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Signs and Treatments of Preeclampsia

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Reproductive System related image Photo: Getty Images

Preeclampsia can typically occur after the 20th week of pregnancy. This condition is characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. It is sometimes called toxemia or pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIN).

What’s so interesting about this condition is that for some, they don’t even feel any different. They go to the doctor expecting to have a routine checkup, but are whisked away to the hospital or prescribed immediate bed rest.

This is why routine prenatal visit must be adhered to. Patients are normally weighed, blood pressure is checked and urine is tested, among other things. Notice the long list of symptoms that preeclampsia may cause:

Edema (Swelling)
Sudden Weight Gain
Nausea or Vomiting
Abdominal (stomach area) and/or Shoulder Pain
Lower back pain
Changes in Vision
Racing pulse
Mental confusion
Heightened sense of anxiety
Shortness of breath or chest pain
Sense of impending doom

But in this article, we’ll discuss a few of the ones that would be most obvious to you. For instance, edema or swelling may arise. If you are swelling at an abnormal rate, especially in the face, around the eyes or hands this is cause for concern.

Now, everyone knows that pregnancy causes some swelling, but with preeclampsia, you may experience pitting edema, where an indention is left after you press down into the skin. It is best to notify your physician and even though he or she will tell you put your feet up; it is best not to sit for long stretches of time.

What if you notice excessive weight gain? I think all pregnant women love the fact that they now have an excuse to carry extra poundage. Weight accumulation, however, should be no more than 2 pounds a week.

If the opposite is true, this could mean that blood vessels are damaged, thereby, allowing water to leak and stay in your body’s tissue instead of being routed to the kindness for expulsion.

It is not advised to try to diet to counteract weight gain if preeclampsia is diagnosed. Always stick to a balanced diet and see your doctor for any special instructions.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.