Toxemia which is also known as preeclampsia is a condition of high blood pressure during your pregnancy. You will notice that you are retaining fluid, and your doctor will find protein within your urine, and your blood pressure will be elevated. Unfortunately the ultimate cause of toxemia is still unknown.
There are a few conditions however that may increase your chances of getting toxemia in your pregnancy. Some of these conditions includes things such as if this was your first pregnancy, family history of toxemia, women who are expecting twins or other type of multiple births, if you happen to be a teenager, if you are over 40, if you have a pre-pregnancy case of high blood pressure, or if you have been diagnosed with kidney disease of any type. If you are in any of the classes that are stated above you will most likely have toxemia in your pregnancy.
There are a variety of different symptoms that are associated with toxemia and these symptoms will be based on the severity of toxemia that you have been diagnosed with. With the mild form of toxemia you will have protein within your urine, you will retain water, and your blood pressure will be elevated. If you have a more severe case of toxemia however you will experience a lot more symptoms including headaches, dizziness, nausea, pain that is located in your upper abdomen, and shortness of breath. If you have other symptoms such as blurred vision, an increase in the severity of your headaches, or you are urinating infrequently you will need to be sure that you contact your doctor immediately because it can mean the first signs of a stroke.
When you go to your prenatal visits once a month your doctor will check your blood pressure, urine, and look to see if they see any signs of fluid retention. If they feel that you are showing signs of toxemia they may also order blood tests which will help them determine the amount of protein is contained in your urine and other things such as your white blood cell count. All of these will aide them in their final diagnosis of toxemia. They will also conduct an ultrasound to check on your babies’ growth.
The type of treatment that you will receive for your toxemia is usually based on how far along in your pregnancy that you are. If you are close enough that the baby will not be in any immediate danger the doctor will suggest that they induce you immediately. However if you are not close to your due date and you have been diagnosed with mild toxemia the following treatment suggestions will be made: First of all you will be placed on bed rest and during so you will be asked to lay on your left side to take pressure off both the baby and the major blood vessels, you will also have to increase the frequency of your prenatal visits, also you will have to decrease your daily salt intake, and finally you need to be sure that you are drinking at least eight full glasses of water a day or more as suggested by your doctor. On the other hand if you have a more severe case of toxemia you will most likely be prescribed blood pressure medications until the baby reaches a safe enough stage to be delivered without danger.
If you are diagnosed with toxemia you can still have a normal delivery if it is caught early enough in your pregnancy. However when you have toxemia it can prevent the amount of blood that your placenta receives. This decrease blood flow will rob your baby of vital oxygen as well as food. This can result in a variety of birth defects including brain damage, low birth weight, mental retardation, and physical abnormalities.
There is good news however because toxemia can be prevented and there are a variety of different ways that it can be done. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water, get plenty of rest, and lower your salt intake to name a few. The more you do the healthier pregnancy that you will have.