High Blood Pressure and Pre-eclampsia in Pregnancy

High blood pressure can be serious as it can cause adverse affects to most of the organs in the body if left untreated.

Even if you've never been told you have high blood pressure, it's always a good idea to have it checked at least once a year. Early detection of high blood pressure and its subsequent control is the key to preventing damage and untoward effects on organs such as the heart and kidneys. The kidneys play an important part in the control of blood pressure regulation.

If you are considering becoming pregnant it is also a good idea to have your blood pressure checked. It gives a good baseline to work with when you do become pregnant and there are any changes. Blood pressure usually reduces slightly in pregnancy so any rise, gives cause for concern.

Any rise in blood pressure in pregnancy can be an indication of pre-eclampsia which is a serious life threatening problem which needs immediate medical attention. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy is undesirable as this also predisposes to high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia.

Pre-eclampsia is a medical condition that can manifest after the 20th week of pregnancy. If high blood pressure and protein in the mother's urine sample is observed at the same time, it can cause great concern to the midwives and obstetricians caring for the mother and foetus.

Pre-eclampsia affects the placenta as well as the mother's vital organs and brain, and if it is left for long enough can cause seizures which can ultimately lead to death.

Those women who are predisposed to high blood pressure which could ultimately lead to pre-eclampsia include

" Women suffering with high blood pressure before they became pregnant
" Overweight or obese women
" Women who become pregnant over the age of 40
" Women who have a previous history of diabetes, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or lupus
" Women who have suffered high blood pressure or pr-eclampsia in a previous pregnancy

It is thought that women, who seem pre-disposed to high blood pressure whilst pregnant, could become very strong candidates for developing high blood pressure related diseases when they are older or in middle age.

Blood Pressure Guide


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