What is Preeclampsia? | What are the Symptoms  of Preeclampsia?

Originally posted on September 9, 2022 @ 12:31 pm

Have you ever seen a pregnant woman with a swollen leg before? Preeclampsia is the term to that particular illness. stay tuned and read through as you are about to know the causes of it and how it can be prevented.

What is Preeclampsia?

Pregnant women with preeclampsia, previously known as toxemia, experience swelling in their hands, feet, and legs as well as elevated blood pressure and protein in their urine. From moderate to severe, it may exist. Although it may occur sooner or immediately after birth, it often occurs late in pregnancy.

Preeclampsia may progress to eclampsia, a dangerous illness that poses threats to the mother and unborn child’s health and, in extreme circumstances, can be fatal. Eclampsia results from preeclampsia that causes seizures. Giving delivery is the only way to treat preeclampsia. Preeclampsia symptoms might last for at least six weeks following birth.

Knowing the signs of preeclampsia and seeing your doctor for regular prenatal care can help you protect yourself. Early detection of preeclampsia may reduce the likelihood that both mom and baby may have long-term issues.

What are the Symptoms  of Preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia symptoms include: Protein in the urine, swelling (also known as edema), and blood pressure exceeding 130/80.

  • Weight gain over the course of one or two days due to a significant rise in body fluid
  • Shoulder ache
  • Discomfort in the stomach, particularly on the upper right side
  • Severe headaches
  • Reflex or mental state change
  • Reduced or absent urination
  • Dizziness
  • Breathing issues
  • Nausea and severe vomiting
  • Vision alterations like floaters, flashing lights, or blurriness

It’s crucial to see your doctor for routine blood pressure checks and urine testing since some women with preeclampsia don’t exhibit any symptoms.

When Do the Symptoms of Preeclampsia Appear?

Preeclampsia may develop as early as week 20 of pregnancy, although that seldom happens. Symptoms often start after 34 weeks. Occasionally, symptoms appear soon after birth, generally within 48 hours. They usually disappear by themselves.

What are the  Causes of Preeclampsia

Many medical professionals believe preeclampsia and eclampsia result from a woman’s placenta not functioning properly, although they are unsure of the precise cause. Some speculate that excessive body fat or inadequate diet may be to blame. The uterus’s poor blood supply might be a factor. Genes have a role as well.

Other High Blood Pressure Conditions During Pregnancy

One of the four conditions that affect pregnant women’s blood pressure is preeclampsia. the following three:

Gestational Hypertension: This is high blood pressure that develops after the 20th week of pregnancy but does not result in a woman having a lot of protein in her urine. After birth, it often disappears.

Chronic Hypertension: This kind of hypertension develops either before a woman becomes pregnant or before the 20th week of pregnancy.

Preeclampsia with concurrent Chronic Hypertension: This kind of elevated blood pressure develops into chronic hypertension as the pregnancy progresses, leading to issues including increased protein in the urine.

What are the Risk of Preeclampsia

What is Preeclampsia? | What are the Symptoms  of Preeclampsia?
What is Preeclampsia? | What are the Symptoms  of Preeclampsia?

Your risk of developing preeclampsia may be affected by the following:

  • Being an older lady or an adolescent
  • Being African American
  • Having a first-time pregnancy
  • Having children more than ten years apart or less than two years apart.
  • Pregnancy with someone other than the father of your firstborn children
  • Prior to becoming pregnant, high blood pressure
  • preeclampsia in the past
  • Preeclampsia in a sister or mother
  • Obesity in the past
  • carrying several children
  • Artificial conception
  • A background of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, diabetes, renal illness, or any of these

What are the Complications of Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia may prevent your placenta from receiving enough blood, which might result in a very tiny baby at birth. Fetal growth limitation is the term for this.

It’s also one of the most frequent causes of preterm births, which may lead to consequences including epilepsy, cerebral palsy, cognitive challenges, and hearing and visual issues.

Preeclampsia may lead to uncommon but dangerous consequences like:

  • Stroke.
  • Seizure.
  • Fluid accumulation in your chest.
  • Failing heart.
  • Temporary blindness
  • Your liver is leaking blood.
  • Bleeding following childbirth.

You might develop a condition known as HELLP syndrome when preeclampsia or eclampsia damages your liver and blood cells. That denotes:

What is Preeclampsia? | What are the Symptoms  of Preeclampsia?
What is Preeclampsia? | What are the Symptoms  of Preeclampsia?

Hemolysis: The red blood cells that transport oxygen throughout your body start to deteriorate at this point.

Increased Liver Enzymes: High concentrations of these substances in your blood indicate liver issues.

Decreased Platelet Counts: This occurs when your blood doesn’t clot properly because you don’t have enough platelets.

A medical emergency is HELLP syndrome. If you have symptoms such as:

  • Cloudy vision
  • Abdominal or chest discomfort
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting or a stomachache
  • Having face or hand swelling
  • Having nose or gum bleeding

Placental abruption, commonly known as preeclampsia, occurs when your placenta abruptly separates from your uterus. Stillbirth may result from this.

READ ASLO: What are Signs of Labor? | What Frequency are the Contractions of Labor?

Preeclampsia Diagnosis

Preeclampsia is present if you have high blood pressure and at least one of the following additional symptoms:

  • Your urine contains too much protein.
  • Your blood doesn’t have enough platelets
  • Elevated kidney-related chemical levels in your blood
  • Elevated liver-related chemical levels in your blood
  • Your lungs’ fluid
  • New headache that does not go away while taking medicine

Your doctor could do the following tests to confirm a diagnosis:

  • Blood tests to search for kidney or liver abnormalities and to assess your platelets
  • Protein measurements in urine
  • Using biophysical profiles, non-stress testing, or ultrasounds to monitor your child’s development

Treatments for Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia and eclampsia can only be treated by giving delivery. Depending on your preeclampsia severity, how far along your baby is in the womb, and how well your baby is doing, your doctor will discuss with you when to deliver.

Your doctor could decide to induce labor or perform a caesarean surgery if your baby has matured normally by 37 weeks or later. Preeclampsia won’t worsen as a result of this.

If your baby isn’t quite full-term, you and your doctor may be able to manage moderate preeclampsia until your baby is mature enough to be delivered without risk. The better it is for your kid, the closer to your due date the delivery occurs.

Preeclampsia with moderate symptoms, also known as preeclampsia without severe characteristics, may be treated with the following medications:

  1. Resting mostly on your left side on a bed, either at home or at a hospital
  2. Thorough observation with a foetal heart rate monitor and regular ultrasounds
  3. Blood pressure-lowering medications
  4. Tests on blood and urine

Your doctor may advise you to remain in the hospital so they can keep a careful eye on you. You might acquire: at a hospital:

What is Preeclampsia? | What are the Symptoms  of Preeclampsia?
What is Preeclampsia? | What are the Symptoms  of Preeclampsia?
  • medication to help avoid blood pressure disorders, seizures, and other issues
  • Steroid injections to promote quicker lung development in your infant
  • Additional therapies comprise:
  • Magnesium injections to stop seizures brought on by eclampsia
  • A blood pressure medication like hydralazine

If you have severe preeclampsia, even if you are not quite at term, your doctor may need to induce labor immediately. Preeclampsia symptoms should then go away within 1 to 6 weeks, though they could linger longer.

How to Avoiding Preeclampsia

Consult your doctor about making lifestyle changes that can keep you healthy if you have a higher risk of developing preeclampsia. Perhaps you should:

  • If you’re obese, lose some weight.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Frequently exercise
  • Control your blood pressure and/or sugar levels.

A low-dose (81 mg) aspirin should be taken daily, according to your doctor. But before taking any supplements, vitamins, or medications, consult with them first.

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