Hormone that causes morning sickness during pregnancy discovered

Hormone that causes morning sickness during pregnancy discovered

The cause and mechanism of morning sickness, which causes pain in more than two-thirds of pregnant women, has been identified.

A joint research team consisting of Professor Stephen O’Rehilly of the Institute of Metabolism at the University of Cambridge in the UK and Nicholas Mancuso of the University of Southern California School of Medicine in the US published the results of their study identifying the hormone ‘GDF15’ that causes morning sickness in the international academic journal Nature. It was announced on the 13th (local time).

Hormone that causes morning sickness during pregnancy discovered
Hormone that causes morning sickness during pregnancy discovered

The conclusion was that if a woman with low levels of the GDF15 hormone becomes pregnant and has a large amount of the GDF15 hormone transferred from the fetus through the placenta, she may experience severe morning sickness. am.

According to the research team, approximately 0.3 to 3% of pregnant women complain of symptoms of ‘hyperemesis gravidarum (HG).’ If morning sickness symptoms become severe, you may not be able to eat well, leading to nutritional problems or adverse effects on your cardiovascular system and kidneys. In severe cases, it may lead to death. Hyperemesis gravidarum is a symptom that has been reported in academic circles since the 1700s, but the specific cause has never been properly identified.

The research team identified the mechanism by which a hormone called GDF15 causes symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum and morning sickness. GDF15 is a type of cytokine protein that regulates immune responses. In a genome analysis study targeting 53,000 women in 2018, it was estimated that GDF15 is related to nausea and vomiting. This is because when GDF15 is activated in the brain stem, the part of the brain that controls vomiting, symptoms such as chronic nausea or weight loss have been observed in patients. In this study, GDF15 was identified as the cause of morning sickness in pregnant women.

When the research team analyzed the bloodstream of pregnant women, the level of GDF15 steadily increased during the first 12 weeks after pregnancy. At this time, women experiencing nausea, vomiting, and hyperemesis gravidarum had higher GDF15 levels on average than women who did not experience nausea, vomiting, or hyperemesis gravidarum. The research team then confirmed through genetic analysis through which route GDF15 contained in the pregnant woman’s blood was introduced. The results showed that most of the GDF15 circulating in the blood of pregnant women moved from the fetus to the mother through the placenta.

The research team also found the number of cases with a high probability of hyperemesis gravidarum based on the results of analyzing the correlation between morning sickness and GDF15 levels. As a result, it was found that women with low GDF15 levels in a non-pregnant state were more likely to suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum when they became pregnant. This is believed to be because women with low GDF15 levels responded sensitively to hormonal changes when they became pregnant. Additionally, the less GDF15 hormone produced by the fetus, the lower the risk of the mother suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum.

Meanwhile, women with beta-thalassaemia, which is caused by a mutation in the beta-globin gene, had high GDF15 levels on average, and they rarely felt nausea or vomiting during pregnancy. The research team concluded that hyperemesis gravidarum is a disease that can be caused by genetic influences rather than a pregnant woman’s personal lifestyle or environmental factors.

The research team said, “There is no treatment or treatment that regulates the GDF15 hormone. “We hope that we will be able to find a way to prevent severe morning sickness or hyperemesis gravidarum during pregnancy through medication.”

Hyperemesis Gravidarum
A disease that causes severe nausea to the point of not being able to eat or vomiting between 6 and 12 weeks of pregnancy. Although it is commonly called morning sickness, it is a concept that encompasses diseases accompanied by severe morning sickness.
What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum

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