Preeclampsia: What is preeclampsia? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention.

Preeclampsia, (initially called toxemia):
Is a sickness that occurs earlier or later in pregnancy and after delivery. But at most times, it appears late in pregnancy. Its occurrence is due to high blood pressure that causes protein in the urine. This can also lead to swellings in the hands, legs and feet.
Preeclampsia is a serious condition with utmost health risks to both the mother and the baby. If not well taken care of, it can lead to eclampsia which is so dangerous that can cause death.
Preeclampsia’s perfect cure is giving birth. However, its symptoms can last more than 6 weeks even after giving birth.

Learning about the symptoms of Preeclampsia and having regular visits to your doctor on prenatal care, can help protect yourself and limit preeclampsia occurrence.
Long-term problems are lowered for the both parties (mother and baby), incase preeclampsia is caught or experienced earlier.

Preeclampsia, its effective symptoms:
Common symptoms for preeclampsia include:
– edema (swellings on body parts like legs, feet and hands).
–  lots of protein in the urine.
– greater than 130/80 blood pressure.
– shoulder pain.
– dizziness.
– extreme severe headaches.
– severe vomiting and nausea.
– breathing issues/trouble breathing.
– change in reflexes/mental state.
Upper right side extreme uncontrollable continuously pain.
– large increase in bodily fluid causing weight gain within 1 or 2 days.
– less peeing or not at all.
– blurry vision ( vision changes like floaters, flashing lights).

Above all, you should carry out regular check ups on your urine and blood pressure by your doctor. As some women with Preeclampsia don’t show any symptoms.

When is its symptoms occurrence visible?
After 34 weeks, the symptoms can be notable/noticed.
As early as 20 weeks into pregnancy, preeclampsia can be seen but under rare cases.
In most cases, within (48 hours of delivery), the symptoms might develop then eventually vanish on their own.

Preeclampsia Causes:
There are many thoughts about Preeclampsia and eclampsia existence.
– experts thoughts on placenta not working well the way it should, but it’s cause not known.
– poor nutrition thoughts (high body fat might contribute due to poor nutrition).
– genes.
– lack of good circulation of blood in the uterus.
– no enough oxygen in the blood vessels.

Besides Preeclampsia, other three types of high blood disorders in pregnant women include:

Gestational hypertension:
This usually goes away after delivery and it doesn’t cause high amounts of protein. It starts after the 20th week of pregnancy and eventually goes away after giving birth/delivery.

Chronic hypertension:
It’s said to be chronic since it has been with the woman before getting pregnant. It always shows up before the 20th week.

Superimposed-preeclampsia (Chronic hypertension):
With this type, the situation worsens due to the chronic high blood pressure with more protein in the urine developing continuously as pregnancy goes on.

Preeclampsia Risk Conditions/Factors.
The conditions include:

– being African American.
– being a teen or woman over 40
– being pregnant for the first time.
– having babies less than 2 years apart.
– giving birth to babies more than 10 years apart.
– preeclampsia illness family background or history.
– having history of preeclampsia illness.
– pregnancy generated by a new partner, not the official farther of your previous children.
– more than one baby pregnancy.
– rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, diabetes or lupus history.
– In-vitro fertilization (IVF)
– – obesity history.

Preeclampsia Complications:
It can cause fetal growth restriction by restricting your placenta from getting enough blood. Due to this, your baby might be born with little weight or very small.

It also forms one of the most causes of premature birth which leads to more complications on the baby like:

– learning disabilities.
– cerebral palsy.
– epilepsy.
– hearing and vision problems.

Rare but serious complications can be caused by preeclampsia and they include:

– Heart failure.
– Stroke.
– Bleeding from your liver.
– Reversible blindness.
– Fluid buildup in your chest.
– Seizure.
– Continuous bleeding after you’ve given birth.

After giving birth, bleeding might continue due to the rupturing of the liver and blood cells, caused by the prolonged adverse effects of preeclampsia and eclampsia.
You can get HELLP complication syndrome if this case continues.
HELLP stands for:
Hemolysis – breaking down of the red cells incharge of transportation of oxygen through your body vessels.
Elevated liver enzymes – too much of these chemicals in your blood, causes liver problems.
Low platelet counts – issues with clotting of blood, generated by lack of enough platelets.

If you happen to experience HELLP syndrome, call 911 for medical emergency.

HELLP syndrome is a serious medical emergency which should be acted upon very quickly to safeguard life. You can either call 911 or hurry to the emergency room, if you have symptoms including:

– Headache.
– Swelling noticed on your face or hands.
– Blurry vision.
– Chest or belly pain.
– Vomiting or upset stomach.
– Fatigue.
– Nose bleeding/bleeding from your gums.

Preeclampsia can also cause the separation of the placenta from the uterus (placental abruption), which can lead or result to stillbirth.

Preeclampsia Diagnosis:
If you experience high blood pressure alongside one of the following signs, you have preeclampsia. The signs include:

– Fluid in your lungs.
– New headache that doesn’t respond to any medication or go away.
– Urine with too much protein.
– Not enough platelets in your blood.
– Kidney-related chemicals high levels in your blood.
– Liver-related chemicals high levels in your blood.

For your diagnosis confirmation, the doctor might carry out tests including:

Blood tests:
– to check your platelets count.
– to inspect kidney and liver chemicals.
Urine test:
– to measure proteins content.
Nonstress tests, ultrasounds or biophysical profiles:
– to see the growth progress of your baby.

Preeclampsia Treatment:
Giving birth is the only probable cure for eclampsia and preeclampsia.
Your doctor will elaborate to you about:
– the severity of your preeclampsia.
– when to deliver following how far along your baby is.
– your baby’s condition in the womb that is; how well is it doing?
Incase your baby is 37 weeks and above, that is (has developed well), a labor or a cesarean section will be induced by the doctor to keep the preeclampsia from getting worse.
However, the mild preeclampsia will be put under treatment if the baby isn’t close to term until it fully develops. The better it is for your baby, the closer the birth is to your due date.

If you have preeclampsia without severe features also referred to as mild preeclampsia, your doctor may prescribe:

– Medicines to lower your blood pressure.
– Fetal heart rate careful monitoring and frequent ultrasounds.
–  Bed rest; resting mostly on your left side either in the hospital or at home.
–  Blood/urine tests.

You might get confined in the hospital for a close watch by your doctor. You might get the following while in the hospital:

Steroid injections – to fasten the growth of your baby’s lungs.
Medicine to help lower blood pressure, prevent seizures and other problems.
Magnesium injections – to prevent seizures eclampsia related.
Hydralazine (or another blood pressure drug).
Your doctor may need to deliver your baby right away incase of severe preeclampsia even if you are far away to the term.
The preeclampsia symptoms afterwards, they might go away within (1- 6 weeks) but sometimes they could last longer.
Preeclampsia Prevention:
The only remedy for preeclampsia or staying away from it is; by applying lifestyle changes.
Visit your doctor for a lifestyle changes lecture lesson that can help you stay fit.
You might also need to:
– Exercise regularly.
– Stop smoking
– Lose some weight (if you’re overweight).
– Get earlier precautions by controlling blood sugar or blood pressure under every daily routine on your meals and fitness.
A low dose (81 milligram) of aspirin each day, might be administered or prescribed to you by your doctor but don’t take any medications, vitamins or supplements without consulting your doctor.

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