Are you pregnant? It's time to know about Preeclampsia
Research and medical discovery show that Preeclampsia is one of the four blood pressure disorders that can occur during pregnancy
Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific disorder indicated by hypertension which leads to proteinuria occurring after the 20th week of gestation. It is observed that Preeclampsia is often developed without any symptoms. However, regular monitoring of the blood pressure levels will help one stay cautious. Any blood pleasure reading that exceeds 140/90 mmHg or greater recorded on two occasions, within a time interval of four hours, is considered abnormal. These can be the primary signs of Preeclampsia.
Other symptoms of the disorder includes severe headaches, discharge of protein in the urine (proteinuria) or other signs of kidney problems, abnormal pain in the upper abdomen – usually below the ribs on the right side, decreased urination, nausea or vomiting, shortness of breath caused by fluid in the lungs.
Research and medical discovery show that Preeclampsia is one of the four blood pressure disorders that can occur during pregnancy. The others include Gestational hypertension, chronic hypertension, and chronic hypertension with superimposed Preeclampsia.
The causes for Preeclampsia include several factors. However, experts believe that it all begins with the placenta, an organ that nourishes the fetus during pregnancy. In women with Preeclampsia, the blood vessels are poorly developed or will not function well. It will cause difficulty in sending blood to the placenta and leads to insufficient blood flow into the uterus.
This disorder in blood pressure may be due to chronic hypertension seen in the family. It can also occur in the first pregnancy and in some cases of new paternity where the pregnancy with a new partner increases the risk of Preeclampsia more than does a second or third pregnancy with the same partner. Sometimes Preeclampsia is seen in young women and women who are pregnant after the age of 35. The interval between pregnancies also has an impact on this. Conceiving in an interval less than two years or over ten years apart ends up at higher risk of Preeclampsia. As much as one is aware of the situation, one also needs to take precautions to avoid Preeclampsia.
A few tips are as follows:
• Calcium supplements in the diet: A healthy diet routine with calcium supplements is advisory for pregnant women.
• Regular water intake: Drinking between 6-8 glasses of water a day is a good practice
• Regular exercises to stay fit
• Avoiding alcohol and caffeine intake
• Keeping feet elevated a few times a day
• Avoiding fried or processed food
• Excluding added salt from the diet
(Dr Gopi A, Director - Cardiology,
Fortis Hospital, Cunningham Road)