The hormone that causes nausea and vomiting during pregnancy has been identified.

2023/12/14 Galarraga Aiestaran, Ana - Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

The hormone that causes nausea and vomiting during pregnancy has been identified - Ed. fezailc/Pixabay

A study led by researchers at Cambridge University has identified a hormone that produces nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Hyperemesis gravidarum (continued nausea and severe vomiting) is also produced by this hormone. Research opens the way to finding a treatment.

The study, published in the journal Nature, highlights the sensitivity to the hormone GDF15. This hormone is produced by the embryo and produced by blood in the mother's brain. Some mothers have excessive sensitivity and nausea occurs, especially in the first months.

In some cases it is so serious that it can endanger maternal and fetal health and even life. Hypernemesis, known as grabidica, has discovered that it may be related to a genetic variety of the mother. Conversely, people with thalassemia (a genetic disease that causes anemia) have very high levels of GDF15 before pregnancy, so they have mild symptoms.

According to researchers, prior administration of GDF15 to pregnant women may be a solution to prevent nausea, i.e. getting used to the hormone to avoid excessive sensitivity. Another may be to lower the level of GDF15 with blocking drugs. Although they still need to do more research to get safe and effective treatments, they have taken a big step to take into account the symptoms of pregnant women and take care of their health and that of the foetuses.


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