people do not tolerate senna at all. It seems the other herbs in it balance the senna nicely.
• Lots of Milk Thistle (along with other liver support) such as Dandelion, False Unicorn, etc.
"I have found milk thistle (standardized to contain at least 70% - 80% silymarin) to be invaluable in preventing morning sickness. I began taking 2 tablets each day two months prior to this pregnancy and increased to 3 tablets daily when our pregnancy was confirmed. Milk thistle is liver supportive and protective." Wild Yam is also used by some. Many of these can be drunk as a tea or infusion, which may be easier to get down.
• Anti-Nausea Syrup - Any of the mints, especially in tea form, help a lot of people, as well as licorice. Peppermint is also helpful for pregnancy migraines, and some find the essential oils (just smelling them) to be very effective.
• Digestive enzymes, HCL, and ox bile. Low stomach acid is very common in pregnancy, or if already low it can be exaggerated. Often liver and gallbladder are stressed during pregnancy. Sometimes just a little digestive support, such as enzymes (vegetable based ones work in all stomach PH levels) or HCL (which boosts stomach acid) or ox bile (which supports fat digestion) can be all you need to help your stomach handle food properly and not leave you nauseous.
• There are many broad spectrum enzymes as well - Papaya and banana are good food sources that have a lot of natural enzymes that help break down other proteins. Papaya is good for pregnancy heartburn too.
• There are many homeopathics that can help. Sepia, ipecacuanha, and nux vomica are three of the most common remedies, or there are homeopathic blends that some people prefer. There are several sites online that can help you identify the right remedy for you.
• Flower essences: "Rescue Remedy" or "Emergency Essence" often useful for prolonged or distressing vomiting, as well as general calming.
• Keeping up cod liver oil (though difficult!) was very important for me. As it is a good source of vit A, D, and some EFAs, it is very important for the developing little one also.
Nutrients:• Sufficient B6, and all B vitamins!!!! - Be careful about where you buy though. Commercial folic acid is very toxic, and even folate can be a problem if you have MTHFR. Blood tests (especially intra-cellular) can help reveal if there are serious deficiencies in specific b-vitamins, though many doctors I've encountered just recommend a general supplement. For more info on MTHFR, here is one site with a lot of info.
• Sufficient magnesium - very key. Chris Kesser and others say magnesium glycinate is the best absorbed oral form. Natural Calm is easy to take since it dissolves in water (and I make it into jello) though it is the most likely to loosen bowels. Transdermal magnesium (such as Ancient minerals magnesium oil) is the best absorbed, but it cause itching/burning for some when magnesium levels are extra deficient. When you are not pregnant, you can more or less take magnesium to tolerance, ie, until you get diarrhea. Just take no more doses if you hit that in a day, and do slightly less of a dosage the next day. When pregnant, you don't want to take too much all at once, as stimulating the bowels too much can irritate the uterus. Epsom salt or Dead Sea salt or other magnesium baths are also an excellent way to get magnesium. Restless legs is often a symptom of magnesium deficiency as well.
• Phosphorus - phosphoric acid is the main component in many anti-nausea medications.
• Choline is another key nutrient, though we don't hear about it as often. Meat, but particularly eggs are rich sources.
•Zinc is often implicated in low stomach acid and nausea outside of pregnancy, and since it is involved in the break-down of estrogens and so many other biochemical processes, it is another nutrient I would check out and supplement if low. It is best taken with food if you do need to supplement, since it can trigger nausea when taken alone.
Foods:• Eggs! You can put them in smoothies (raw if you are comfortable with that, or scrambled first), or hide them in many other ways if they are difficult to eat plain. I prefer egg drop soup. Sally Fallon theorizes that since estrogen and progresterone are so high at the beginning of pregnancy and they use up a lot of cholesterol, leaving little cholesterol to make bile salts. Little bile salts hinders digestion, particularly fat digestion - leading to nausea ---- Thus, getting enough cholesterol (particularly eggs would be good for pregnancy) could help. Eggs are also a rich source of choline. There are many many other reasons why eggs are amazing for pregnancy, but it's nice to know they could possibly help nausea if you can get them in!
• Fermented foods. They help improve digestion, provide a pleasant sour flavor, and give probiotics. There are a number of commercial brands now that are raw, and they are easy to make at home (though I'd try to make them before pregnancy as much as I can.)
•Lemon juice - a classic help, which works perhaps because of it's ability to help digestion, and lemon water is known to gently help the liver. Some people suck on straight lemon halves while they fix dinner.
• Ginger (as a tea, candied, dried, in stews, capsules, tincture, however) Some like to suck on it raw. I sprinkle ginger in a lot of my dishes now, it is a nice accent.
• Japanese pickle plum and apples are also noted to help.
• Water! Dehydration is the worst cycle for me and many others - if I get too low on fluids, it
makes me nauseated, which in turn, makes it harder to catch up. Carry a water bottle, flavor it with lemon if it helps, and sip sip sip. Don't let the cycle begin!
• There is a theory than beans and starches bind to toxins, and therefore help nausea. I found this to be true with one pregnancy, as bean burritos were my most craved food. Activated charcoal or betonite clay would do a similar thing, just take away from meals to the extent you can. You can put those in capsules if that is easier.
• Gelatin, in whatever form is palatable - of course. Broth is excellent for many reasons - but even jello can be helpful. I figured out how to make jello out of tea, which really helps me consume more nettle and other healing herbs.
• Low-carbing helps some people. This must be done very cautiously of course, since even though it is very stabilizing to the blood sugar, the transition to low carb can be very hard on the body depending on your biochemistry. Making snacks of butter (or homemade, low sugar ice cream!) can help keep one full and blood sugar stable throughout the day.
• Another recipe I've heard is to cook broth with barley and oats - strain out grains and add slippery elm powder. Tamari or miso or soup flavoring can add a pleasant taste. Marshmallow root is also very soothing to digestive tract.
• Pressure point four fingers down on the inside of wrist - very powerful for me,
though not fool-proof. Sea-Bands try to do a similar thing.
• H. Pylori has been tied with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. It is a theory of course, but makes a lot of sense to me given how H. Pylori can wreak havoc throught the body, and often lowers stomach acid. With the immuno-suppression of pregnancy, this and other invaders can often cause more issues during pregnancy. Improving gut health and consuming probiotics throughout pregnancy is critical.
• This thread discusses many of these things and more: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/618836/preventing-reducing-morning-sickness-and-hyperemsis-gravidarum-herbs-more