High protein levels can cause damage to other organs, especially the kidney. Edema of the hands, feet, and legs is the most common symptom of the condition.
Pregnancy Intoxication Symptoms
The most characteristic sign of pregnancy poisoning is hypertension. This condition may also be accompanied by edema that spreads throughout the body. Pregnancy poisoning can also be detected during routine pregnancy follow-up for some women. Some of the symptoms of pregnancy poisoning in general are:
- Rapid weight gain due to edema problems
- Some vision problems, such as blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and temporary vision loss
- Pain in the upper right part of the abdomen
- Shoulder pain
- Severe headache
- Nausea and vomiting
- Less urination
- Mental status changes
- Weakening of reflexes
- High levels of protein in the urine, which indicates kidney problems
- Decreased platelet levels in the blood
- An increase in liver enzymes, which indicates liver problems
- Shortness of breath due to fluid accumulation in the lungs
What causes pregnancy poisoning?
Pregnancy poisoning occurs as a complication of pregnancy. Women with preeclampsia can be perfectly healthy before getting pregnant. Some of the factors that increase the risk of developing preeclampsia during pregnancy can be listed as follows:
History of Preeclampsia: People who have had pregnancy poisoning in their previous pregnancies are more likely to experience the same problem in their next pregnancies.
Chronic Hypertension: Women who had high blood pressure before becoming pregnant are at risk of developing preeclampsia during pregnancy.
First Pregnancy: A woman's chances of having preeclampsia are highest during her first pregnancy.
New Dad: The risk of preeclampsia increases with each new partner. Preeclampsia risk is higher in pregnancies conceived by a new partner compared to second or third pregnancies from the same person.
Age: The risk of pregnancy poisoning is higher in both very young mothers and expectant mothers over 35 years of age.
Obesity: Obese women are more likely to have pregnancy poisoning.
Multiple Pregnancy: Multiple pregnancies with twins, triplets, or more babies pose a risk for preeclampsia.
Time Between Pregnancies: Less than 2 years or more than 10 years between two pregnancies increases the likelihood of preeclampsia.
Some Diseases: Preeclampsia is more likely to occur in women who had diseases such as type 1 or type 2 diabetes, hypertension, migraine, blood clotting disorder, and lupus before pregnancy.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): The risk of preeclampsia may also increase in pregnancies that are conceived through IVF or in vitro fertilization.
Who gets preeclampsia?
Some pregnant women have a higher risk of developing preeclampsia;
- Those who have had their first pregnancy
- For mothers under the age of 18 or over the age of 35
- Expecting twins
- Those with chronic hypertension and a family history of hypertension
- Gestational diabetes in pregnancy: hidden sugar
- Mothers with chronic kidney disease
- Those with autoimmune diseases
- Pregnancies with fluid buildup and swelling of the baby
- Four or more births
- Obese expectant mothers
- During her pregnancy, the expectant mother has to work and cannot find the opportunity to rest.
When does preeclampsia occur?
Preeclampsia can range from mild to severe, and its progression can be fast or slow. Usually, the problem occurs at 37 weeks and can develop at any time during the second trimester of pregnancy. It can even happen during or after birth. Before the 20th week, signs of preeclampsia may appear, but this is rare. While the incidence of preeclampsia was 10%, severe preeclampsia was found to be 1%.
How is pregnancy poisoning diagnosed?
Doctors refer to some medical evaluation methods for a definitive diagnosis when pregnancy poisoning is suspected. Some of these methods include the following:
- Blood Tests: Liver and kidney values are checked with blood tests, and blood coagulation is checked.
- Urine Analysis: Urine tests analyze how well the kidneys are working.
- Fetal Ultrasound: Fetal ultrasound is the monitoring of the baby in the womb by ultrasound. In this way, the baby's weight and the condition of the amniotic fluid are monitored.
- Non-Stress Test (NST) and Biophysical Profile: The non-stress test is to monitor how the heart rate is when the baby moves. The biophysical profile is used to determine the well-being of the baby.
How is pregnancy poisoning treated?
Treatment for pregnancy poisoning can vary depending on the severity of the condition. If the discomfort is severe, it can put the lives of the mother and baby at risk. For this reason, doctors may decide to give birth for definitive treatment; however, if preeclampsia does not cause serious symptoms and the baby is well placed in the womb, alternative methods are used. Some of those methods are:
- Bed rest at home or in the hospital
- Checking the baby's heart rate frequently
- Use of drugs that lower blood pressure
- Regular monitoring of blood and urine values
- Steroid-containing drugs to accelerate the baby's lung development
- Use of magnesium to prevent seizures in the mother
Does preeclampsia harm the baby?
Preeclampsia can harm the unborn baby as well as the pregnant individual. The most common effects of preeclampsia on babies are as follows:
- Fetal Development Restriction: In pregnancy poisoning, the low blood flow from the mother to the placenta causes the baby to receive less oxygen and nutrients. Problems such as growth retardation and low birth weight may occur in babies who are fed less.
- Premature Birth: In preeclampsia, a preterm birth decision can be taken to protect both mother and baby's health. Various problems, especially respiratory distress, can be seen in babies born prematurely.
- Placental Abruption: Preeclampsia increases the risk of separation of the placenta from the uterine wall before birth. Placental abruption can cause excessive bleeding, putting the lives of both mother and baby at risk.
How do I prevent pregnancy poisoning?
- Magnesium can reduce the risk of pregnancy poisoning. This mineral also reduces the pressure level by relaxing the muscles and veins. In addition, magnesium balances blood pressure.
- Use very little lemon in your meals.
- Drink at least 6–8 glasses of water a day.
- Do light exercises or walk for 30 minutes daily, as recommended by your doctor.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks.
- Probiotics balance the immune system and reduce the risk of pregnancy poisoning. Use the probiotics recommended by your doctor. Try to consume cheese, milk, or yogurt every day.
- It has been observed that the risk of pregnancy poisoning increases in cases of low vitamin D levels. Remember to take advantage of the sunlight at the right times of the day when the sun is not directly overhead.