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Yesterday’s routine pregnancy check brought me bad news again!

Twice in a row, my blood pressure was found out to be 140/90. At the same time, there were swelling of hands and feet, sudden excessive weight gain and trace of protein in the urine. All of these signs indicated that I might have a mild Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), or preeclampsia, also called toxemia.

PIH (preeclampsia, also called toxemia) is a high blood pressure-related condition that begins during pregnancy, normally after 20 weeks gestation.

It has two stages: mild preeclampsia and severe preeclampsia. The symptoms of mild preeclampsia include high blood pressure (140/90 or more), swelling of hands and feet, sudden excessive weight gain and protein in the urine.

Severe preeclampsia is characterized by a futher increase in blood pressure (usually to 160/110 or higher), increased quantities of protein in the urine, blurred vision, headaches, fever, rapid heartbeat, confusion, scanty urine output, severe pain in the upper abdomen, exaggerated reflex reactions, restlessness and twitching, and/or abnormal kidney functions. (from [ad name=”co-1″])

Severe preeclampsia can be quite dangerous for both mommy and baby. As the result of high blood pressure, there is a drop in the blood supply to organs in the expectant mother including the liver, kidneys, brain, uterus, and placenta.

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PIH can also lead to fetal problems including intrauterine growth restriction (poor fetal growth) and stillbirth. If untreated, severe PIH may cause dangerous seizures and even death in the mother and fetus. Because of these risks, it may be necessary for the baby to be delivered early, before 37 weeks gestation. (from http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu)

PIH most occurs in A first-time mom (like me), women whose sisters and mothers had preeclampsia, women carrying multiple babies, teenage mothers, women older than age 40, or women who had high blood pressure or kidney disease prior to pregnancy. (from http://www.americanpregnancy.org)

No one knows for sure what causes PIH. Researchers hypothesize that genetic makeup of the fetus, family history of that your mother or your spouse’s mother had preeclampsia during their pregnancy, poor nutrition including deficiencies in vitamins C and E and magnesium, a defect in mother’s blood vessels, or an immune response to a foreign instruder—the baby. (from [ad name=”co-1″])

One hypothesis to causing PIH caught my attention specially: gum disease. I did have dental problem around the time when I was found the symtoms of preeclampsia. Maybe that is the source to link my case. (see Ouch! Toothache!)

Right now, besides being very careful with my teeth, I followed these treatments, hoping to prevent mild preeclampsia process to severe preeclampsia.

  • Rest, lying on my left side to take the weight of the baby off my major blood vessels
  • Consume less salt, and also watch suger consumption
  • Drink 8 glasses of water a day
  • Self-check my blood pressure once a day
  • Relax, relax and relax

If you have more ideas about how to treat or prevent PIH, please leave your comments here!

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