This is a condition in pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure, sometimes with fluid retention and proteinuria,most often the liver and kidneys. Preeclampsia usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women whose blood pressure had been normal.
SIGN AND SYMPTOMS OF PRE-ECLAMPSIA
Pre-eclampsia, which occurs only in pregnancy, has several features. Two common signs of pre-eclampsia are:
- High blood pressure
- Protein in the urine.
Because these signs often do not cause any symptoms, they are usually detected at a routine ante-natal check-up.
Other features of pre-eclampsia may include:
- Oedema (swelling), usually of the face, hands, feet and ankles,
- Persistent headaches,
- Blurred vision,
- Shortness of breath,
- Nausea and vomiting and
- Upper abdominal pain.
If one is pregnant and develop a severe or persistent headache, abdominal pain or sudden onset of blurred vision,one should seek urgent medical attention.
CAUSES OF PRE-CLAMPSIA
While the exact cause of pre-eclampsia is not known, it is thought to be related to a problem with the placenta, the connection between mother and baby. The placenta provides oxygen and nutrients to the developing baby.
In pre-eclampsia, the blood vessels that supply the placenta do not develop properly, leading to problems with the placenta itself. This may affect blood flow through the placenta and also affect the mother’s blood pressure.
It is possible that the immune system or certain genes are involved in the development of pre-eclampsia.
Several factors are known to increase the risk of developing pre-eclampsia.
The main risk factors include:
- Having had pre-eclampsia in a previous pregnancy or
- Having pre-existing high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, clotting disorders or lupus.
Additional factors that can increase one risk (particularly if there are 2 or more risk factors) include:
- If it is one first pregnancy, or her first pregnancy with her current partner,
- Having family history of pre-eclampsia,
- Being older than 40 years of age
- Being obese,
- Being pregnant with more than one baby (e.g. twins); and
- Having a gap of more than 10 years between pregnancies.
COMPLICATIONS OF PRE-ECLAMPSIA
Low birthweight babies.
In some cases the premature separation of the placenta from the uterus before the baby is born.
Rupture of the liver
Stroke (cerebral haemorrhage)
Patient also experiences HELLP syndrome ( hemolysis with nausea, vomiting, headache and upper right abdominal pain )
-Death in very rare cases
DIAGNOSIS OF PRE-ECLAMPSIA
In many cases, pre-eclampsia is first diagnosed after routine blood pressure checks and/or urine tests reveal abnormalities.
If pre-eclampsia is suspected, further assessment and testing may be recommended in hospital or a day assessment unit under the care of an obstetrician (specialist in pregnancy and childbirth).
Tests may include:
- urine tests for protein,
- blood tests to check kidney function, liver enzymes and platelets (cells in the blood that are responsible for clotting), and
- ultrasound scans to check the babies development, the amount of amniotic fluid and blood flow through the umbilical artery to the baby.
MANAGEMENT OF PRE-ECLAMPSIA
Adequate bed rest
Try mild yoga and reduce activities
Drink plenty of water
Low sodium intake
Avoid transfatty acids and saturated fats
Quit smoking and alcohol
Close monitoring of the mother and baby.
Low activities during pregnancy
Regular monitoring of the baby
Sufficient vitamin D
Fetal kick count also helps in monitoring babies activities
Magnesium sulphate treatment act as anticonvulsant.
HOMOEOPATHIC TREATMENT FOR PRE-ECLAMPSIA
Yes, homeopathy can help in pre eclampsia cases and severity of the case is depend upon the patient to patient and their history.Some homeopathic medicines are:
- Natrum muriaticum
- Thlaspi bursa pastoris
- Terebinthinae oleum
- Plumbum metallicum