How Preeclampsia occurs, Diagnosis and Treatment
Preeclampsia formerly called as toxaemia this is a dangerous complication in pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure and proteinuria during or after delivery.
This usually occur after 20th week of pregnancy it may also occur earlier or after delivery in some cases. This preeclampsia affects other organs such as kidney and liver. We may also observe low clotting factors in blood. This preeclampsia if untreated affects mother and foetus. In mother this may lead to placental abruption, cardiovascular disease (CVD), preterm birth. In foetus it may lead to growth restriction.
The most effective treatment for preeclampsia is delivery of baby. This preeclampsia generally seen in early pregnancy and in some cases, it may be observed after delivery, this is called to be as postpartum preeclampsia. Preeclampsia can lead to eclampsia which is an serious condition with may affect both mother and foetus in rare cases may also lead to death. Women with preeclampsia having seizures have eclampsia.
SYMPTOMS OF PREECLAMPSIA:
- Generally, there are no specific symptoms for this condition. Some symptoms may include:
- High blood pressure which exceed more than 140\90 mm of hg.
- Persistent headache
- Proteinuria excess protein in urine or kidney problems.
- Upper abdominal pain on the right side.
- Shortness of breath caused due to fluid accumulation in lungs.
- Impaired liver function.
- Nausea and Vomiting.
- Weight gain
- Low platelet levels
- Vision changes
- Swelling particular face and hands.
CAUSES OF PREECLAMPSIA:
There is no exact cause for preeclampsia but involves several factors.
Generally, placenta is organ that nourishes the foetus through out pregnancy in early pregnancy new blood vessels develop which help in sending blood to placenta efficiently. In women with preeclampsia this blood vessels do not develop properly or function properly.
These blood vessels or narrower than normal blood vessels in women with preeclampsia. In early pregnancy new blood vessels develop and send blood to the placenta.
Causes for this abnormal development of blood vessels are:
- In sufficient blood flow to uterus
- Damage to blood vessels
- Problem with the immune system
Along with this preeclampsia other common disorders that occur during pregnancy are:
- Gestational hypertension
- Chronic hypertension
- Chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia
The preeclampsia develops as a complication of pregnancy. The risk factors include:
- First pregnancy
- History of preeclampsia
- Age more than 35 or in teens
- History of kidney disorder
- Multiple pregnancy
- History of preeclampsia
- New paternity
- Interval between pregnancy
- In-vitro fertilization
- Fluid build-up in chest
- Reversible blindness
- Bleeding problems due to low platelet levels
- Damage to liver
- Kidney failure
- Heart failure
- Foetal growth restriction
- Preterm birth
- Placental abruption
- Organ damage
- Cardiovascular disease
When this preeclampsia damages the liver and blood cells, we might observe complication called as HELLP syndrome stands for haemolysis, Elevated liver enzymes, Low platelet counts. The symptoms of this syndrome include:
- Blurred vision
- Stomach upset or vomiting
- Bleeding gums or nose
DIAGNOSIS OF PREECLAMPSIA:
To diagnose preeclampsia, one must have high blood pressure and other complications after 20th week of pregnancy:
- Protein in urine
- Low platelet count
- Impaired liver function
- Pulmonary oedema.
To confirm this blood test, urine analysis, ultra sound, non-stress test or biophysical profile are been performed.
TREATMENT FOR PREECLAMPSIA:
Most effective treatment for preeclampsia is delivery. In most of the cases this prevent the disease progression.
If the women is at 37 week or later then doctor may induce labor at this stage the baby is developed completely and may not be considered premature.
If the women having preeclampsia prior to 37 weeks then the doctor considers both mother and baby health to decide the time of delivery. This depend on factors such as gestational age of baby, whether labor is began or not and the severity of the disease.
- To lower blood pressure
Bed rest is mostly recommended for women with preeclampsia.
TREATMENT AFTER DELIVERY:
Once the baby is delivered, the symptoms resolve. The women will have normal blood pressure within 48 hours of delivery.
PREVENTION OF PREECLAMPSIA:
Some life style changes may help to prevent this condition:
- Losing weight if obese by doing regular exercise.
- Maintain proper diet
- Stop smoking
- Keep blood pressure in control
- Maintain sugar levels.
Thanks for Reading……