Morning sickness is one rude introduction to motherhood.
Ask anyone who has spent a few weeks (or months) of their life fighting the urge to boot at the mere suggestion of food, and they’ll tell you it’s the friggin’ pits.
While there are many theories about what causes morning sickness, until recently, scientists haven’t had a lot of concrete evidence to explain what is actually to blame. According to a study that just wrapped up, however, that may be about to change.
High levels of the GDF15 protein may increase nausea and vomiting
After reviewing the concentration of the protein GDF15 in the blood serum of 791 pregnant women, scientists at the University of Cambridge have reason to believe there is an association between high levels of GDF15 and increased nausea and vomiting.
It stops you from eating that funky ham
GDF15 (which stands for Growth Differentiation Factor 15) is a normally occurring protein that, in addition to performing a litany of other complicated biological tasks, also pulls some strings in the hindbrain and “transmits aversive signals, including nausea and conditioned taste aversion.” In non-science speak, GDF15 is a key player in a built-in system designed to keep you from eating something funky, and accidentally exposing your baby to dangerous pathogens that could do serious harm.
It’s not a bad thing (aside from the horrific barfing)
Now before you Amazon Prime you very own GDF15 Voodoo doll, it should also be noted that low levels of this particular protein have been associated with increased risk of miscarriage, so a certain amount of it circulating through your system is a good thing, even if it means every time your hubs cooks scrambled eggs, you barf in the sink. #sorrynotsorry #iwarnedyoubro
Any solution yet? Nope.
This study doesn’t do much in regards to offering up a solution for getting through the weeks (or months) of morning sickness one may feel, but it is still an interesting look into just how incredibly intricate gestation really is. While GDF15 has been identified as a key player in what causes morning sickness, there’s still a lot to learn about all the other factors that may play a role.