Infection with Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers, may also cause a severe form of morning sickness in pregnant women. Researchers at the University of Vienna in Austria found that over 90% of pregnant women with hyperemesis gravidarum -- severe nausea and vomiting often leading to weight loss and electrolyte disturbances -- were infected with H. pylori. The researchers hypothesize that in the early phase of pregnancy, changes in a woman's body fluid concentration affect the acidity (pH) of the stomach, which may in turn activate latent H. pylori residing in the stomach.
Controversy exists over the type of therapy that should be given to pregnant women. A combination of two antibiotics and another agent are typically given to eradicate the bacteria in people with ulcers, but only one of the two antibiotics -- amoxicillin is recommended for use in pregnant women. According to the report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are said to be in the process of recommending that the other antibiotic -- metronidazole -- be used throughout pregnancy in women carrying the bacteria.
An estimated 70% of all pregnant women experience nausea and vomiting at some time during pregnancy. Commonly referred to as "morning sickness," it can occur at any time of the day and typically begins 4 to 8 weeks into pregnancy and continues for up to 16 weeks. However, approximately 1 in every 1,000 pregnant women experiences a more severe form of nausea and vomiting known as hyperemesis gravidarum. Women with the condition may vomit three or more times each day, experience weight loss of more than 6.5 pounds and have imbalances of electrolytes. Hyperemesis gravidarum can continue throughout pregnancy.
Obstetrics & Gynecology April 1998;91:615-617
COMMENT: This is the first report I am aware of that links H. pylori to the morning sickness in pregnancy. I will assume that the researchers have identified a true piece of information as there is no reason to assume otherwise. That is really one of the areas that traditional medicine exceeds in: diagnosis. The area where they fall short in is in using a more accurate understanding of how the body functions. This is largely related as their viewpoint is distorted towards a drug model. The above article is a classic example of this tendency. The investigators have done some hard work and found a piece of truth. However, they then fall into the drug model for a solution. Using drugs to eradicate H. pylori will work occasionally; but it is no where near as effective as treating the cause. The reason why people get infected with this organism is based on their internal terrain: the environment that they create with the food they eat, the tools for stress that they use, their sleep patterns, their exercise regime (or lack of), and their relationship with their Creator.
It is relatively simple to eradicate H. pylori once you understand its cause. Most people respond to simple nutritional interventions. If they don't, then the other issues mentioned above need to be investigated. The first step is to drink 12 glasses of pure filtered, not distilled, water per day. This also means stopping soda, juice, milk, tea and coffee. If you ingest a significant amount of caffeine, you will have to wean off slowly to avoid caffeine withdrawal headaches. This simple measure is usually enough to treat the H. pylori and the secondary ulcer. Good bacteria (acidophilus and bifidus) cultures also help to create an environment that does not support their growth. For the women discussed in this article, high doses of pyridoxial 5 phosphate (activated vitamin B6) -- about 100 mg two to three times a day, along with as much magnesium citrate as they can tolerate without resulting in loose stools, will usually help quite dramatically. The vitamin B6 can even be given intravenously if the oral form is not working.