Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Decreasing Your Risk For Preeclampsia (High Blood Pressure) During Pregnancy

Preeclampsia, or high blood pressure during pregnancy, remains one of the top diseases of pregnant women. Preeclampsia today causes premature delivery, major complications, and even death of mom and baby. A whopping 7-10% of all pregnant women develop signs of preeclampsia. What can you do about it? New evidence shows that vitamin supplementation can reduce the risk of preeclampsia and the terrible problems that it can cause!

Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period and affects both the mother and the unborn baby. Affecting at least 5-8%, and as high as 10% of all pregnancies, it is a rapidly progressive condition characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine. Swelling, sudden weight gain, headaches and changes in vision are important symptoms; however, some pregnant women with rapidly advancing disease report few symptoms.

Severe preeclampsia requires not only treatment of blood pressure but also childbirth of the baby, regardless of the gestational age. Under these adverse conditions, the baby is not going to continue growing, and even more dangerous - mom's life is at risk!

Those at risk include:

  • Women less than 20 years old

  • Women older than 40 years old

  • Obese women

  • Women with preeclampsia in a prior pregnancy

  • Having a family history of preeclampsia

  • Twins or triplets (multiple gestation)

  • Pre-existing medical problems:

  • Chronic hypertension

  • Diabetes

  • Kidney disease

  • Autoimmune disease

  • Anti-phospholipid syndrome

The main signs of preeclampsia are high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Pregnant women with preeclampsia may also have:

  • Swelling (edema) of the hands and feet

  • Sudden weight gain (5 or more pounds in one week)

  • Problems with vision, such as blurriness or flashing lights

  • Severe headaches

  • Dizziness

  • Intense pain in the upper right part of the belly.

Pregnant women with mild preeclampsia often have no obvious symptoms. So if you have it, you may not suspect that anything is wrong.

Preeclampsia is usually detected during a routine prenatal visit. That's one reason why it's important to keep all your appointments during your pregnancy. During prenatal visits, the health care provider measures your blood pressure and checks your urine for protein. If preeclampsia is diagnosed, it can usually be managed before it becomes serious.

Evidence shows you CAN decrease your chance of getting preeclampsia during pregnancy.

The oral intake of Vitamin C 1000 mg and Vitamin E 400 IU each day significantly reduces the chance of getting preeclampsia.

You should take 1000mg of vitamin C and 400IU of Vitamin E every day, starting as soon as you know you're pregnant! Studies by Chappell (Lancet 1999 and Am J Obstet Gynecol 2002) have shown that taking 1000 mg of Vitamin C and 400 IU of Vitamin E a day beginning early in pregnancy can reduce the risk of preeclampsia by a staggering 76 percent. Preeclampsia is one of the biggest causes of premature birth, low birth weight babies, can lead to liver and bleeding problems in mom, and even death! Remember, up to 15% of preterm births are a result of preeclampsia.

However, starting antioxidant therapy once preeclampsia becomes a factor is not effective - it is too late! Even starting vitamins therapy at 24 weeks or later may be too late, as many of the changes that cause preeclampsia will already have occurred.

Taking care of your health will help ensure the health of your baby during pregnancy and a safe delivery when giving birth.

Disclaimer: The Safe Baby System and the information in this article are for educational purposes only and are not a replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult a doctor or other qualified health provider regarding any medical condition and before beginning any diet or exercise regimen and before taking any dietary supplements or other medications. Any information obtained through hyperlinked words or phrases to another web page does not reflect the advice or opinions of Dr. Mark Zakowski.

FDA Disclaimer: The statements made herein have not been evaluated by the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration). They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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