Preeclampsia is when pregnant women have high bIood pressure, protein in their urine and swelling in their legs, feet and hands. It can range from mild to severe. Its usually happens after 20 weeks of pregnancy, though it can happen earlier or just after delivery.
Preeclampsia can lead to eclampsia, a serious condition for mother and baby.If preeclampsia leads to seizures, you have eclampsia, it is confirmed.
PreecIampsia sometimes develops without any symptoms. High blood pressure may develop slowly, or it may have a sudden onset.
Monitoring blood pressure is an important part of prenatal care because the first sign of preeclampsia is commonly a rise in blood pressure. Blood pressure that exceeds 140/90 mm of Hg or greater – documented on two occasions, atleast four hours apart, is considered to be abnormal.
Other sign and symptom includes –
• Excess protein in urine (Proteinuria)
• Decreased urine output
• Severe headaches
• Upper abdominal pain, usually under your ribs on the right side
• Decreased platelets (thrombocytopenia)
• Shortness of breath, due to fluid in the lungs
• Impaired liver function
• Nausea or vomitting
• Changes in vision, including temporary Ioss of vision, blurred vision or light sensitivity
• Sudden weight gain and swelling – over your face and hands
Experts believe that it begins in the placenta – the nourishing organ of the fetus during pregnancy. Early in pregnancy, new blood vessels develop and evolve to efficiently send blood to the Placenta. There blood vessels are narrower than normal blood vessels and react differently to hormonal signalling, which limits the amount of blood that can flow through them.
Causes of this abnormal development may include –
• Insufficient blood flow to the uterus
• Damage to the blood vessels
• Weak immune system
• Genetic problem
Preeclampsia is classified as one of four high blood pressure disorder that can occur during pregnancy. The other three are-
• Gestational hypertension
• Chronic hypertension
• Chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia
Risk factors –
Risk factors includes-
• History of preeclampsia
• Chronic hypertension
• First pregnancy
• Age more than 35
• Black women at higher risk
• Multiple pregnancy like twins, triplet etc.
• Interval more than 10 years between pregnancies
• In vitro fertilization
• History of certain diseases like diabetes, kidney diseases, migraines, lupus, blood clotting etc.
Complications of pre-eclampsia includes-
• Fetal growth restriction
• Preterm birth
• Placental abruption
• HELLP ( Haemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count ) syndrome
• Cardiovascular disease
• Other organ such as kidneys, liver, lung,eyes, brain damage
To diagnose pre-eclampsia, you must have high blood pressure more than 140/90 mm of Hg.
Test that could confirm the diagnosis are-
• Blood test
• Urine analysis
• Fetal ultrasound
• Nonstress test or biophysical profile ( Checks baby’s heart rate when baby moves)
The most effective treatment for pre-eclampsia is delivery.
If you are diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, your doctor will tell you how you will need to come in for prenatal visits. You will need more frequent blood test, ultrasounds than that would be expected in an uncomplicated pregnancy.
Possible treatment for pre eclampsia includes-
• Medications such as hydralazine to lower blood pressure
• Anti convuIsant Medications such as magnesium injections
Other treatment measures-
To prevent chances of pre eclampsia, you might need to –
• Lose some weight if you’re overweight
• Stop smoking
• Exercise regularly
• Get your BP or blood sugar under control
For more informative articles on pregnancy and other health issues, please visit our website www.santripty.com.Also feel free to consult.