The most common hypertensive disorder during pregnancy is toxemia. Toxemia is also known as pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) or preeclampsia.
It is a serious medical condition that affects about 5-8% of pregnant women in the US. This condition occurs when a pregnant woman has exceedingly high blood pressure (over 140/90) accompanied with the presence of excess protein in her urine. Toxemia typically occurs in the 2nd half of the pregnancy, usually after the 20th week of pregnancy.
Toxemia along with other diseases related to high blood pressure is the foremost causes of maternal and infant mortality across the globe. If toxemia remains undiagnosed and is not treated timely, the nonstop increase in blood pressure can result in severe complications for both mother and the child. If you are aware of the signs and symptoms of toxemia then you can recognize them and can immediately consult your doctor.
Some of the signs and symptoms of toxemia are discussed below.
Swelling – One of the first signs of toxemia is sudden swelling. Swelling may occur in your face and hands, ankles, feet, and in the area around your eyes. But you can not consider it as a sure sign of toxemia because many pregnant women are affected with swelling without having toxemia.
High Blood Pressure – Often the first recognized sign of toxemia is high blood pressure or hypertension. Hence a pregnant woman must get her blood pressure monitored regularly. High blood pressure has a reading which is greater than 140/90. An elevated blood pressure may indicate a warning sign of toxemia.
Sudden Weight Gain – In many cases, sudden weight gain by a pregnant woman may be caused due to toxemia. If a pregnant woman gains more than 2 pounds of weight in a week’s time, it may indicate that she is suffering from toxemia. Hence you must get your weight monitored throughout your pregnancy.
Pain in Upper Abdominal Area – Painful feelings in the upper abdominal part, may be experienced by some pregnant women with toxemia.
Sudden & Severe Headaches – Though headaches are very common in pregnant women; you must inform your doctor about these headaches. Because sudden, severe headache may indicate that you are affected with toxemia.
Sudden Visual Problems – Sudden visual problems like double vision, blurred vision or temporary vision loss experienced by a pregnant woman may be signs of toxemia.
Other signs include upset stomach, vomiting and dizziness.