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4302 Preeclampsia



Preeclampsia is a condition that pregnant women develop and is marked by high blood pressure and a high level of protein in the urine. Women with preeclampsia often have swelling in their feet, hands and legs. It generally develops during the third trimester and affects about 1 in every 20 pregnancies.

Some possible causes of preeclampsia include:

• Poor diet
• A problem with the immune system
• Damage to the blood vessels
• Insufficient blood flow to the uterus

The signs and symptoms of preeclampsia include:

• Dizziness
• Severe headaches
• Abdominal pain
• Change in reflexes
• Rapid weight gain due to an increase in bodily fluid
• Reduced urine or no urine output
• Excessive nausea and vomiting

Who is at risk of preeclampsia?

This condition is most often seen in first time pregnancies, in pregnant teens and in women over 40. The other risk factors include:

• A history of obesity
• A history of preeclampsia
• A history of high blood pressure prior to pregnancy
• Carrying more than one baby
• A history of diabetes, kidney disease, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis

Contact your doctor right away if you have:

• Severe headaches
• A decrease in urine output
• Blurry vision or flashing lights
• Abdominal pain especially on the upper right side
• Blood pressure greater than 140/90
• Sudden swelling in your face, hands and eyes


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