What Causes Pregnancy Induced Hypertension?

(May 4, 2010)

Congratulations for having reached the 22nd week of your pregnancy. But is your face feeling like a pumpkin? Are your hands and feet swollen and does your stomach hurt too? While all these are normal, they can also indicate preeclampsia or pregnancy induced hypertension.

Preeclampsia or pregnancy induced hypertension is when your blood pressure soars or goes above 140/90 mm Hg. Do not panic as this condition is easily manageable with some care and support. However it can prove risky if you do not treat it.
Spot the Signs

In the initial stages, you may not feel any symptoms. Headaches, nausea, and vomiting are the strong signs which may often be mistaken as signs of pregnancy. Besides these, if you notice any of the following signs, make sure that you alert your doctor immediately:

•    Excessive weight gain
•    Swelling of hands, feet and face
•    Severe stomach pain
•    Headaches along with dizziness.

Preeclampsia can also be underlined because of excess protein in your body. The actual level of protein cannot be determined unless a routine urine test is done. An extreme case of hypertension in pregnancy can lead to seizures, fits, coma or even death.

Most of the pregnant women who are affected by preeclampsia have healthy babies. However, there is a chance that the baby may be underweight or you may end up having a premature delivery. In order to avoid any complications to the baby, your doctor may put you under observation for a day or two after your delivery.

In severe cases, the blood vessels in the womb may constrict and as a result the oxygen and blood flow gets cut off. This condition is known as hypoxia and this may interfere with the fetal development.

If the blood pressure is not brought under control, then there can be serious problems in your pregnancy.

You may be prone to high blood pressure during pregnancy if:

•    There is a family history of preeclampsia
•    You are overweight
•    You are suffering from kidney or other vascular diseases
•    You have low energy levels
•    You are suffering from diabetes
•    You had multiple pregnancies.

To stay safe, it is always better to bring all these aspects to your doctor’s notice before you plan to have a baby.

There is no specific method or way to cure or treat this condition. If preeclampsia develops during pregnancy, you may be put on bed rest to avoid complications. Cutting down on your intake of spices and salt is the best way to control this condition. Light exercise with the advice of your doctor may also prove effective. Generally, blood pressure stabilizes 10 days after your delivery. So be regular with your prenatal and post natal check-ups and follow all your doctor’s instructions without fail.

Submitted by P T on May 4, 2010 at 12:12

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