Gestational hypertension is development of high BP recorded first time in pregnancy after 20 weeks of gestational period in a previously normotensive patient.
Usually this high BP recording settle within 48 hours to 6 week post delivery. It is potentially dangerous in pregnancy and can cause detrimental effects to both the mother and the fetus..
Pre-eclampsia is typically characterized by swelling of legs, protein in urine.. But again it makes it a little difficult for us to differentiate from a normal pregnancy where patients do have swelling of legs and hands due to retention of water..
So a high BP recording and a Urine protein test are always confirmatory. Though the BP settles within 48hrs post delivery for a few, there can be few instances where a patient with normal BP throughout pregnancy can suddenly have high BP values.. So a pregnancy even after delivery should be monitored properly..
1) BP more than 140/90mmHg
2) Swelling of legs that does not reduce even after rest
3) Weight gain by 0.5 to 1 kg in 2-3 days because of fluid accumulation
4) Severe headaches
5) Less frequency of urination
6) Vomiting and pain in mid chest
7) Changes in vision like floaters or blurred vision.
Few patients do not have any symptoms of pre-eclampsia.. So it is important that high BP recorded once anytime during pregnancy after 20 weeks of gestation should come for regular check up mainly for BP recording and Urine test..
1) Teenage pregnancy
2) Elderly pregnancy (above 35yrs of age)
3) Interpregnancy gap is either very less (2years) or more (10years)
4) History of pre-eclampsia in previous pregnancy
5) Carrying more than 1 fetus (twins or more)
6) Family history of pre-eclampsia or hypertension
8) IVF pregnancies
9) History of diabetes in pregnancy
Preventive methods are though less it can be kept under control with a proper balanced salt restricted diet, physical exercise, regular BP check ups..
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