Symptoms of Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia (also known as pregnancy-induced hypertension) may cause swelling of the hands and face, protein in the urine, high blood pressure, and abnormal weight gain. Abdominal pain, headaches, and vision problems are some of the other symptoms of preeclampsia pregnant women may experience. Regular prenatal care can help your healthcare provider detect and treat such symptoms.

What Causes Symptoms of Preeclampsia?

While research scientists do not yet know the specific cause or causes of preeclampsia (also known as acute hypertensive disease of pregnancy, pregnancy-induced hypertension, or toxemia of pregnancy), their research has shown that the condition results in a narrowing of blood vessels. Because of this narrowing, women with preeclampsia can have decreased blood flow to the:
  • Kidneys
  • Brain
  • Liver
  • Retina
  • Placenta.

What Are the Specific Symptoms?

Examples of symptoms of preeclampsia include:
  • Swelling of the hands and face
  • Protein in the urine
  • Abnormal weight gain
  • High blood pressure
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Headaches
  • Vision problems, including blurred vision, spots, or sensitivity to light.

Preeclampsia or Something Else?

It's important to remember that these possible preeclampsia symptoms 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 healthcare provider help him or her to order and analyze blood tests that detect signs of preeclampsia, to track your blood pressure and level of protein in your urine, and to monitor fetal development more closely.
Pregnancy and Pain

Preeclampsia Info

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