Pregnancy Poisoning – How To Recognize It And What You Can Do

At the first signs of pregnancy poisoning, one should act directly. Because not only the expectant mother is in danger, but also the baby. In this article you will learn what pregnancy poisoning is all about, how to recognize it and how to treat it.

Pregnancy Poisoning – What Is It?

Pregnancy poisoning occurs when the body has trouble adapting to the changes that occur during pregnancy. However, the term is outdated because it used to be assumed that the condition was based on real poisoning.

It is now more commonly referred to as “gestosis.” Gestosis is an umbrella term that groups together all possible conditions that occur only during pregnancy and can have different symptoms.

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Symptoms Of Pregnancy Toxicity

Initial signs and aymptoms of pregnancy toxicity may include:

  • High blood pressure (over 140/90 mmHg)
  • Visual disturbances
  • Water retention
  • Less urine, although one drinks a normal amount
  • More protein is excreted through urine (proteinuria)
  • Sudden, severe weight gain
  • Nausea, vomiting & headaches
  • Seizures (eclampsia)

Who Can Be Affected By Gestosis?

The risk basically exists in every woman, but you should be especially careful with these risk factors:

  • Gestosis in a previous pregnancy or in relatives
  • Multiple pregnancy
  • If under 18 years of age and over 40 years of age
  • Obesity
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • With blood coagulation disorders

When Does Gestational Toxicity Occur?

A general distinction is made between early gestosis and late gestosis, depending on when the first signs appear.
If signs already appear in the first trimester, it is called early gestosis. It is characterized mainly by vomiting and nausea. However, the symptoms usually differ around the 12th week of pregnancy and do not pose a risk to mother and child.

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If symptoms occur in the last trimester, it is a late gestosis, which is much more dangerous. In Germany, about 5-10% of pregnant women experience so-called preeclampsia, which can occur in various degrees of severity and for which three symptoms are typical:

  1. Edema (edema)
  2. Proteinuria (protein excretion in urine)
  3. Hypertension(high blood pressure)

Upper abdominal pain on the right side should also be watched out for, as it can be caused by damage to the liver.

HELLP syndrome

HELLP syndrome can develop from severe preeclampsia. The consequences of this include life-threatening hemorrhage, premature placental dissolution, ruptures in the liver, and kidney failure.

What Are The Consequences Of Gestosis?

If you experience any of the symptoms, you should see your doctor immediately so that he can take countermeasures in time. If gestosis is detected in time, mother and child have a good chance that the child will be born healthy.

If it is more severe, it can lead to premature birth. If it is not detected at all or too late, in extreme cases it can even lead to the death of mother and child, which is especially common in developing countries.

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Pregnancy Poisoning – What Are The Causes?

It is not yet clear why pregnancy poisoning occurs. It is assumed that gestosis occurs because of an overload of the maternal organism. Some physicians also suspect that high blood pressure may be responsible. Malnutrition can also be a cause of gestosis, which is why you should avoid dieting during pregnancy.

What To Do In Case Of Gestational Toxicity?

Regular appointments with your gynecologist should be a matter of course during pregnancy anyway. Watch out for signs such as water retention in the face, arms and legs. You can recognize the latter by the fact that your socks suddenly cut in, your shoes no longer fit and your feet are much thicker.

Lift your feet

As a good countermeasure, you can elevate your feet higher than your pelvis. Alternating showers, sufficient exercise and massages can also help with swollen legs.

Balanced diet

But don’t panic too soon – it’s not always a case of gestosis. If it is, you are recommended to eat a salty and balanced diet and sufficient protein products, such as cheese, milk, legumes, fish and nuts. In order for the protein to be properly absorbed by your body, you should also eat carbohydrates such as potatoes and wholemeal bread.

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Avoid stress

Apart from that you should take it easy and avoid private and professional stress. If the high blood pressure still does not decrease, pregnant women are often hospitalized and treated with antihypertensive drugs. In addition, the health of mother and child can be monitored there around the clock.


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