Friday, March 31, 2023

What is eclampsia?.. Causes, symptoms and treatment


It is a serious medical condition that can occur around the middle of pregnancy (after 20 weeks). With preeclampsia, you may have high blood pressure, high levels of protein in your urine that indicate kidney damage, or other signs of organ damage. It is dangerous for both the mother and the developing fetus. If preeclampsia is left untreated, it can lead to serious complications, which may lead to the death of the mother and fetus.

Causes of Eclampsia:

The cause of preeclampsia is still unknown. Preeclampsia is thought to be caused by a problem with the health of the placenta (the organ that develops in the uterus during pregnancy and is responsible for providing oxygen and nutrients to the fetus). The blood flow to the placenta may be reduced in the case of preeclampsia, and this can lead to problems for you and your fetus. Genetic factors may play a role in infection.

What are the factors that increase the risk of preeclampsia?

Risk factors for preeclampsia Things that can increase your chance of developing preeclampsia include:

  • Have high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Chronic anemia.
  • The incidence of vascular disease.
  • Pregnant age, as women over the age of 40 or under 15 are more likely than others.
  • A history of severe obesity.
  • a history of preeclampsia.
  • Genetic factor such as maternal or sister infection with preeclampsia.
  • First time pregnancy or twin pregnancy.
  • Close pregnancy (less than 2 years) or divergent pregnancy (more than 10 years).
  • IVF.

Symptoms of preeclampsia:

The first signs of preeclampsia are high blood pressure, protein in the urine, and water retention (this can cause weight gain and swelling).

  • Other signs of preeclampsia include:
  • Headache.
  • Blurry vision or sensitivity to light.
  • Dark spots appear on the skin.
  • Pain in the right side of the abdomen.
  • Swelling of the hands and face.
  • shortness of breath.

It is essential to share all pregnancy symptoms with your doctor for most women who develop pre-eclampsia. They don't realize they have pre-eclampsia until they have their blood pressure and urine checked at their prenatal appointment.

Severe preeclampsia may include symptoms such as:
  • High blood pressure (blood pressure 110/160 mmHg or higher).
  • Decreased kidney or liver function.
  • Fluid in the lungs.
  • Low platelet levels (thrombocytopenia) to less than 100,000.
  • Decreased urination.
  • Changes in the fetal heartbeat.

If your first signs are severe, you may be admitted to the hospital for close monitoring or need to deliver your baby as soon as possible. The doctor may give you medications to lower your blood pressure or to help your baby's lungs develop before birth.

Complications of preeclampsia:

Preeclampsia is a serious and life-threatening condition for the mother and fetus if blood pressure and protein in the urine are not controlled. Complications that may occur as a result of preeclampsia include:

  • The placenta does not get enough blood, which can lead to your baby being born too small. This is called fetal growth restriction.
  • Sudden separation of the placenta from the uterus, which may lead to fetal death.
  • Premature births and the complications that can follow, including learning disabilities, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and hearing and vision problems.

Preeclampsia can cause rare but serious complications, including:
  • Apoplexy.
  • severe cramps
  • Heart failure.
  • bleeding from the liver
  • Kidney function failure.
  • Reversible blindness.
  • Heavy bleeding during childbirth.
  •   Death of the mother or child, but it is rare.

Diagnosis of preeclampsia:

In addition to the symptoms associated with preeclampsia and to confirm the diagnosis, your doctor may perform tests including:

  • Blood tests to check platelets and look for chemicals in the kidneys or liver.
  • Urine tests to measure proteins.
  • Ultrasound imaging.
  • Nonstress tests or biophysical profiles to monitor fetal growth, respiration, and amniotic fluid volume.

Preeclampsia treatment:

The only treatment for preeclampsia is childbirth. Your doctor will talk to you about when to give birth based on your baby's height, how well your baby is doing in your womb, and the severity of your preeclampsia.
If your baby is growing well, usually by week 37 or later, your doctor may want to induce labor or perform a caesarean section. This will prevent preeclampsia from getting worse.
If your baby is not close to due, you and your doctor may be able to treat mild pre-eclampsia. The doctor may resort to some drug treatments, to prevent complications and until your baby is growing enough to be delivered safely. The closer to your due date, the better for your baby.

In the case of mild preeclampsia, also known as preeclampsia without severe features, your doctor may prescribe:
  • bed rest, whether at home or in the hospital; The rest is mostly on your left side.
  • Accurate monitoring with the repeated ultrasound fetal heart rate monitor.
  • Medicines to lower blood pressure, such as hydralazine and labetalol.
  • Magnesium injection to prevent seizures associated with preeclampsia (to prevent cramps).
  •   Steroid injections help your baby's lungs grow faster.
  • Blood and urine tests

For severe preeclampsia, your doctor may need to deliver your baby right away, even if you're not close to your due date. After that, the symptoms of preeclampsia should go away within 1 to 6 weeks but can last for much longer.

How can preeclampsia be prevented?

If you have a higher chance of developing preeclampsia, talk to your doctor about making lifestyle changes that can help keep you healthy. This is done by following the following tips:
  • Lose some weight if you are obese.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Controlling blood pressure or blood sugar.
  • Limit salt consumption.
  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water daily.
  • Raising the foot off the ground several times during the day.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol.
  • stop smoking.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks.
  • Take a daily low-dose (81 milligrams) aspirin in early pregnancy and calcium supplements in the later stages.
  • Adhere to any medications recommended by the doctor to prevent pre-eclampsia if there are risk factors.