Pre-eclampsia

A very severe pregnancy complication is known as preeclampsia which is dangerous for the mother and the fetus. Symptoms include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Excess protein in the urine
    • Proteinuria
  • Kidney problems
  • Very severe headaches
  • Vision changes
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • GI distress – nausea or vomiting
  • Decreased urine output
  • Thrombocytopenia – lowered platelet count
  • Diminished liver function
  • Shortness of breath
    • Fluid in the lungs.
  • Sudden weight gain and swelling
    • Edema in your face and hands.

This is a potentially fatal complication and women should seek medical attention right away. Causes include:

  • Insufficient blood flow to the uterus
  • Damage to blood vessels
  • Problem with immune system
  • Some genes.

A physician will rule out gestational hypertension, chronic hypertension and chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia before diagnosing preeclampsia confirmatively. Moreover, some risk factors include:

  • History of preeclampsia
  • First pregnancy
  • New paternity
  • Age – older than 40
  • Obesity
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Interval between pregnancies – having babies less than 2 years or more than 10 years apart
  • History of:
    • Chronic high blood pressure
    • Migraine headaches
    • Type 1 Diabetes
    • Type 2 Diabetes
    • Kidney disease
    • Tendency to develop blood clots
    • Lupus.

The complications are:

  • Lack of blood flow to placenta – breathing problem in baby
  • Placental abruption – severe abruption, bleeding, life-threatening
  • HELLP syndrome
    • Hemolysis
    • Elevated liver enzymes
    • Low platelet count – thrombocytopenia
  • Eclampsia
    • Upper right abdominal pain
    • Severe headaches
    • Vision problems
    • Mental status changes
  • Cardiovascular disease
    • Eat fruits and vegetables.

Tests and diagnosis:

  • Check urine
  • Check CBC – platelets
  • Check liver enzymes
  • Check kidney status
  • Rule out pulmonary edema
  • Check for neurological symptoms.

Medication:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Corticosteroids
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Bed rest
  • Hospitalization
  • Delivery – emergency C-section.

Prevention:

  • Low-dose aspirin
  • Calcium supplements
  • Educate.

Women who reside in Denver should visit the Denver Holistic Center for more information and to prevent any lethal complications.

 

 Figure 1 – Some systemic side effects of preeclampsia.

Figure 1 – Some systemic side effects of preeclampsia.

 Figure 2 – Statistics of preeclampsia awareness.

Figure 2 – Statistics of preeclampsia awareness.