Pre-eclampsia- Symptoms, Risk & Prevention

Pre-eclampsia during pregnancy

Pre-eclampsia is a condition that occurs in pregnant women very often. It is a complication that causes high blood pressure, can damage your liver, kidneys and can cause other related problems. It usually begins on or after the onset of 20 weeks of pregnancy though it may even occur early. Even the slightest rise in your blood pressure can lead to pre-eclampsia, though it may sometimes even develop without any symptoms.

The symptoms may include:-

1. Excess protein in your urine, water retention or other kidney related problems

2. Severe and frequent headaches

3. Changes in vision, temporary loss, blurred vision or sensitivity to light

4. Feeling of Nausea, vomiting or fatigue

5. Shortness of breath and abdominal pain

6. Low level of platelets in your blood

7. Sudden weight gain and swelling (edema) around your face, feets & hands or obesity

Pre-eclampsia can affect you and your baby too. If it is not treated well in time it may lead to the severe complications like Eclampsia (severe form of pre-eclampsia that can lead to seizures) and HELLP syndrome (a condition that can affect the breakdown of red blood cells and liver functions in pregnant women). It can prevent the placenta from getting enough blood leading to decrease in the amount of oxygen and food that reaches your baby. This can lead to slow growth also known as fetal growth syndrome, resulting in low birth weight and pre-mature birth. It can also cause placenta to separate from the uterus, called placental abruption, resulting in stillbirth.

Following factors should be kept in mind to prevent and control Pre-eclampsia:-

1. Drink atleast 6-8 glasses of water everyday

2.Avoid junk and oily food

3. Get enough rest during the day and sleep at night

4. Avoid drinking alcohol and beverages containing caffeine

5. Exercise regularly

The cure and treatment of pre-eclampsia depends upon its severity. The best cure is the delivery of the baby depending on its growth and development. The doctor may perform  tests like ultrasound to check your baby’s growth. If the baby has developed enough, your doctor may suggest to induce labor or even perform a cesarean section. Since pregnancy calls for frequent pre-natal check-ups, monitoring your blood pressure should not be a big task. Undergoing the blood and urine tests as suggested by your doctor should never be ignored.

Happy Pregnancy!

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