Can A Woman With High Blood Pressure Get Toxemia
Women who have previously had pregnancy-induced hypertension are more likely to develop toxemia. It is always difficult for an expectant mother to find that the presence of toxicosis is making her pregnancy more difficult. However, constant worry and heightened anxiety can only make the situation worse.
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Current Guidelines And Practice
Due to gestational physiology, BP may decrease during the first trimester of pregnancy, reaching its nadir by mid-pregnancy. A normal BP of 110-120/70-80 mm Hg in a healthy woman of 20-30 years of age might decrease by 5-10 mm Hg during this interval, as compensatory increases in blood volume and vasodilatation occur. SBP is less affected than DBP because of the increased cardiac output that offsets the systemic vasodilation.
Blood pressure then usually returns to preconception levels during the third trimester. Hypertension in pregnancy is defined as a BP of 140/90 mm Hg or higher in a previously normotensive patient, and when accompanied by significant proteinuria , fulfills the criteria for the diagnosis of preeclampsia. The NHBPEP recommendations state that antihypertensive therapy in preeclamptic patients is indicated for a diastolic blood pressure > 105 mm Hg. The level of SBP at which therapeutic interventions are indicated was not defined . For patients with chronic hypertension prior to becoming pregnant, antihypertensive medications are not recommended in these guidelines until higher levels are noted, i.e., SBP 150-160 mm Hg, or DBP 100-110 mm Hg. In the subset of pregnant patients with evidence of renal disease or other target organ damage, the institution of therapy in this population is suggested for a DBP â¥ 90 mm Hg.
Monitor Your Salt Intake
Generally, when people with high blood pressure cut back on salt, their blood pressure falls. It even prevents blood pressure from rising.
A 2014 study published in Electrolytes & Blood Pressure shows that a reduction of dietary salt intake can decrease the number of deaths from hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and strokes.
A 2016 study by McMaster University found that, low-salt diets may actually increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and death compared with average salt consumption. The research suggests that the only people who need to worry about reducing sodium in their diet are those with hypertension who have high salt consumption.
Always remember that the body needs a small amount of sodium to work properly, but excess salt will only increase your blood pressure and your risk for heart disease or stroke.
During pregnancy, you must keep a check on your salt intake to keep your blood pressure under control.
- Do not add a lot of salt to foods. Use herbs and spices instead to add flavor to your dish.
- Avoid processed foods, fast food, and sports drinks, which are high in sodium even if they dont taste salty.
- Avoid canned foods as they are often high in sodium.
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Antihypertensive Medications That Are Not Safe During Pregnancy
Some medicines used to treat high blood pressure should not be taken during pregnancy as they may harm a developing baby.
Examples of blood pressure medicines that should not be taken during pregnancy are:
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Treating High Blood Pressure
Similar to the treatment approaches for hypertension in non-pregnant patients, women who have high blood pressure prior to pregnancy can manage symptoms of hypertension through medication and lifestyle modifications. These are the same treatments used with preeclampsia as well.
Dr. Atlas says most mothers with elevated blood pressure will generally be treated with medications to lower the blood pressure. We use Labetalol and Nifedipine often for patients as they have generally been shown to be safe in pregnancy, he explains.
That said, Dr. Atlas does point out that some people may be on medications prescribed by internists or renal doctors that are not safe to take in pregnancy. “Medications such as ACE and ARB inhibitors can be potentially harmful to the developing fetus,” he explains.
In addition to medication, treating high blood pressure during pregnancy involves:
- Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates
- Limiting sodium
- If overweight, limiting weight gain
- Managing stress levels
- Avoiding alcohol
- Quitting smoking
If high blood pressure spikes too high and does not respond to medication and/or lifestyle accommodations, other possible treatments include bed rest and induction of labor. Particularly with preeclampsia, if a woman’s pressure is too high and her baby is viable , inducing labor will be considered.
Living With High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
Go to each of your prenatal visits with your doctor. This will allow him or her to monitor your blood pressure. Your doctor may ask you to record your blood pressure at home. He or she can give advice on how to do that. Your doctor will check your urine at each visit. High levels of protein in urine can be a symptom of preeclampsia.
Discuss all your medicines with your doctor. Also, dont start or stop taking any medicines, including over-the-counter medicines, without talking to your doctor. Some of these may affect your blood pressure.
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Preventing High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
Common risk factors for high blood pressure, such as obesity, can be minimized through diet and exercise.
During pregnancy, its normal to gain some weight. If youre concerned, talk to your doctor about a target weight gain and ways to stay within a range thats healthy for you.
Dietary guidelines for pregnant women vary from person to person. A nutritionist can help create a meal plan thats designed for your specific height and weight.
Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. Both are known to raise blood pressure and to cause other complications during pregnancy.
Salt is important during pregnancy and its usually not necessary to limit salt intake, even for women with high blood pressure. Restricting salt too much is harmful for pregnant women and can impact fetal growth and development.
Pregnancy causes hormone shifts as well as psychological and physical changes. This can bring on stress, which can make high blood pressure harder to manage. Try stress reduction techniques such as yoga and meditation.
Some traditional blood pressure medications can cause problems in pregnant women.
These medications for lowering blood pressure are typically not recommended during pregnancy:
High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy
High blood pressure in pregnancy is a common medical problem that usually disappears once the baby is born. In some cases, it can signal a serious condition called pre-eclampsia.
Your blood pressure is a measure of how strongly your blood pushes against the walls of the blood vessels. Its normally recorded in 2 numbers: the top one is the pressure when the heart is pumping, and the bottom one is the pressure in between each beat.
When you are pregnant, you are considered to have high blood pressure when the top number is 140 or more or the bottom number is 90 or more . High blood pressure is sometimes called hypertension.
Seek medical attention urgently if you have high blood pressure in pregnancy along with:
- a severe headache
- sudden swelling of the face, hands and feet
- a pain in your upper abdomen
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What Are The Different Forms Of High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
High blood pressure complicates about 10 percent of all pregnancies. There are several different types of high blood pressure during pregnancy. These types vary in severity and impact on the body. The forms of high blood pressure during pregnancy include:
- Chronic hypertension: High blood pressure which is present prior to pregnancy.
- Chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia: Preeclampsia, which develops in someone who has chronic hypertension .
- Gestational hypertension: High blood pressure is noted in the latter part of pregnancy, but no other signs or symptoms of preeclampsia are present. Some women will later develop preeclampsia, while others probably have high blood pressure before the pregnancy.
- Preeclampsia: A condition only found in the latter half of pregnancy and results in hypertension, protein in the urine, and generalized swelling in the mother. It can impact other organs in the body and also cause seizures .
What Can You Do To Take Care Of Yourself
To help control your blood pressure and have a healthy pregnancy:
- Don’t smoke. This is one of the best things you can do to help your baby be healthy. If you need help to quit smoking, talk to your doctor.
- Be sure to go to all of your prenatal checkups so your doctor or midwife can check your blood pressure. You may also want to check your blood pressure at home.
- Gain an amount of weight that is healthy for you. Your doctor or midwife can help you set a pregnancy weight goal.
- If your doctor says it’s okay, get regular exercise during pregnancy. Walking or swimming several times a week can help lower blood pressure. And it’s good for you and your baby.
- Try to keep your stress level low. This may be hard to do, especially if you continue to work, have young children, or have a hectic schedule. But try to find some time to relax.
What Causes High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
Any woman can develop high blood pressure during their pregnancy, but you are at increased risk if:
- you have had pre-eclampsia before
- close relatives have had pre-eclampsia
- you have a medical condition such as kidney disease, diabetes or chronic hypertension
- you are older than 40
- you are carrying twins or more
Avoid Smoking And Alcohol At All Costs
Smoking and Drinking alcohol not only has a direct teratogenic effect on the growing baby in your womb but it is also implicated to cause a rise in blood pressure while being pregnant.
This rise in BP in pregnancy as you know can be devastating for your baby therefore a single hack to lower it down is to cut off your smoking and alcohol drinks while being pregnant.
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Try Controlled Breathing :
- Lie down comfortably on your back.
- Place your hands on your chest and below the rib cage.
- Slowly inhale through your nose so that you feel your stomach move up.
- Slowly exhale through your mouth by counting to 5, while keeping the abdominal muscles tight.
- Repeat 10 times and keep your breathing regular and slow.
- Practice deep breathing for 10 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day, to manage your blood pressure and keep your heart healthy.
Who Is At Risk For Preeclampsia
You are at higher risk of preeclampsia if you:
- Had chronic high blood pressure or chronic kidney disease before pregnancy
- Had high blood pressure or preeclampsia in a previous pregnancy
- Damage to your kidneys, liver, brain, and other organ and blood systems
- A higher risk of heart disease for you
- Eclampsia, which happens when preeclampsia is severe enough to affect brain function, causing seizures or coma
- HELLP syndrome, which happens when a woman with preeclampsia or eclampsia has damage to the liver and blood cells. It is rare, but very serious.
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Go Along With Medical Advice
For a healthy pregnancy, a prenatal visit and pregnancy go hand in hand. Every time you go for prenatal care the Dr. will checks your blood pressure.
This is important for both mother and baby health. If you are experiencing any kind of hypertension let your Dr. knows about it right away to avoid serious complications during labor and delivery. Follow medical advice for safe during pregnancy, reduces the risk factors of blood pressure complications, and prevent pregnancy complications. Consult with your doctor to know whether you need blood pressure medication.
Bonus Tip: Lowdose aspirin is not recommended for daily usage during pregnancy, as it may affect the babys growth.
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