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How do I identify if I've developed preeclampsia or pregnancy induced hypertension?

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posted Mar 28, 2016 by anonymous

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2 Answers

+1 vote

Following are the symptoms of preeclampsia:
• Swelling of hands, legs, feet and face
• Decreased urination, as against frequent urination in case of normal pregnancy
• Excruciating pain especially on the upper right side of the abdomen
• Quick weight gain in 1-2 days
• Vision impairment characterized by blurriness, temporary blindness, sensitivity to light etc.
• Shortness of breath, due to fluid filled up in the lungs
• Severe nausea and vomiting
• Decreased levels of platelets and RBCs
• Headaches which are difficult to bear

In PIH, there is only slight swelling of hands, legs, feet and face. An increased blood pressure, mild nausea and vomiting which are common during pregnancy

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answer Mar 28, 2016 by Dr Alok
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Blood pressure above 140/90 is not considered normal even during pregnancy. And sadly 1 out of 20 pregnant women suffer from this problem. Gestational hypertension or pregnancy induced hypertension is the primary cause of preeclampsia. And that is perhaps the greatest difference that women should know. Both are characterized by high blood pressure during pregnancy. However, gestational hypertension can be controlled to prevent the same from leading to preeclampsia or toxemia.

-- High blood pressure is something that is easily monitored during the early stages of pregnancy and an attempt to control the same should be made. If not, it leads to protein in the urine or proteinuria, which is the earliest symptom of preeclampsia. High blood pressure would not cause the same.

-- Preeclampsia usually happens after 20th week of pregnancy. So watch out for signs like excessive swelling, urination, drastic weight gain around this period. Also, the problem may arise post delivery of the baby too.

-- Also, preeclampsia would affect the health of the unborn baby. If growth is slow it could be due to poor blood supply via the placenta. Gestational hypertension would not impact the baby growth. However, with preeclampsia ‘intra-uterine growth restriction’, or ‘intra-uterine growth retardation’ is always there.

-- Preeclampsia is cured only post delivery. Though measures to control and minimize the problem are available, you cannot really heal the mother till the baby is delivered.

-- Along with the above, one might experience acute kidney problems during preeclampsia followed by headaches, which are not that common for women suffering from gestational hypertension.

As a layman, you might not really understand these symptoms and differences too well. What you could be considering as normal pregnancy symptoms followed by hypertension could be something more. So getting in touch with your gynecologist or health care provider is highly suggested.

answer May 4, 2016 by Joseph
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