Pre-eclampsia in pregnancy
PRE-eclampsia is an uncommon yet an important condition, when the pregnant women have high blood pressure, albumen in the urine, and swelling of hands and feet, happening around delivery. The condition can have health risks for both mother and the baby, which can be avoided by regularly consulting your doctor for pre-natal care. Most common symptoms are raised blood pressure over 140/90, weight gain, severe headaches, dizziness, breathing difficulty, fatigue, nausea, vomiting with visual disturbances, like flashing lights, floaters even blurred vision.
Some women don’t notice any symptoms, except on routine visits, it’s important to see your doctor for regular blood pressure checkup and urine test. Pre-eclampsia can happen as early as 20 weeks in pregnancy, but it is rare as the symptoms usually begin after 34 weeks. Rarely even after birth within 48 hours of delivery and tend to go away without any squeal. Experts don’t know the exact cause of, pre-eclampsia presumably lack of blood flow to placenta in uterus which could play an important role. Experts, also think due to poor nutrition and high body fat may contribute to this condition.
However, there could be some genetic factor too. The commonest risk factors are: high blood pressure that starts after 20th week of pregnancy. Patients may suffers from chronic hypertension before getting pregnant and gets worse as the pregnancy goes on. Other risk factors are the age in woman over 40 or being pregnant for the first time. She may have pregnancies less than 2 years or more than 10 years apart. A previous history of pre-eclampsia in the family, obesity, diabetes, kidney disease or rheumatoid arthritis are very helpful in diagnosing the problem.
Pre-eclampsia can cause, sometime, serious complications, therefore the patients are to be very careful if the condition is diagnosed. If it remains untreated for some time, other complications could be a stroke, respiratory dyspnea early symptoms of heart failure, reversible blindness, bleeding from the gums or nose and prolonged bleeding after child birth. Laboratory blood test may confirm the diagnosis through elevated liver enzymes and low platelet counts, disturbed liver and kidney and presence of albumen in the urine. Ultrasounds, non-stressed tests and biophysical profiles of the baby to see how the baby is growing is necessary before any decision.
The best cure of pre-eclampsia is to deliver the baby if the symptoms can persist for 6 weeks or more. Your doctor will talk with you when to deliver the baby if growing well in the womb. If your baby isn’t close to term, you and your doctor may be able to treat mild pre-eclampsia until your baby has developed enough to be safely delivered. If she has mild preeclampsia, your doctor may advise the patient to take bed rest, monitoring of fetal heart rate, ultrasound examination, control of blood pressure and urine tests.
If the condition persist, your doctor also may advise stay in the hospital for sometime. so that could be watched closely. In the hospital she may get medication in time. Normally, the symptoms go away within 1 to 6 weeks. After delivery, discuss with the doctor for life style changes like losing some weight if you’re overweight, stop smoking, mild exercise regularly and keep your blood pressure and blood sugar under proper control,. But be careful not to take any medications, vitamins, or supplements without the advice of your doctor.