When a pregnant woman’s blood pressure becomes high and excess of protein is present in her urine, she is said to suffer from toxemia during her pregnancy. Toxemia health condition is also known as preeclampsia or pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH).
Toxemia during pregnancy is deadly hazardous for the pregnant woman as well as her baby. In order to prevent complications arising due to toxemia, early delivery is often necessary.
The signs and symptoms of toxemia during pregnancy may include dizziness, upper abdominal pain, headaches, sudden weight gain, sudden swelling in certain parts of the body such as face, hands, feet and ankles, presence of protein in the urine and high blood pressure. Some factors contribute to a greater risk of developing toxemia during pregnancy. A few major risk factors of toxemia are discussed below.
Pregnancy or being pregnant carries the major risk of toxemia. Toxemia is higher and occurs more in first pregnancies. If a woman gets pregnant for the first time in ten years or longer; she will be more prone to toxemia. Multiple births i.e. when women carry twins, triplets, or more babies, they have a greater risk for developing toxemia during their pregnancies.
Pregnant women who suffer from high blood pressure prior to their pregnancy commonly fall victim to toxemia than women who do not suffer from hypertension prior to their pregnancies. Age is another common risk factor for toxemia. Becoming pregnant past 35 years of age increases the risk of toxemia.
But this condition can also affect younger expectant mother, especially those who get pregnant when they are below 20 years of age. It is distressing to note that over the past decade, the incidence of toxemia has increased by nearly one–third. Another contributing factor of toxemia is the older maternal age at the time of pregnancy.
Risk factors for toxemia also include obesity. At the time of entering the pregnancy phase, women must have an ideal weight according to body-mass-index calculations.
If you have a BMI above 30 and are pregnant then you are at a higher risk for developing toxemia during your pregnancy. Also women who follow a regular exercise regime prior to their pregnancies are at a lower risk of toxemia than those who do not. Women who have diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma or kidney disease are also at a greater risk for toxemia.