Nearly 80 percent of women suffer from morning sickness during their pregnancy. But what exactly causes morning sickness? This page will tell you what researchers believe is the cause of morning sickness as well as other triggers and factors that can make you feel ill during pregnancy.
The exact cause of morning sickness is currently unknown, however this doesn't mean that doctors and researchers don't have their theories. While it is not yet proven, many experts feel morning sickness is caused by one (or more) of the following symptoms during pregnancy.
Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG) - While this hormone has yet to be linked to nausea, researchers have noticed that its levels increase significantly during the exact time periods when women are experiencing morning sickness. There is also evidence of this hormone being highest in women who have severe morning sickness.
Estrogen - Like hCG, estrogen increases rapidly early in pregnancy to as much as 100 times the normal level during the same time period when morning sickness starts Learn more about when morning sickness starts.. Some researchers believe that estrogen can enhance the smell of foods making their odor overwhelming to the point where it can cause the gag reflex. However, there is no difference between the estrogen levels of women who have morning sickness and those who don't.
Progesterone - Progesterone is another hormone that increases substantially during early pregnancy. This hormone prevents the womb (uterus) from having an early childbirth. Some researchers believe this hormone can also have an effect on the digestive system producing excess stress during digestion.
Sensitivity to Potentially Toxic Foods - Some researchers feel that morning sickness is the body's response to preventing food and nutrients from poisoning the fetus. Adults have defenses against various plant toxins that may be poisonous to developing embryos. This combined with the fact that the period when morning sickness is most severe See how long morning sickness lasts and when it should end. is the same time period when the embryo is most vulnerable towards harmful toxins. There has also been a correlation between toxicity of foods and their odor/taste. So in a way morning sickness could be a way of keeping mothers from eating/digesting foods that could be harmful towards the developing fetus.
Lack of B Vitamins - Another theory is that a lack of B vitamins causes nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Researchers have noted that increasing vitamin B intake actually relieves many morning sickness symptoms and severe morning sickness can be caused by a lack of B vitamins.
Low Blood Sugar - As the fetus begins developing the initial strain could cause low blood sugar in the mother. However, this hasn't been confirmed and is currently another theory.