What is Toxemia?

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Toxemia is a dangerous condition that can occur with pregnant women.  The condition is characterized by a sudden elevation in blood pressure that causes the arteries to constrict and limits blood flow to the placenta of the unborn child.  If not identified early and treated appropriately, Toxemia can cause death for a mother and a child.

Currently, the cause of Toxemia is unknown.  It commonly occurs during first pregnancies with a lower risk in subsequent pregnancies unless the subsequent pregnancies are with a different partner.  There are currently no tests available to determine whether a woman is predisposed to Toxemia.

The symptoms of Toxemia including swelling of the hands, feet and face or high levels of protein in the urine.  Other symptoms include abdominal pain, dizziness and headache.  If you experience these symptoms during your pregnancy, it is vitally important that you make your Obstetrician aware of this fact as soon as possible.  Treatment may include bed rest, blood pressure medications, a reduction of salt intake or some combination of these.

Taking prenatal vitamins, drinking lots of water, exercising and lying on your left side can help to prevent Toxemia from occurring during pregnancy.  If not treated and managed appropriately, Toxemia can result in a number of complications for both the mother and the child including liver damage, kidney damage, vision problems, stroke and even death.

If you think you may be at risk for developing Toxemia during pregnancy, please discuss your risk factors with your OBGYN so he or she can closely monitor your health and the health of your baby while you are pregnant.  Being aware of this serious condition can help you modify your lifestyle to reduce your risks as much as possible.

Posted on the Behalf of Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.