Preventing Preeclampsia (High Blood Pressure) During Pregnancy
Hypertension is a medical condition that can develop when you have blood vessels that are too large. A high blood pressure (hypertension) reading in excess of 180/100 mm Hg is considered to be normal in preterm pregnancy.
But even a single high blood pressure (BP) reading does not mean that you actually have preeclampsia in your baby. If you’ve had a high BP reading (over 180/100 mm Hg), or even one that is significantly above your normal blood pressure level (more than 150/110 mm Hg) your doctor may closely examine your BP readings.
This is because if you are having a high BP reading, you may be suffering from another condition known as hypertension. There are a number of causes for hypertension and it usually begins with your age. When you become older, your arteries become larger, which means more pressure can be placed on them.
When this happens, the pressure of the blood in your arteries starts to increase. This condition can happen in several different ways. It can develop when you drink a lot of alcohol or when you engage in high levels of physical activity such as playing sports or running.
If you’re overweight, you may be at risk for developing hypertension
You may also be at risk if you smoke or have a family history of this condition. If you think that you may have hypertension, you should talk to your doctor about having your BP checked. In some cases, the high blood pressure reading may also be the result of a medical condition. Some conditions that can cause high BP include
- Heart valve disease and
- Kidney failure
If you believe that you may have any of these conditions and have a history of them, you should talk to your doctor right away. If your doctor suspects that you may have preeclampsia, your doctor may order a few tests to determine if you have the condition.
One of the most common tests that are used to test for preeclampsia is called a blood test. The results will indicate the levels of a hormone called progesterone. Other tests that are done on pregnant women are often done by a medical device referred to as the “pulse oximeter“.
These tests measure the amount of oxygen-carrying red blood cells in your blood. They will also tell if there are any blood clots in your arteries. Blood tests can sometimes miss other problems that are present in your body.
Therefore, your doctor may order more tests to get an accurate diagnosis of preeclampsia and other related conditions. If you’ve been diagnosed with preeclampsia, you will probably be given a few blood tests to rule out other problems.
You may also be given a measurement of your weight as well as a measurement of your blood sugar level. If you’re pregnant, your doctor may also give you a medication to help regulate your blood sugar level during pregnancy.
Your doctor may also recommend medication to reduce the risk of high BP in your baby and a treatment for any other condition that is causing your blood pressure to rise. If you’ve been diagnosed with preeclampsia, the first step in treating it is to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Many women who are diagnosed with preeclampsia are encouraged to start on prenatal vitamins that help to increase blood flow throughout the body and improve the health of the uterus, ovaries, kidneys and other organs that can lead to high blood pressure.
There are several types of prescription medicines that can help lower your blood pressure
One of these is diuretics, which help to prevent fluid retention in the body, allowing you to get enough fluids and nutrients into your body for your pregnancy. Certain drugs are also available to treat preeclampsia, including anticholinergic drugs. or alpha-blockers.
Examples of Anticholinergic Drugs are
- Oxybutynin (Ditropan XL)
- Propantheline (Pro-banthine)
- Solifenacin (VESIcare)
- Tiotropium (Spiriva)
- Tolterodine (Detrol)
- Ipratropium (Atrovent)
- Atropine (Atropine)
- Belladonna alkaloids
- Benztropine mesylate (Cogentin)
- Cyclopentolate (Cyclogyl)
- Fesoterodine (Toviaz)
- Flavoxate (Urispas)
- Homatropine hydrobromide
- Hyoscyamine (Levsinex)
- Darifenacin (Enablex)
These medications help to lower high blood pressure by decreasing inflammation in the arteries. Some people also take medications that can slow down the growth of blood clots and slow the production of new blood vessels.
If you’re already taking medications to treat hypertension, you may also be prescribed a beta blocker to help control high BP. This type of medicine is taken to help balance blood pressure by slowing the process by which the blood vessels grow and break down blood.
Your doctor may also recommend that you add some exercise to your daily regimen in order to help you keep your BP under control. Your doctor will probably suggest that you also make lifestyle changes, such as cutting down on alcohol and smoking.
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