Hypertension Risk Factors

Preeclampsia and Hypertension

Hypertension is a difficult condition and can severely impede regular lifestyle. However, it could become further more dangerous during pregnancy by causing severe complications such as Preeclampsia.

Hypertension is a common enough condition in pregnant women and is usually diagnosed when the blood pressure level is 140/90 or higher. Hypertension is generally taken as a trigger for Preeclampsia. The more serious cases may require induced labor to end the pregnancy.

What is Preeclampsia?
This potentially serious illness is marked by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. If left untreated, it may morph into a more severe life threatening condition known as Eclampsia. However, this condition is rare in women who receive adequate and regular prenatal care.

Some facts about Preeclampsia
Pregnant women below the age of 20 or above that of 35 may find themselves at more risk of suffering from Preeclampsia. The condition is also more common in women undergoing their first pregnancy. The ailment is usually diagnosed around the third trimester. Also, pregnant woman who bear twins or multiple children may be at further risk of contracting the disease. Preexisting conditions such as diabetes and kidney diseases may also enhance the risk.

Preeclampsia warning signs
Pregnant women should look out for the following signs:

* Headaches
* Vision trouble
* Rapid weight gain
* Swelling of the hands and feet
* Right upper belly pain.

Preeclampsia Symptoms
Preeclampsia symptoms include edema or the accumulation of fluids in various body parts; headaches, hypertension and weight gain of two pounds or more within a span of a week. Other symptoms may include low urination, anxiety, vomiting, nausea and problems with vision.

If there's any burning in urination, sudden blindness, abdominal pain or buzzing or ringing in the ear, it is advisable to get in touch with the doctor immediately.

Preeclampsia Complications
Preeclampsia along with hypertension can cause stroke, kidney or liver damage and seizures in pregnant woman. There may be fetal complications as well which could lead to premature birth as a result of induced labor. If the conditions reduce the placental blood sufficiently, there may be further complications where the fetus may not receive adequate foods or nutrients leading to further problems such as low birth weight of the child.

Treating Preeclampsia
Induced labor is the most comprehensive way to treat the condition. For any pregnancy which has not reached the 36 week mark, bed rest is usually recommended till that particular time when labor may be induced. However, in severe cases, labor pain can be induced as early as in 28 weeks. Sometimes, labor is induced at 24th week but may consequently reduce the fetal survival rate.

Therefore, if you think you're suffering from Preeclampsia, inform your doctor about the symptoms you're experiencing allowing him to make a clear diagnosis. Be regular with your prenatal care visits and check your weight and blood pressure as and when your physician tells you to.