Dr. Marlin Mills recalls the causes and symptoms associated with preeclampsia. Dr. Mills is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology and is currently on staff at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona.
Well at this point we are not entirely sure. We do believe that it is related to blood flow to the placenta. The placenta, we think of as, we often think of as primarily a structure that’s a conduit to and from baby and mother; provides oxygen, removes respiratory gases, provides nutrition, removes waste, but the placenta itself is also very metabolically active. It makes a number of hormones and number of compounds, enzymes, structures that promote and support the course of the pregnancy.
In preeclampsia, features of those compounds of the placenta make become altered in a way that then affects the entire maternal vascular system and organ system. It can affect mother’s brain, liver, kidneys in ways that have to do with what were once described toxins, hence the term ‘toxemia’ that’s often used in this condition, but really related to compounds that an organ that is not getting good blood supply may release.
There are compounds like tumor necrosis factors, cytokines, things that will affect the cells of those organ structures that become affected in a way that’s not normal in mothers with preeclampsia.
The primary symptoms of preeclampsia that women are going to experience, the first is often edema and although edema, or swelling, fluid accumulation is not present in all patients with preeclampsia, it is present in most. So that’s often the most common initial symptom.
Then symptoms related to the organ systems that can be affected; very commonly headache, vision changes, particularly seeing what we call scotomata, which are often little white flashes or little dark spots that come from alterations in light reflecting on the retina.
Symptoms of upper abdominal pain; if the liver begins to swell the stretch of the capsule around the liver begins to hurt so it’s often pain in the upper middle portion of the liver, sometimes a little on the right side, sometimes in the back – those are the primary symptoms that one is going to experience.
About Dr. Marlin D. Mills, M.D.:
Marlin D. Mills, MD, is board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and is on staff at Banner Desert Medical Center. A former medical director for the hospital, Dr. Mills provides yearly educational programming to the nurse staff on high-risk obstetrics—new ideas and options. Dr. Mills received his medical degree at Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara Medical School in Mexico. He completed his Obstetrics and Gynecology residency at Valley Medical Center in Fresno, Calif., and his Maternal-Fetal Medicine fellowship training at University of California Irvine Medical Center, Long Beach, Calif.
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Condition: Preeclampsia, Pregnancy, High-Risk Pregnancy
Related Terms: Cesarean Section, C-Section, Vaginal Birth, Elective C-Section, Emergency C-Section, Labor, Umbilical Cord Prolapse, Preeclampsia, Toxemia
Health Care Provider: Banner Hospital, Banner Medical Center, Banner Health, Banner Desert Medical Center, Banner Desert Hospital, Maternity Services at Banner Desert Medical Center
Location: Mesa, Arizona, AZ, 85202, East Valley, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Apache Junction, Phoenix, Maricopa County, Guadalupe, Phoenix Metropolitan Area
Expert: Dr. Marlin D. Mills, Marlin Mills, M.D, Doctor Mills, Obstetrician Marlin Mills, High-Risk Pregnancy Expert Marlin Mills, Marlin Mills, OB/GYN
Expertise: High-Risk Pregnancy, Cesarean Section, C-Section, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Prenatal Education, Perinatal Care, Birthing Services, Fetal Assessment, Breastfeeding Support, Fetal Therapy, Fetal Intervention, Premature Babies, Preeclampsia, Phoenix Perinatal Associates, High-Risk Obstetrics, Fetal Physiology, Perinatal Grief