Nausea

by Vivienne Baillie Gerritsen

Food poisoning is an ordeal. The body empties itself, with no respite, until nothing is left - neither vitality in you nor food in your system. It is less a single food item you have ingested which causes the unpleasant experience than the poison that was lurking in the smoked salmon, or the oyster, or the steak tartare you helped yourself to. Though we tend to curse our system when it happens, we should in fact be encouraging it. Why? Because it has sensed an ingested toxin that could be harmful to us. The fastest and most effective way of dealing with the toxin is to rid us of everything we have eaten. It so happens that a similar phenomenon occurs in the majority of pregnant women. During the first months of pregnancy, nausea hits many women the moment they rise in the morning or smell certain foods, or drink, during the course of the day. Though disagreeable to say the least, it is thought to be both for the mother's and the developing child's good. Indeed, morning sickness, as it is commonly known, could be linked to the potential ingestion of detrimental toxins, and to the presence of a protein known as GDF15.

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