Hypertension is a potentially life-threatening disease that affects 1 out of every 3 adults in the United States alone. More so, the disease is often prominent in women that are pregnant. Factually, 1 out of every 14 pregnant women is affected by Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH). Although the specified condition may frequent any pregnant woman, there are women who are more at risk. Therefore, every pregnant woman must be proactive and follow precautions to prevent the condition.
Also referred to as Preeclampsia, Toxemia or Toxemia of pregnancy, PIH clearly reveals its symptoms. In mild cases, the pregnancy may cause your blood pressure to elevate which causes you to retain water. Retaining water results in a high count of protein in your urine; this is identified, in most cases, during pre- natal care.
In severe cases, however, you may experience headaches, blurry vision, low tolerance to bright light, light fatigue, nausea and vomiting or pain in the upper right abdomen. A pregnant woman may also experience a shortness of breath and infrequent urination in which your pre- natal care physician must be contacted immediately.
Pregnant women must be aware of any circumstances that may place them at risks of PIH. This is extremely significant as the condition may have an affect on the baby. Specifically, Toxemia of Pregnancy generally prevents the placenta from receiving an efficient amount of blood. This causes the baby to receive an insufficient amount of oxygen and blood that is required. This results in low- birth rate.
Identifying Women Who Are at Risk
- Women that are pregnant for the first time
- Women that have female relatives that have a history of PIH
- Women that are carrying more than one child
- Women that are under the age of 20 or over 40
- Women that has a history of hypertension prior to pregnancy
There are several ways to treat PIH. The most common treatment, other than high blood pressure medication (for severe cases), is to implement a healthy diet and exercise. Additionally, physicians usually order you to rest, lying on left side to take the weight of the baby off major blood vessels. It is important that you increase pre- natal check-ups and care.
Prevention and contributing factors can be controlled by you. For example, consuming less sodium or drinking eight glasses of water a day is a good place to start. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, especially if you are at risk, may prevent you from experiencing PIH. If detected early and treated with regular pre- natal care, it will also prevent any harm to your baby.
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Published On: June 23, 2008