Preeclampsia Treatment in Laguna Hills, CA
Preeclampsia, also known as toxemia or pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), is a complication that arises in pregnancy which can put both mother and baby at great risk. Typically developing at any point after the 20th week of pregnancy (although it can occur earlier), the condition is characterized by high blood pressure and excess proteins in the urine.
Left untreated, preeclampsia can lead to fatal complications for both the mother and baby including:
- Placental abruption, in which the placenta breaks away from the uterine wall
- Eclampsia, in which high blood pressure results in seizures
- HELLP syndrome (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, low platelet count), in which several organ systems are affected by a dysfunction in the breakdown of red blood cells
- Poor blood flow to the placenta and reduced oxygen to the fetus
To schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider in Laguna Hills that specializes in preeclampsia treatment, call (949) 829-4929 or contact Dr. Margaret Audell online.
Some women do not experience any preeclampsia symptoms, often because the most telltale symptoms, such as high blood pressure, cannot be felt. For others, the symptoms they experience are written off as natural changes which occur during pregnancy. If you experience any of the following symptoms of preeclampsia, it is important to discuss them with your healthcare provider during your prenatal appointments.
- High blood pressure
- Swelling (particularly in the hands and feet)
- Proteinuria (extra protein in the urine)
- Blurred vision
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid weight gain
- Shortness of breath
- Infrequent urination
- Abdominal pain
Risk Factors & Causes of Preeclampsia
The true cause of preeclampsia is not fully understood. The most commonly believed theory is that preeclampsia is initiated in the placenta when blood vessels do not develop properly. Genetics, inflammation, cardiovascular conditions and immunity are all thought to play potential roles.
In addition, certain risk factors can put you at an increased risk of developing preeclampsia in pregnancy. These include:
- History of preeclampsia
- History of certain cardiovascular conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney disease
- First-time mothers
- Multiple pregnancy
- Age (higher risk for expectant mothers under the age of 20 or over the age of 35)
Preeclampsia Diagnosis & Treatment
Preeclampsia is typically diagnosed at one of your prenatal appointments, when your blood pressure and urine levels are tested. The only real treatment for preeclampsia is delivery; however, depending on where you are in your pregnancy, this may not be the safest route for the health of the baby.
If you are not far enough along in the pregnancy to induce labor, your healthcare provider will likely increase the frequency of your prenatal visits to minimize the risk of developing complications. In addition, your preeclampsia treatment may include:
- Bed rest
- Minimizing salt intake
- Increasing water intake
- Blood pressure medication
If you suffer from severe preeclampsia, hospitalization may be required in which blood pressure medication or steroids are delivered intravenously, and both you and your baby are continually monitored by medical staff.
If you are far enough along in your pregnancy and your baby has fully developed—or the preeclampsia is so severe that it is threatening the health of you or your baby—your healthcare provider will likely induce labor right away.
Safeguard the Health of You & Your Baby
Preeclampsia is a frightening prospect of pregnancy. If you are pregnant or are considering having a baby, discuss your medical history with your healthcare provider and optimize your health with proper nutrition and physical activity to minimize your risk of developing preeclampsia. Also, be sure to regularly meet with your healthcare provider during your pregnancy to receive the prenatal tests which can detect preeclampsia.
To meet with a qualified healthcare provider in Laguna Hills that specializes in preeclampsia treatment, call (949) 829-4929 or contact Dr. Margaret Audell online.
Orange Coast Women's Medical Group
Address24411 Health Center Dr.
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Tue: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Wed: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Thu: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Fri: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm