Preeclampsia is a complication of pregnancy. With preeclampsia, you might have high blood pressure, high levels of protein in the urine that indicate kidney damage (proteinuria), or other signs of organ damage. During pregnancy, high blood pressure can impede blood flow to the placenta, limiting oxygen and nutrition delivery to the fetus. Women who have chronic hypertension can also get preeclampsia.
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The most frequent medical concern found during pregnancy is hypertension, which is divided into four categories:
- Chronic hypertension
- Gestational hypertension
Preeclampsia is a dangerous medical disorder that affects the entire body’s organs. Preeclampsia affects around 5–8% of all pregnant women. One of the most prevalent symptoms is high blood pressure. Protein in the urine is another important symptom because preeclampsia puts a strain on the kidneys and limits their capacity to filter urine.
Eclampsia is diagnosed when a woman has seizures while pregnant. Seizures are sometimes the first and only symptom a woman has, however preeclampsia/eclampsia is generally accompanied by additional symptoms, such as:
- Visual problems
- Rapid weight gain
- Swelling of the hands, feet and face
- Upper abdominal pain
Nobody knows for sure what causes preeclampsia, however the following are the most relevant elements being considered right now:
- Immunosuppression in the mother
- Placental implantation abnormality
- Environmental, dietary, and genetic factors
- Changes in cardiovascular and inflammatory systems
Who is at risk?
- First time mother
- Had preeclampsia on previous pregnancy
- 35 years old or older
- Have diabetes or Kidney disease
- Has autoimmune disease
Severe preeclampsia/eclampsia can harm the brain, kidneys, liver, eyes, and heart, as well as cause death. It is the primary cause of maternal mortality. In affluent nations, women with preeclampsia are routinely hospitalized and given drugs to lower their blood pressure and avoid seizures. Magnesium sulfate, a mineral administered through an IV to relax smooth muscle tissue and prevent seizures, is one of the most important developments in the treatment of preeclampsia/eclampsia. That is why fewer women die now than in “the ancient days,” and why women in affluent nations die less than those in developing countries with inadequate access to healthcare.