I wanted to quote from the comments to highlight another hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) success story - an HG mama whose efforts have resulted in a subsequently HG-free pregnancy. Her method and the method I'm using have both similar and dissimilar points, but an underlining similarity of plan and purpose. Here are her own words! (All emphases mine.)
"I've been following your blog for quite some time and really enjoy it, thank you. I've been researching gestational diabetes and insulin resistance and believe these may be the underlying cause of some cases of severe pregnancy sickness, along with inflammation. This can be fixed before pregnancy and does not require a very low carb diet. Avoiding omega 6 fats is a very important part of treating insulin resistance. I also don't necessarily think low-carb during pregnancy is safe, after reading a few journal articles that say it causes epigenetic changes and obesity in offspring. Perhaps getting insulin resistance under control before pregnancy could be done instead of the ultra-low carb diet. I would prefer to do this and stay out of ketosis, while still taking advantage of a higher fat/higher protein diet.
After reading the book "Pregnancy Sickness", I do not feel vegetables and herbs are safe during the first trimester. Berries are a low-carb fruit that could be subbed for veggies. Boiling meat is the best way to avoid both toxic charring and bad smells. Coconut milk/oil/flour is high in fats and/or fiber and doesn't have the bad omega 6 oils. Nuts have toxins and omega 6. Milk and especially cheese spikes insulin so probably not a good idea.
I'm planning to start trying in a few months and I have a blog so I will keep you posted on my diet and if it works. I want to be low-carb but just above ketosis. I have strips to test this. I am trying to merge low-carb, paleo, "pregnancy sickness protocol" and manage insulin/inflammation all at the same time.
Some supplements that help manage insulin are magnesium, alpha-lipoic acid, and DHA/EPA. B vitamins seem to be of great benefit for pregnancy and health problems, especially "non-folic acid" forms of folate such as: folinic acid and methyl-folate. (Excess B vitamins are lost in the urine). My body does not process folic acid so my doctor has me on methyl-folate instead (Deplin). Of course B6 is a must for pregnancy sicknesses.
I read an article that said alpha lipoic acid helped infertile women concieve but am not sure if it is safe during pregnancy. Magnesium and DHA are safe and recommended, along with vitamin D which boosts the immune system, reduce inflammation, seems to prevent developmental disorders, and also prevents severe flu complications. I also think there should be a greater focus on vaginal health (ie vaginosis and candida) and anemia, especially getting these under control before pregnancy for better outcomes.And...
"Well my thought is the same as Dr. Fox: that insulin resistance leads to infertility and NVP/HG. He used to treat with metfomin, now uses a low carb diet, but there are other ways to lower insulin resistance:
- weight lifting (the more muscle that can store glycogen, the less insulin resistance)
- avoiding omega 6's
- supplements: magnesium, alpha lipoic acid, vitamin D, DHA, probably B vitamins
- lowering overall inflammation with a gluten-free paleo/GAPS/SCD diet.
"No fancy ideas here, just a compilation of ways other than low-carb diet to control insulin:)
"Metabolic problems in moms such as insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity have been linked to autism in the children (recent research). One more reason to get insulin under control way before TTC.
"Power of 10 and Body by Science are excellent books to teach high intensity weight lifting. This type of workout is done one a week and build the most amount of muscle in the fastest amount of time. They also noted that when pregnant women did the workouts before and during pregnancy, they had low incidence of diabetes, and much easier labor. The mechanics of the workout (slow controlled movements while avoiding holding the breath) are very similar to what women do in natural labor. Having high muscle mass in pregnancy leads to a much quicker recovery.
"It's just amazing how all this stuff ties together. I think a huge problem is our modern lifestyle, if my theory is right, it makes NVP/HG way worse.
"I just had my HemoglobinA1C and insulin retested, going to see if the weight lifting and diet and supplements have lowered the A1C."
And the results!
"Hi, I am the one who left the long comments above. I had a healthy pregnancy (despite placenta previa and borderline glucose numbers) and healthy baby, 8 lbs 1oz. He is now one and I expecting again, 6 weeks and feeling great. I used the supplements I mentioned. If I had been able to exercise I might have had better glucose but it wasn't full blown GD. I needed a lot of mag, 800 mg a day. Didn't throw up once, no HG or nausea. :)"
Many congratulations to this mama!