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Preeclampsia – Early Detection
Approximately five to eight percent of all women develop preeclampsia, a form of pregnancy-related high blood pressure, during the course of their pregnancy. The exact causes are still largely unknown. However, the risk factors are not. What exactly is preeclampsia? What are the symptoms and what are the treatment options?
Preeclampsia belongs to the pregnancy-related metabolic diseases, the so-called gestoses. Medicine distinguishes between early gestoses in the first trimester and late gestoses in the last trimester, which include preeclampsia, eclampsia, and HELLP syndrome. In the past, the term pregnancy toxicity was common. Today, the terms preeclampsia or EPH gestosis are used. Where EPH stands for edema (edema), proteinuria (protein excretion in the urine) and hypertension (high blood pressure) and thus refers to the three main symptoms of the disease.
As different as the names are the assumptions about the causes of the disease. So far, there are no definite findings in this regard. Some physicians attribute the disease to an overload of the maternal organism due to pregnancy. Among other things, a disturbance in the formation and implantation of the placenta is suspected. There is also discussion of the possibility that the placenta itself increases the blood flow through the umbilical cord and thus the blood pressure of the pregnant woman in the event of an impending deficiency in the supply of blood to the unborn child, for example if the mother does not feed herself properly.
While the causes are still largely unknown, some risk factors can be identified. At risk are very young or older first-time mothers and pregnant women who have had the condition in a previous pregnancy or who have a family history of the condition. The risk also increases in multiple pregnancies and women who already suffered from kidney disease, high blood pressure or diabetes before pregnancy, or who are severely underweight. Stress and emotional strain also promote the development of the disease.