Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Morning Sickness Cure

Medical Disclaimer: My so called "cure" is what worked for me. I'm not a doctor and information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. I make no representation and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information contained on or available through this website, and such information is subject to change without notice. All information provided on the website is general information provided for educational purposes. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this website with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with a physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay medical treatment because of something you have read on this website.

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So it's been 5 weeks of torture. I'm currently pregnant with my 4th child and for some reason, the morning sickness feels like the worst one with each pregnancy. Although it's a familiar feeling, I always compare what I'm feeling with the pregnancies before.

This time around, I thought I was doing all the right things to prepare my body for morning sickness. We were going to keep the baby a secret until after the first trimester, but I got so sick this time around, that telling my family I had a stomach issue wasn't going to cut it.

When I became pregnant, I told my husband I wanted to buy all the right vitamins to help lessen or combat the morning sickness better. I thought I was covered by taking my Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal Multivitamins which contained enzymes and probiotics to help with my digestion. I also bought additional Garden of Life Raw Probiotics for Women. I read blogs about women who upped their intake of probiotics to combat morning sickness and worked miracles for them.

Unfortunately for me, my MS started when I was just 4.5 weeks pregnant. In the past, it would start at 6 weeks. I upped my intake of probiotics and nothing improved. I became heavily bloated, constipated and the MS was not just "in the morning". It was constant with no break. I was in bed all day being waited on. I probably lost a little over 5lbs in the first week alone. Crackers made me more nauseous and Ginger made me throw up.

On week 6 of my pregnancy, I became really sick. I couldn't keep anything down and even when my stomach was empty, I still attempted to throw up. I probably threw up 10 times that day and I became lethargic. My husband took me to the hospital ER where we waited for 3 hrs. I was able to eat some apples and cucumbers while waiting and started to feel better so we left. Within the few hours after we left, I became violently ill again. So off to the ER again, but this time a different one. We waited about two hours in which I repeated went to the bathroom and threw up "air". I was hooked up to an IV and given oral Zofran which didn't work. They then gave me Phenergen which instantly made the nausea go away. I slept for the first time in days. I stayed overnight and by the time I went home, I felt pretty good. They diagnosed me with Hyperemesis Gravidarum.

Later that night, the nausea slowly crept back into my life. They prescribed the so expensive Zofran. My husband ran out to get it and I took a pill expecting relief. No relief. I felt the same. I was able to sleep that night and I didn't throw up, so maybe it had some effect while I slept.

I woke up in the morning and surfed the Internet while in bed. I came across information on Hyperemesis Gravidarum (let's call it HG for short... too long to type). According to researchers at The University of Vienna in Austria, 90% of women who have HG, were infected with the bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori. The recommended treatment for pregnant women with H.Pylori would be antibiotics, but only one is recommended for use by pregnant women, which is amoxicillin. Even then, h.pylori is a difficult bacteria to get rid of because there are so many strains of it.

So that day I did a lot of research in bed and found several different natural cures. We have an alkaline water purification system in our house, so my husband gave me a cup of alkaline water to start with.

Here's what my diet was like on week 7 and 8:

Alkaline water
Active MGO 400+ (Old 20+) Manuka Honey 100% Pure  It has wonderful antibacterial properties that help get rid of H.Pylori.
Cucumbers
Pretzels (sometimes)
Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar Organic Raw (2tsp of ACV and 1-2 teaspoons of honey mixed in 8oz of water)
Probiotics
I couldn't really eat anything, but after a few days consuming the above, I started to get my appetite back. I was no longer throwing up. I finally had the urge to eat and was able to finish a whole Chicken Pesto Sandwich from Corner Bakery. I was delighted! Corner Bakery was our dinner every night for the next few days. But that was the only thing I could eat besides following my protocol above. I was still very bloated after eating and I felt like I was not digesting my food. I had bowel movements every 2-3 days. I still felt pretty miserable. But at least I was keeping the food down.

My appetite slowly came back and I was able to eat some other things. My husband is the cook in the family and he made us a delicious meal. It was a pork dish with some sweet potatoes. I was able to eat it and it was followed by a small piece of apple pie. Later that night, my husband made some grilled cheese sandwiches and for some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to eat two of them!

I woke up in the morning and didn't feel so great. Later on that night I threw up for the first time since my HG visit at the ER. I was bed ridden for the next two days. I started my protocol again and started to feel better. But it made me realize that something else was missing. I realized that the sugar and the pork were the possible culprits. What did they have in common? They are highly acidic foods. What is common about the foods I was consuming in my protocol? They were alkaline foods (except for the Corner Bakery Sandwich).

I did more research and found several bloggers talking about following an alkaline diet before and during pregnancy to banish morning sickness symptoms. So I cut out all bread, all sugar, and all acidic foods. When I did that, I felt so much better. It didn't get rid of it completely, but it gave me hope. It's tough though. I started to eat a lot of cucumbers, a lot of beets and the only thing that felt remotely filling was to make my favorite Quinoa dish. I sauteed sweet potatoes and yukon gold potatoes with salt pepper and some Morrocan spice blend. I used Coconut Oil to sautee everything and then added some sauteed onions. This was my main meal every day.

Here's the second protocol I followed on weeks 8.5 and 9:

Breakfast: Manuka Honey In bed. After a half hour I would eat about a cup of cucumbers.

Lunch: Take 2 Thorne Research Bio-Gest Vegetarian Capsules (This is the brand my naturopath recommended)
Eat my Morrocan Quinoa Sweet Potato/Potato Dish

About an hour after eating, I would take 1-2 capsules of Garden Of Life RAW Probiotics for Women and if I felt okay, I would take my prenatals.

Dinner: Take 2 Thorne Research Brand Enzymes.
Eat whatever my husband would make which was usually Chicken or Beef with some Sweet Potatoes (We love Sweet Potatoes! So delicious, and healthy too.)

Take Probiotics, Remaining Prenatals. If I felt a bit of an acidic stomach, I would also drink my alkaline or prified water with added minerals and the manuka honey.

Late Night Snack: Take 2 Thorne Research Brand Enzymes.
If I was hungry, I would eat my quinoa dish again. If not I would usually finish the night with some sea salted cucumbers and beets.

Pretty bland diet, but it made me feel better. However, I was STILL bloated, constipated and I was still slightly nauseous, hyper salivating and dry heaving. I also felt a slightly acidic feeling in my stomach.

I also noticed that my stools and my urine was super red from the beets I was eating. There's a well known test using beets and if you're not properly digesting the beets, and your urine/stools have a red tinge, then you don't have enough Hydrochloric Acid in your stomach.

My husband had pointed me to an article in the book Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life about morning sickness and the lack of Hydrochloric acid in the stomach. I thought it was interesting, but never really looked into it until I witnessed that I wasn't properly digesting the beets I was eating. So I purchased some Thorne Research - Betaine HCL & Pepsin.

Here's the newest protocol Weeks 9.5-11:

So far so good.

Breakfast: Green Smoothie (Coconut Water, Kale, One Celery Stalk, 2 Frozen Bananas, Small Handful Frozen Strawberries, Small Handful Frozen Mangos, and 1 TSP Carlson Norwegian Cod Liver Oil, Lemon)
Lunch: Take 1 Thorne Research Brand Enzyme.
Eat my Morrocan Quinoa Sweet Potato/Potato Dish. A few websites say to take a capsule 30-45 minutes after the meal. I take 1 capsule within 10min after finishing meal.

Here's a great link on how to consume HCL:

I've been able to eat more acidic foods when I take the HCL. I don't feel as bloated anymore and I can actually feel my stomach growl now. (Ask your doctor before taking any HCL as the label on mine said not to take during pregnancy or nursing. There's no real information I can find on the dangers, and I believe most supplements have this labeling fir pregnant and nursing mothers. My Midwife seemed indifferent about me taking it.)

I'm still refraining from sugar and bread. I have eaten a sandwich once or twice while taking the HCL and so far I haven't had any adverse effects. When I eat a heavier meal that may contain dairy or acidic meats, I take 2 HCL capsules and feel fine after eating,

I also have longer periods where I'm completely nausea free and my appetite has increased.

I will continue to update on the morning sickness. My husband has been on a baking frenzy and everyone is raving about his chocolate chip cookies. I haven't had the chance to eat them yet, but as soon as I pass the 12-13 week mark (the time when it is said that morning sickness stops), I will be trying them and I'll be sure to take my HCL after.

Oh yes, one more thing. I recently came across another blog who talks about the real cause of morning sickness. I thought it was a very interesting and valid explanation. IF I ever happen to have another baby, I will definitely be following her tips. I wish I knew this before. In the meantime, I will stick to increasing my stomach acid, because in order to follow her tips, I have to be able to absorb the powerful mineral she says women are deficient in before they even become pregnant.

Medical Disclaimer: My so called "cure" is what worked for me. I'm not a doctor and information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. I make no representation and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information contained on or available through this website, and such information is subject to change without notice. All information provided on the website is general information provided for educational purposes. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this website with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with a physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay medical treatment because of something you have read on this website.

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for recording and sharing what worked for you!!!! I survived on zofran in my 1st pregnancy and was sick the whole time. It was awful.. We are hoping to conceive in march and this gives me a GREAT idea for things to try!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi! Thanks for sharing! Is gluten free bread as much as a problem as bread?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi! Thanks for sharing! Is gluten free bread as much as a problem as bread?

    ReplyDelete