Preeclampsia is a very common problem associated with pregnancy. Preeclampsia occurs when a woman’s blood pressure increases and affects seven percent of all pregnancies in the world. Symptoms of preeclampsia include headache, blurred vision, swollen face or hands, rapid weight gain, pain in upper right abdomen, urinating less often than normal. Here is everything you should know about preeclampsia.
Doctors are often asked about a very common problem associated with pregnancy, called pre-eclampsia, once called toxemia. Preeclampsia occurs when a woman’s blood pressure increases and, as mentioned, affects seven percent of all pregnancies in the world. Most often affects mothers having their first child and women carrying twins.
Highest risk of preeclampsia appear at:
- Those who have family history of preeclampsia
- Those that have high blood pressure or kidney diseases
- Women affected by gestational diabetes
- Women with autoimmune diseases (systemic lupus and other diseases
How to treat preeclamsia?
Preeclampsia is a vexing problem for obstetricians. Many researchers have dedicated their lifetime trying to find a treatment for this disease, as it poses potential dangers for both mother and baby. In countries like United States, the disease is diagnosed and treated promptly, while in Third World countries this disease is not recognized and seriously affects the health of mother and child.
What are the symptoms of preeclampsia?
Symptoms of preeclampsia are:
- blurred vision
- Swelling of the face or hands
- Rapid weight gain
- Pain in upper right abdomen
- Urinating less than usually
Many of these symptoms are associated with normal pregnancy. For the proper diagnosis, the physician must consider all data about the patient, not to rely solely on these few symptoms.
What are the signs of preeclampsia?
When doctors talk to parents about preeclampsia, they begin by describing the most common sign of illness: an increase in blood pressure. In some cases, blood pressure of 130/80 may be a indicator of preeclampsia, while in other cases may only be diagnosed when blood reaches much higher values. The reason for this variation is that each woman has her own blood pressure.
Some women have blood pressure of 90/60.For them, blood pressure of 130/80 is a significant change. By contrast, if during early pregnancy blood pressure would be 130/80, then the wrong value would be different.
In other words, if the maximum value increases with 30 or minimum increases by 15 over the core values??, you should take into consideration a diagnosis of preeclampsia. This problem should not be overlooked as, in some cases, might even provoke death to both mother and child.
Laboratory tests for the diagnosis of preeclampsia
If the doctor suspects that a patient has preeclampsia, it recommends a series of blood tests, including a complete blood count (including the determination of blood platelets) and liver and kidney tests. If the number of platelets (cells responsible for clotting) is less than normal or results of other tests are abnormal, these results will help establish a diagnosis. In addition, doctors recommend urine tests to determine if it has any protein. This is another quick test to help diagnose preeclampsia.
When does preeclampsia occur?
In general, preeclampsia is a disease that manifests in the second half of pregnancy, especially in recent weeks ahead of schedule. In a small number of patients, especially those with risk factors (those above), preeclampsia can start much earlier.
Is there any way to prevent preeclampsia?
At this point, no. Some years ago, doctors believed that children aspirin may prevent preeclampsia . Unfortunately, it proved that the drug is not effective, and most doctors have stopped using it for this purpose.
If I had preeclampsia in my first pregnancy, would I also have it the next time?
Ten percent of women that had preeclampsia at their first birth, had it during the second birth. This percent is again influenced by the risk factors we have mentioned above.
Are there long-term consequences of preeclampsia?
No. However, ten percent of patients with preeclampsia had high blood pressure for several weeks after birth, and some of them required treatment with drugs. However, having preeclampsia does not necessarily mean you will have high blood pressure later in life.
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