Now when you have become pregnant, you should keep yourself under strict routines, healthy diets, follow the advice of your physician and try to follow a healthy lifestyle. Otherwise, you are likely to come across certain difficulties in your pregnancy like preeclampsia and eclampsia, and many others. So, it is very important for you as a new mother-to-be to know extensively about clinical disorders that might occur during pregnancy such as preeclampsia and eclampsia.
What Is Preeclampsia?
Preeclampsia, also sometimes referred to as toxemia, is a clinical condition that develops in the later phases of pregnancy and may cause complications in the pregnancy. Preeclampsia is a severe condition that may significantly increase the levels of your blood pressure. During pregnancy, Preeclampsia will eventually increase the number of protein substances in your urine. It is a serious ailment that primarily occurs during the 20th week of pregnancy. Apart from increasing the levels of blood pressure, it may also cause fatal damage to some of your major organs. As opined by doctors, preeclampsia can harm the health of the mother and can also cause damage to the child and in some severe cases can also lead to miscarriage or birth defects.
Preeclampsia is not a very regular condition of pregnancy. It occurs at very low rates (up to almost 8 to 15%) but it can cause major complications in pregnancy and labor.
Who Will Suffer More From Preeclampsia?
New mothers are found to be very prone to suffer from preeclampsia. Otherwise, there are a few more reasons that may cause preeclampsia such as:
- If the occurrence of preeclampsia is in your genes.
- Excessive body weight or obesity.
- If you or your family has a history of heart diseases, high levels of blood pressure, kidney stones or other kidney disorders, high blood sugar levels, or diabetes.
- If you have autoimmune diseases such as lupus.
Causes Of Preeclampsia:
According to recent sources, there might be a lot of reasons that are responsible for causing diseases like preeclampsia during pregnancy. Some of them are as follows:
- genetic issues
- blood vessel problems
- If you are pregnant with twins or triplets
- If you had preeclampsia in your earlier pregnancy
- If you are going to be a new mother, that is for the first time
- Pregnancy at a very late age, like 35 or 40
- Pregnancy with in vitro method of fertilization
Symptoms Of Preeclampsia:
Some common symptoms become noticeable when someone develops preeclampsia during pregnancy. Some of them are as follows:
- Problems in vision, leading to blurred vision
- A sudden increase in blood pressure
- Gradual lowering of platelet counts
- Frequent headache
- Excessive pain in the upper abdomen
- Unusual swelling in your hands and face
- Problems with breathing or breathlessness
- Nausea and vomiting
- A sudden increase in body weight
In many severe cases of preeclampsia, one might develop the following symptoms:
- Baby’s discomfort that may be understood from the sudden changes or abnormality of its heart rate
- Fluid in the lungs
- Abnormal seizures
- Dysfunction of liver or kidney
- Pain in the abdomen
Treatment Of Preeclampsia:
If your doctor finds that your condition of preeclampsia during pregnancy is gradually deteriorating, then he or she might suggest your delivery as the most common way to prevent further worsening of the condition. Apart from delivery, there are some other ways to treat preeclampsia too. Some of them are listed below:
- Low-dose aspirin: A low dose of drugs like aspirin (doses as recommended by your physician) may treat or even prevent chances of developing preeclampsia if taken in the early phase of your pregnancy, especially within your first trimester or at least within the 12th week of your pregnancy.
- Calcium supplements: It is advisable to have foods that are rich in calcium or to have calcium supplements. This will help pregnant women to get rid of preeclampsia that might often develop due to calcium deficiency or due to the inability to derive enough calcium from the food that they regularly have in their diet.
Complications Of Preeclampsia:
In severe cases, preeclampsia might lead to lethal conditions. Some of those severities are listed below:
- The gradual decrease in the levels of platelet that leads to bleeding
- Abruption of the placenta from the uterine wall
- Liver and kidney malfunctions
- Pulmonary edema
- Premature birth
What Is Eclampsia?
When preeclampsia becomes a fatal ailment during pregnancy, particularly in the later half of the pregnancy, it leads to a severity known as eclampsia. Eclampsia is a rare condition that occurs in almost one out of 2000 pregnant women, but if anyone develops such a rare disorder then the conditions are severe.
It is often found that the occurrence of eclampsia is common among those who suffer or had a medical history of suffering from seizures, characterized by sudden disruptions in brain functions that may lead to a decrease in alertness, periods of starring, and convulsions. When you have preeclampsia, it causes a sudden increase in blood pressure levels. If that preeclampsia further develops into eclampsia, then the high blood pressure levels further lead to seizures.
Causes Of Eclampsia:
Eclampsia occurs as a severe consequence of preeclampsia during late pregnancy, but apart from this, some other reasons are considered to be responsible for the occurrence of eclampsia. Some such are as follows:
- Abnormal formation and malfunction of the placenta during pregnancy
- Excessive protein in your urine affects the normal functioning of your kidneys, for which the kidneys cannot purify the waste materials from your body and eliminate them in the form of urine
- Excessive high blood pressure during pregnancy can cause swelling of the blood veins and vessels due to extreme pressure of blood flow and this might affect your brain function and may damage the health of the growing baby
- Disorders of brain and seizures
- Convulsions and medical history of neuron-related disorders.
Symptoms Of Eclampsia:
We know that eclampsia is a condition that occurs due to any kind of severity developed from preeclampsia. So, it is quite common that both preeclampsia and eclampsia will have almost similar symptoms. You may have symptoms of both conditions.
Some such conditions are as follows:
- Excessively high levels of blood pressure
- Frequent headaches
- swelling in your face or hands
- excessive weight gain
- nausea and vomiting
- problems in eyesight and blurry vision
- difficulty urinating
- Loss of consciousness
- abdominal pain, especially in the right upper abdomen
Though some of these conditions can also occur if you have disorders like type 2 diabetes or kidney disorders such as kidney stones. Once you start noticing the above symptoms, try to consult your health care expert as soon as possible.
Those who earlier had suffered from preeclampsia or had preeclampsia in their genes or prior pregnancies are more likely to develop severe conditions like eclampsia.
But there are some other risk factors too that might lead to the occurrence of developing eclampsia during pregnancy. Some of them include:
- Those who are getting pregnant for the first time
- Gestational or chronic hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Pregnancy at a late age around 35 years or 40 or at a very young age that is below 20 years
- Multiple pregnancies with twins or triplets
- Pregnancy with disorders like diabetes or similar diseases that affect your blood vessels
- Kidney stones or related kidney diseases
Diagnosis Of Eclampsia:
There are some of the unique methods that are followed by doctors to treat eclampsia. Some of them are as follows:
Blood tests are often preferred by doctors to treat eclampsia to check your blood profile, most importantly to know your blood and platelet counts and will also help you to know in detail about your liver and kidney health.
Just like in preeclampsia, in eclampsia too the amount of protein substances increases in your urine becomes evident once your physician advice you to perform a urine test.
Treatments Of Eclampsia:
Just like preeclampsia, childbirth is a common solution to eclampsia. But before delivery in case of preeclampsia and eclampsia, it is important to check the condition of the disease in your body, the stage of pregnancy you are in, your baby’s health and how much it has grown, and whether there will be any chance of preterm birth or not. If the disease has not reached its severity yet, your physician might try to treat it with the help of medications such as anticonvulsant drugs or some medicines that belong to the class of steroids that will help to reduce the levels of high blood pressure, but the concern of delivery might arise once the disease gets fatal.
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