Pre-eclampsia — Symptoms — NHS
Pre-eclampsia rarely happens before the 20th week of pregnancy.
Although less common, the condition can also develop for the first time in the first 4 weeks after birth.
Most people only experience mild symptoms, but it’s important to manage the condition in case severe symptoms or complications develop.
Generally, the earlier pre-eclampsia develops, the more severe the condition will be.
Early signs and symptoms
Initially, pre-eclampsia causes:
- high blood pressure (hypertension)
- protein in urine (proteinuria)
You probably won’t notice any symptoms of either of these, but your GP or midwife should pick them up during your routine antenatal appointments.
High blood pressure alone doesn’t suggest pre-eclampsia.
But if protein in the urine is found at the same time as high blood pressure, it’s a good indicator of the condition.
Read more about diagnosing pre-eclampsia.
As pre-eclampsia progresses, it may cause:
- severe headaches
- vision problems, such as blurring or seeing flashing lights
- pain just below the ribs
- sudden swelling of the feet, ankles, face and hands
If you notice any symptoms of pre-eclampsia, get medical advice immediately by calling your GP surgery or NHS 111.
Without immediate treatment, pre-eclampsia may lead to a number of serious complications, including:
- convulsions (eclampsia)
- HELLP syndrome (a combined liver and blood clotting disorder)
But these complications are rare.
Read more about the complications of pre-eclampsia.
Signs in the unborn baby
The main sign of pre-eclampsia in the unborn baby is slow growth. This is caused by poor blood supply through the placenta to the baby.
The growing baby receives less oxygen and fewer nutrients than it should, which can affect development. This is called intra-uterine or foetal growth restriction.
If your baby is growing more slowly than usual, this will normally be picked up during your antenatal appointments, when the midwife or doctor measures you.
Page last reviewed: 28 September 2021
Next review due: 28 September 2024
Deep vein thrombosis in pregnancy
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious condition where a blood clot forms in a deep vein in the body, usually in the leg.
Urgent advice: Call your GP, midwife or 111 immediately if you have:
- pain, swelling and tenderness in 1 leg, usually at the back of your lower leg (calf) – the pain may be worse when you walk
- a heavy ache or warm skin in the affected area
- red skin, particularly at the back of your leg below the knee
These can be signs of deep vein thrombosis. It usually happens in only 1 leg, but not always.
If the clot breaks off into the bloodstream, it can block 1 blood vessel in the lungs. This is called a pulmonary embolism (PE) and needs emergency treatment.
Immediate action required: Call 999 immediately if you:
- have sudden difficulty breathing
- have pain or tightness in your chest or upper back
- are coughing blood
These can be signs of a blood clot in the lungs (pulmonary embolism).
PE can be fatal, but the risk of developing a PE is very small if DVT is diagnosed and treated.
Read more about DVT
DVT is not common in pregnancy. But you’re more likely to develop DVT at any stage of your pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after the birth than people of the same age who are not pregnant.
DVT does not always have symptoms.
During pregnancy it’s common to have swelling or discomfort in your legs, so this on its own does not always mean there’s a serious problem.
Are you at risk?
Your risk of developing DVT during pregnancy is even greater if you:
- or a close family member have had a blood clot before
- are over 35
- are obese (have a body mass index of 30 or more)
- have had a severe infection or recent serious injury, such as a broken leg
- have a condition that makes clots more likely (thrombophilia)
- are carrying twins or multiple babies
- have had fertility treatment
- are having a caesarean section
- smoke – get support to stop smoking
- have severe varicose veins (ones that are painful or above the knee with redness or swelling)
- are dehydrated
Managing DVT in pregnancy
If you develop a DVT while pregnant, you’ll probably need injections of a medicine to stop the blood clot getting bigger so your body can dissolve it.
The medicine, called heparin, does not affect your developing baby.
Read more about treating DVT
The injections also reduce your risk of getting a PE and developing another clot.
You’ll usually need to have the injections for the rest of your pregnancy and until at least 6 weeks after the birth of your baby.
Although medical treatment for DVT is essential, there are also things you can do to help yourself.
- staying as active as you can – your midwife or doctor can advise you on this
- wearing prescribed compression stockings to help the circulation in your legs
Travel and DVT
Travelling for longer than 4 hours (long-haul travel) increases your risk of developing DVT.
It’s not known if this risk is greater during pregnancy, but to reduce the risk of DVT while you’re travelling:
- drink plenty of water
- avoid drinking alcohol in pregnancy
- perform simple leg exercises, such as regularly flexing your ankles – if you’re on a flight, most airlines provide information about exercises you can do to during the flight
- if possible, walk about during refuelling stops or walk up and down the bus, train or plane (when it’s safe to do so)
healthtalk.org has videos and written interviews of people talking about their experiences of having a blood clot in pregnancy
Page last reviewed: 23 April 2021
Next review due: 23 April 2024
Anemia during pregnancy
Anemia in pregnancy is a condition in which the amount of hemoglobin protein and red blood cells (erythrocytes) is reduced.
Hemoglobin is important because it delivers oxygen to all cells of the body and takes carbon dioxide from them. If there is not enough hemoglobin, then oxygen deficiency (hypoxia) occurs. Naturally, with anemia, not only the body of the expectant mother suffers, but also the child — he also begins to experience hypoxia.
Lack of oxygen can adversely affect the formation of the internal organs of the fetus. A baby who suffered from intrauterine hypoxia may later suffer from respiratory diseases more often, show restlessness, irritability, and tearfulness. Anemia in pregnant women is most often associated with iron deficiency or poor absorption. During pregnancy, the need for this substance increases — iron is actively consumed during the growth of the fetus and placenta. The body of an adult contains about 3-4 g of iron. The physiological loss of this substance (with secretions, sweat, exfoliated skin cells, hair) is approximately 1 mg per day, but the body of a pregnant or lactating woman loses up to 7–8 mg during this period.
The cause of anemia during pregnancy is sometimes a violation of the functions of the gastrointestinal tract: a person can consume enough iron, but the body will not be able to absorb it. In such cases, treatment of internal organs is required, and then — the restoration of a normal level of hemoglobin in the blood. You can find out if the expectant mother has anemia by a general blood test. No wonder doctors ask pregnant women to do such an analysis every month. If the amount of hemoglobin in the blood is less than 110, and the number of red blood cells is less than 3.9, then this indicates an iron deficiency in the body. In this case, the doctor will advise you to take another biochemical blood test to determine the amount of iron in the bone marrow and understand how serious the deviations from the norm are in the woman’s condition and what treatment she needs.
Certain symptoms also indicate anemia:
- weakness may be noted,
- low pressure,
- dry skin,
- brittle nails and hair,
- bruises under the eyes,
If the mother-to-be notices these signs, she should report them to the doctor.
Treating anemia in pregnancy
If a doctor determines that a woman is anemic, he or she will prescribe iron supplements. They need to be taken taking into account some biochemical characteristics of the body. Iron is poorly absorbed in combination with calcium, so milk and dairy products in the diet are limited during the treatment of anemia. 1-2 hours before taking the drug and an hour after, it is necessary to completely exclude the use of such products. Expectant mothers who regularly take multivitamins are surprised by the fact that they have an iron deficiency — after all, this essential element is also included in multivitamins. But the fact is that in combination with other substances, iron is poorly absorbed. Therefore, during the treatment of anemia, multivitamins are usually removed. But iron is well absorbed in combination with ascorbic acid, so many modern preparations contain both iron and ascorbic acid.
Anemia can be treated for a long time, from three to six months. The fact is that the process of restoring iron stores in the body occurs rather slowly, even after the level of hemoglobin in the blood becomes normal.
Diet for pregnant women with iron deficiency anemia
Pregnant women with iron deficiency anemia, in addition to medication, are prescribed a special diet. From food, 2.5 mg of iron is absorbed per day, while from drugs — 15-20 times more. The largest amount of iron is found in meat products. The iron contained in them is absorbed in the human body by 25-30%. The absorption of iron from other products of animal origin (eggs, fish) is 10-15%, from plant products — only 3-5%.
The largest amount of iron (in mg per 100 g of product) is found in pork liver (19.0 mg), cocoa (12.5 mg), egg yolk (7.2 mg), heart (6.2 mg), veal liver (5.4 mg), stale bread (4.7 mg), apricots (4.9 mg), almonds (4.4 mg), turkey meat (3.8 mg), spinach (3. 1 mg) and veal (2.9 mg). A pregnant woman with iron deficiency anemia should adhere to a rational diet. From protein products are recommended: beef, bovine liver, tongue, liver and heart, poultry, eggs and cow’s milk. Fats are found in: cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, cream. Carbohydrates should be replenished by: wholemeal rye bread, vegetables (tomatoes, carrots, radishes, beets, pumpkins and cabbages), fruits (apricots, pomegranates, lemons, cherries), dried fruits (dried apricots, raisins, prunes), nuts, berries ( currants, rose hips, raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries), cereals (oatmeal, buckwheat, rice) and legumes (beans, peas, corn). Be sure to include fresh herbs and honey in the diet.
Our doctors specialize in the management of somatic pathology during pregnancy, make an appointment with the therapists of the Women’s Health Clinic: 258-03-84;
Signs that you are deficient in vitamins
- May 18, 2021
- Author: Anna Fedortsova
A day or a week of malnutrition will not do much harm. If the body lacks nutrients for a long time, it will give a signal.
You can reverse most deficiencies with foods rich in missing nutrients, supplements, or a combination of the two. Whichever way you choose to replenish, be sure to consult your doctor.
It’s normal to lose about 100 hairs a day. But if you notice large strands or tufts of hair on your pillow or in the shower, you may be low on iron. You are not alone. This is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the world. To check iron, the doctor may prescribe LZhSS, Transferrin iron saturation, Complete blood count (CBC / Diff) with leukocyte formula without ESR, Reticulocyte count, Ferritin.
If you’re a new mom and your hair is falling out like a waterfall, don’t panic right away. During pregnancy, hair usually grows faster and thicker. After childbirth, estrogen and hair fall with it. Everything should be back to normal in a year. At the same time, iron deficiency after childbirth is a fairly common occurrence.
This symptom fits almost any vitamin or mineral deficiency. Maybe it’s time to get your vitamin D levels checked. This vitamin is unique. It reduces the risk of heart disease, influenza, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, colon, breast and prostate cancer. It plays an important role in regulating mood, sleep and wakefulness, and preventing depression. Increases the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and promotes bone mineralization. Vitamin D deficiency can cause muscle pain, weakness, and unexplained fatigue.
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Vitamins B9 and B12 help the body produce red blood cells and chemicals that regulate sleep and mood. When you don’t get enough of them, you may feel forgetful, weak, and lethargic.
Burning mouth syndrome
The name speaks for itself. This condition can cause a burning sensation in the gums, lips, inside of the cheek, and palate. You may also feel dry or numb in your mouth. One of the reasons for this is the lack of B vitamins, such as folic acid (B9), thiamine (B1) and pyridoxine (B6).
One of the many jobs of vitamin A is to grow and maintain the tissues that cover every surface of your body, inside and out. When you’re low on vitamin A, your skin can be dry and scaly.
Batteries and low humidity can also be to blame for dryness.
When the body needs more iron, the nails can become soft and curve away from the finger at the edges, creating a spoon shape. It can also be a sign of hemochromatosis, a condition in which the body absorbs too much iron. This symptom is a sure sign that it is urgently time to see a doctor.
Cracks in the corners of the mouth
This condition, also called angular chelitis, can be caused by a variety of factors. If it doesn’t go away after applying lip balm, it could be a sign of iron deficiency or B vitamins such as riboflavin (B2).
This condition is also called glossitis as the tongue looks smooth, shiny and swollen. Also, the tongue may hurt. This could be a sign of low iron or B vitamins such as folic acid (B9), niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2) and cyanocobalamin (B12). In this case, your tongue may also hurt.
Your body has more collagen than any other protein. It holds everything together, including your skin cells. If you notice more bruising than usual, you may have low levels of vitamin C, a key building block of collagen.