This possibly severe health condition more often affects women who have gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes and preeclampsia are two health problems which happen only during pregnancy or after childbirth. Gestational diabetes occurs as a result of the body not able to use blood glucose properly while pregnant and can lead to the birth of a big baby. A possible complication arising from gestational diabetes is preeclampsia which is also known as pregnancy-induced hypertension or toxemia of pregnancy and it happens to between 10 and 30 percent of gestational diabetes cases.
Preeclampsia: What is it?
If you have hypertension after 20 weeks of pregnancy and protein is found in a sample of your urine, you are deemed to have preeclampsia. This health problem happens to approximately between 5 and 8 percent of pregnancies. Preeclampsia seldom results in maternal or infant death in the United States, but preeclampsia leads to about half a million deaths among babies and 76 thousand deaths among mothers each year.
The actual reason preeclampsia occurs is not known. We only know that your preeclampsia chances are greater if you get gestational diabetes, have family members who had suffered from preeclampsia, are obese, or you already have kidney disease or hypertension before conceiving. Preeclampsia happens more often to teenage mothers, mothers above the age of 40, having twins or the first pregnancy.
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Kidney damage which results in protein going into your urine, body fluid retention, and an unexpected increase in blood pressure are symptoms of preeclampsia.
- Lab findings and Kidney damage.
Normally, waste products are filtered out from your bloodstream by the kidney, leaving the necessary proteins behind. Since having protein in the urine is a strong indication of preeclampsia, your doctor will test for its presence. With blood tests, the reduced number of cells for blood clotting and the increased amount of liver enzymes will be looked into in the lab.
- Fluid retention.
A certain amount of swelling is expected during pregnancy, but if the swelling does not subside after a rest or you have sufficient fluid to give you a weight increase of 5 pounds in a week, it can be an indication of preeclampsia. When there is fluid retention, it is noticeable in your face and hands with rings on your fingers and shoes on your feet getting too tight.
Without urine that contains protein, or swelling of the body, hypertension during pregnancy does not indicate that you suffer from preeclampsia. However, if your blood pressure suddenly surges upwards after 20 weeks of pregnancy, preeclampsia is probably suspected by your doctor. Several symptoms linked to hypertension can be a ringing in the ears, poor vision, dizziness and headaches.
- Other symptoms.
Other symptoms of preeclampsia can be unexpected vision loss, drowsiness, urine found to contain blood, reduce quantity of urine, fever, vomiting and nausea, agitation and abdominal pain.
If preeclampsia is not treated, it can stop your child in the womb from receiving sufficient blood as well as nutrition from the placenta. Preeclampsia can lead to eclampsia, a severe health problem, in which seizures and hypertension threatens the health of both mother and child.
There is no cure for preeclampsia, except childbirth. Your doctor will most probably induce labor to get you to deliver earlier and there is great possibility that your baby will be delivered by Caesarian section. Such decisions have to be made by your doctor and you after considering your symptoms, your babyâs health and your own health. If your preeclampsia is serious, the ideal treatment is delivery after the 32nd week of pregnancy. However, if your preeclampsia can be well controlled, you should have your delivery after the 37th week.
- Before delivery.
To manage your preeclampsia until childbirth can be achieved safely requires control of blood pressure with medications, plenty of rest in bed and possibly hospitalization. Your doctor will have to check your baby, urine, weight and blood pressure. Aspirin and calcium have proved to be beneficial in managing your preeclampsia. To avoid the seizures in eclampsia, magnesium sulfate may be prescribed by your doctor.
Monitoring and excellent medical care are essential to a safe pregnancy if you have hypertension brought about by your pregnancy. Be aware that many women with gestational diabetes, including those who have preeclampsia as well, managed to give birth to healthy babies. Although such medical problems cannot be avoided, a healthy pregnancy is possible for your baby and you if you and your doctor know the possible symptoms so that the medical problems can be identified and proper treatment carried out early.