Eclampsia During Pregnancy – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Eclampsia During Pregnancy

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When you have a regular check up did the doctor tell you that you have high blood pressure? Was the protein content tested as positive? Are you worried about your baby and your health? Could these symptoms lead to more complicated conditions like Eclampsia or Preeclampsia?

If you are worried, this is not something to really worry about as even common flu during pregnancy could affect you. But getting diagnosed with high blood pressure, or protein in the urine, is a cause of worry. But you need not worry, as with proper care and early diagnosis this condition could come under control. We bring you the probable causes of eclampsia during pregnancy along with its symptoms and risks and how you should be taking care of yourself. Are you ready? Then read this post:

What Is Preeclampsia In Pregnancy?

It is a condition affecting pregnant woman causing seizures with severe preeclampsia. It’s rare but a very severe condition. Seizures are brief episodes caused by excessive or abnormal neuronal activities in the brain. Studies show that, among 2000-3000 women, one could be diagnosed by eclampsia [1][2].

What Is Preeclampsia?

It’s a situation exclusive to pregnancy, where a pregnant woman is tested positive for hypertension and protein in urine [proteinuria], after the twentieth week of pregnancy. Statistics say that Preeclampsia in the US affects 5-8 % of births every year. Preeclampsia, if not monitored closely, could result in eclampsia [3].

What Are The Causes Of Preeclampsia?

Studies done so far haven’t come to a conclusion as what is the main cause of this disease. However, a generic hypothesis says that a woman with a history of chronic hypertension, obesity, calcium deficiency, or with certain diseases like diabetes are more susceptible to this condition [4].

Who Are All At Risk Of Developing Preeclampsia?

Eclampsia is usually an extended state of preeclampsia, and therefore we should know who are at risk of getting eclampsia:

  • Women within the age of 20 years and more than 40 years.
  • Women, with a stressful lifestyle and before pregnancy have blood pressure or kidney issues.
  • A first-time mom.
  • Women whose mothers or sisters have been positive for preeclampsia.
  • Women whose BMI is more than 30.
  • Women who are carrying more than one baby.

What Are The Symptoms Of Preeclampsia During Pregnancy?

We can classify preeclampsia into two categories [5]

1. Mild: This condition is easily diagnosed by checking your blood pressure and running a test on urine for protein content. So high blood pressure and protein content of urine are the two symptoms to say you may be suffering from preeclampsia.

2. Severe: The above symptoms when integrated with the below symptoms, lead to severe preeclampsia. It is advisable to consult your gynecologist as soon as you notice any of the symptoms mentioned below:

  • An uncomfortable bright light
  • Blurred visions
  • Severe Headaches
  • Pain in the right abdomen
  • Vomiting/nausea
  • Tendency to bruise easily
  • Urinating in small amounts
  • Shortness of breath

What Are the Symptoms of Eclampsia During Pregnancy?

You might be diagnosed positive for preeclampsia, and then make sure also to keep an eye on the following symptoms: [6]

  • Seizures
  • Unconscious state
  • Headaches and muscles pain
  • Anxiety

How Do I know If I Have Preeclampsia?

During your regular visits, your doctor would advise you to undergo tests to determine any of the symptoms mentioned above:

  • Monitoring your blood pressure.
  • Test to check protein content in urine.
  • Blood test to determine preeclampsia occurrence.
  • Kidney checks up.
  • Ultrasound to check on baby’s growth.
  • Doppler scan to check the proficiency of blood flow to the placenta.

How Do I Know If I Have Eclampsia?

  • Tests to figure out if preeclampsia has has increased.
  • If the above test fails, test to know the reason for seizures.

How Would Preeclampsia Affect My Baby And Me?

The good news is that if an early deduction of preeclampsia could save us from complications, as there are still chances of delivering a healthy baby.However, it could have harsh effects on both mother and the baby if you simply neglect it.

For Babies:

For Mothers:

  • Liver failure
  • Future cardiovascular diseases
  • Eclampsia
  • HELLP syndrome – This is a condition which usually occurs in late pregnancy resulting in low red blood cell count or issues with liver functioning.

How Would Eclampsia Affect My Baby And Me?

Eclampsia directly impacts placenta, which is responsible for providing oxygen, blood and nutrients to the baby. With high blood pressure, the blood flow reduces. Therefore, this leads to improper placenta functioning and in a way, your baby may not get an adequate supply of nutrients. Most of the babies born with this condition are of low birth weight or other health issues.

What Are The Treatments Offered For Preeclampsia And Eclampsia?

At an early stage a deduction happens, your doctor might monitor you closely, and advise you some precautions. However, there is no cure for these diseases. Your doctor may advise to [7][8]:

  • Reduce salt or avoid salt in your diet.
  • Stay hydrated, drink lots of water.
  • Avoid junk, fried or fast food.
  • Get proper rest.
  • Exercise if possible. Even waling for few minutes is good enough.
  • While sitting on a chair, make sure to keep your feet up elevated.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine.

Some medications may, which doctor may advise for

  • Blood Pressure
  • HELLP syndrome
  • Treat seizures

But in most of the cases, when a test result is positive for preeclampsia or eclampsia, the doctor advises the baby to be delivered, even if its preterm. That usually helps in keeping the baby and mother safe from all other issues.

What Are the Effects of Eclampsia and Preeclampsia after the Delivery?

Well, once the baby takes birth and is in good health, there is no health risk associated with the baby. However, mothers still have a risk of these symptoms erupting in the future. And studies have shown the fact that kidney trouble and hypertension are some of the problems which could recur in a woman.

The only cure for these problems is a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet. So if you are one of those who had high blood pressure during pregnancy, choose wisely in terms of what you eat and stay fit.

We hope we were able to answer your questions and clear out the anxiety of diseases. Do let us know about your questions, feedback or experience in comments section.

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