Pre-Eclampsia

Pre-Eclampsia Specialist
Preeclampsia, which causes abnormally high blood pressure, affects up to 8% of pregnancies in the United States. Since preeclampsia doesn’t have obvious symptoms, it’s important to schedule regular prenatal checkups to see if you’re at risk. With Mikeal Love, MD in Austin, Texas, you get expert care throughout your entire pregnancy and delivery. Leading OB/GYN, Mikeal Love, MD specializes in preeclampsia complications, ensuring you deliver a healthy, happy baby. Schedule your prenatal visit and preeclampsia screening online, or by calling the office today.

Pre-Eclampsia Q & A

by Mikeal Love, MD

Are there certain risk factors for preeclampsia?

Yes. While a pregnant woman can develop preeclampsia at any time, your risk is even greater if you:

  • Are overweight
  • Have a history of high blood pressure
  • Previously had preeclampsia
  • Are carrying more than one baby
  • Are under age 20
  • Are over age 40
  • Have never been pregnant before

What causes preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia stems from several issues, but medical experts believe it starts in your placenta. New blood vessels develop to send blood to your placenta when you become pregnant. But, for an unknown reason, some of them are unable to form, or function, properly. Possible causes of this include:

  • Poor blood flow to your uterus
  • Immune system issues
  • Damage to your blood vessels
  • Family history

Does preeclampsia have symptoms?

Preeclampsia causes dangerously high blood pressure during your pregnancy. Anytime you have high blood pressure — whether you’re pregnant or not — you don’t know until you get checked.

Women who have preeclampsia can experience troublesome symptoms, but they also happen to be common pregnancy-related symptoms. For example, you could experience:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Frequent headaches
  • Decreased urine frequency
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight gain
  • Water retention and swelling (edema)

During your prenatal visit, Dr. Love might order some lab work, including blood and urine tests. Abnormal liver function and protein in your urine are warning signs of preeclampsia. Your labs, combined with your symptoms and blood pressure level, let Dr. Love know if you need to start a preeclampsia treatment plan.

What are the treatments for preeclampsia?

The only treatment for preeclampsia is giving birth. If that isn’t an option for you right now, Dr. Love suggests several remedies to minimize any serious complications from preeclampsia. You should:

  • Relax and rest often
  • Lay down on your left side only
  • Reduce your sodium intake
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Get more protein in your diet
  • Go in for more prenatal visits

Following Dr. Love’s directions for prenatal care is important. Overexerting yourself and consuming a poor diet can make preeclampsia even more dangerous. This could increase your chances of stroke, kidney damage, liver problems, placental abruption, and seizures.

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