Preeclampsia Symptoms

Typically, symptoms of preeclampsia include high blood pressure, swelling of the hands and face, abnormal weight gain, and protein in the urine. Other symptoms may include vision problems, abdominal pain, and headaches. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should inform your healthcare provider.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Preeclampsia?

While scientists do not know the specific cause or causes of preeclampsia (also known as pregnancy-induced hypertension, toxemia of pregnancy, or acute hypertensive disease of pregnancy), they do know that the result of preeclampsia is a narrowing of blood vessels. Because of this narrowing, women with preeclampsia can have decreased blood flow to organs such as the:
 
  • Kidneys
  • Brain
  • Liver
  • Retina
  • Placenta.
 
Understanding the effect of preeclampsia can help explain preeclampsia symptoms.
 

Specific Symptoms

A woman's preeclampsia symptoms will vary, depending on the severity of the preeclampsia. Symptoms usually include:
 
  • High blood pressure
  • Swelling of the hands and face
  • Abnormal weight gain
  • Protein in the urine.
     
Other preeclampsia symptoms may include:
 
  • Vision problems, including blurred vision, spots, or sensitivity to light
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headaches.
     

Preeclampsia Symptoms: Summary

These possible symptoms of preeclampsia can be caused by other conditions, too. They can also occur in healthy pregnancies. For example, a woman's feet might swell with preeclampsia, but swollen feet are common during healthy pregnancies; swollen feet do not always mean there is a problem.
 
Regular visits with your doctor help him or her to track your blood pressure and level of protein in your urine, to order and analyze blood tests that detect signs of preeclampsia, and to monitor fetal development more closely.
 
Pregnancy and Pain

Information About Preeclampsia

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