Pregnancy is supposed to be a time of excitement, anticipation and glowing skin. However, sometimes things can get a little hairy or swollen in this case. One such complication that can arise during pregnancy is preeclampsia. This condition affects up to 8% of all pregnant women worldwide, and if left untreated could result in severe health consequences for both mother and baby. In this article we will delve into the origins of preeclampsia so you are well-equipped with knowledge about what's behind it.
What exactly is Preeclampsia?
Before we go any further, let’s define what we're dealing with here - pree-ec-lamp-si-ah or as many fondly call it pre-e.
Pre-e refers to high blood pressure (hypertension) occurring during pregnancy after week 20 which could also come along with increased urinary protein excretion leading to damage or impairment on organs like kidneys and liver.
It probably wasn't called pre-e back when Anne Boleyn was carrying Elizabeth I; She suffered from seizures while carrying Malvern Tudor in 1536 - which some historians believed may have been due her having had Pre-E but never mind that now. Let us move onto more pressing matters such as its causes.
No one knows for sure
Experts aren't certain exactly what causes Pre-e -- perhaps that explains why there isn’t an approved cure yet. They do however agree on several factors that might increase your risk though:
Factors That May Increase Your Risk Of Developing Pre-E:
|First Pregnancy||Moms who become pregnant for the first time stand at a higher risk compared than those who've already been around the block|
|Existing Hypertension||Women whose BP's were raised earlier prior conception or in non-pregnant state.|
|Autoimmune Diseases||Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis rank high on the list|
|Diabetes||Increased the risks of gestational diabetes which accompanies pre-eclampsia|
|Malaria or other infections||sometimes a case of one thing leading to another and before you know it we're here|
|"Advanced" maternal age -- like 35 years and above||As much as some may not want to hear this but We can't always have our cake with no consequences|
It’s important to note that preeclampsia doesn’t only affect first-time moms but also subsequent pregnancies so please don't start planning for baby number two thinking "Well, I dodged that bullet."
Moving along from things that can cause Pre-E, there are numerous theories trying to explain why it occurs; some suggest genetic predispositions while others argue environmental factors should take responsibility. Then there are those who believe both contribute their fair share.
Doctors used to think that genetics alone played a role in developing Pre-e... they claimed any woman whose mom had pre-e has anything between four times or ten times greater chance of getting it too!! This hypothesis however wasn't entirely proven.
What environment could be responsible for such an enigmatic phenomenon such as Pre-E? Is it air pollution?. Water quality?, climate change is already blamed for enough these days so let's leave Mother Nature out this particular discussion. Experts did find airborne particles caused by car emissions might lead towards women being hypertensive during pregnancy although studies are still ongoing.
Here is a gallery containing more flowery explanations on what drives and impacts Preeclampsia below;
1) Imbalanced placental angiogenesis – Fancy words meaning inadequate formation of blood vessels network around your baby growing facility aka placenta. Not good.
2) Overactive maternal immune system – Your immune wants to fight everything, now it's become extra enough to fight against your own pregnancy. Don't worry; you’re not the only one feeling betrayed here.
3) The effects of oxidative stress.- This really is a big woowoo but it essentially means that changes in blood vessels caused by oxidation lead to Pre-e
If any of these reasons just made everything click and suddenly make sense, don't jump up just yet we should be explicit that none has been proven correct as the solo cause
How can it be treated?
Currently, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for the treatment of pre-eclampsia - how something so serious doesn’t have an approved cure baffles some people right? Treatment options may include;
When preeclampsia gets too severe or risk factors are noticed makes hospitalizing ("checking someone into Hotel Med" in layman terms) necessary for close monitoring and providing additional care until delivery time comes.
This never sounds like punishment unless its compulsory... Pregnant women with milder forms are often advised by their doctors today to take things easy as possible- such instructions might come from partners too.
Magnesium sulfate therapy (or “Mag Sulf”)
Hospital treatment principle administered via injection designed to prevent seizures which is one feared outcome resulting from complications involved with Preeclampsia
It's important this stays within doctor-nurse-pharmacist hands because overexposure increases chance of toxicity which leads us back tot 'one step forward two steps back'.
We must point out however that whilst MagSulph isn't entirely known what infuses success into those who survive Pree,Eclemps,A heists on screen will get old fast.
It worked every single time on dramatically rescued TV characters so perhaps if they changed the name to 'Drama Sulfate'.
It’s essential we mention there isn’t a cure yet- so while exploring ways of treating this - it remains imperative that pregnant women receive consistent prenatal care check ins and become comfortable with their doctors as their allies.
Delivery--The Cure for some cases
Most Pre-Ecases resolve themselves though not always. Many moms usually find relief through delivery, however earlier than scheduled inducement can be dangerous in certain circumstances thus only performed when it is clear its safe for mother and baby
This information is helpful, but... Admittedly, working to uncover what really causes pre-eclampsia seems like an even bigger mystery than wondering how JLo stays looking so stunning at 52 years old. In summary: Experts still continue to strive towards better learning or understanding Pre-e; Causes are numerous but quite unclear or unproven much like those who think pineapple belongs on pizza(hard pass). Treatment currently focuses on High-degree monitoring ensuring safety delivery of affected mamas-to-be before they start practising who-can-tell-more-newborn-baby-stories games(shudder).
For expectant mothers, keeping regular obstetric appointments should be prioritised- let's face it watermelon cravings don't always guarantee smooth pregnancy.
Whether you're planning your first pregnancy or already have one brewing, keep yourself woke (or Bed-rested depending) about pre-eclampsia so if unfortunately faced with symptoms which indicate possibility - adjusting plans will come easier.