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Top 10 Symptoms of High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy

Monitoring your blood pressure is an important part of prenatal care. Preeclampsia, which is a condition associated with high blood pressure during pregnancy can cause serious damage to your organs, including your brain and kidneys. The risks involved with high blood pressure during pregnancy also include decreased blood flow to the placenta, placental abruption, intrauterine growth restriction, and premature delivery.

In order to avoid a potentially dangerous outcome, it is important to pay close attention to any symptoms of high blood pressure during pregnancy and to seek immediate medical attention if something seems to be wrong.

Below is a list with the symptoms of high blood pressure in pregnancy. Although not all of these symptoms necessarily indicate a serious problem, especially if they are exhibited in isolation, it is always a good idea to consult a doctor in order to determine the extent of the problem.

Symptom #1: Swelling in the hands and face

Although some swelling during pregnancy is perfectly normal, abnormal swelling in the hands and face should be monitored carefully. If the face or hands starts to feel puffy and are visibly altered, there is a good chance that something is wrong. These symptoms are especially worrisome if you don’t usually experience swelling. It is a good idea to see a doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms of high blood pressure in pregnancy.

Symptom #2: Persistent headaches

In the same way that a bit of swelling is normal during pregnancy, the odd headache is also to be expected. Especially if the pregnancy is causing you to sleep poorly or making it hard to keep down food or water, headaches will likely happen. That being said, if you’ve been eating and drinking normally and getting proper rest, but the headache still persists, it could be a sign of high blood pressure.

Symptom #3: Seeing spots or having changes in vision

Seeing spots, colours, or just generally experiencing abnormal vision should be cause for concern. Even if the symptoms are not dramatic, if you start to feel that something is not quite right with your vision, it is a good idea to visit the doctor.

Symptom #4: Upper abdominal pain

Pain in the upper abdominal area is not typical during pregnancy. If you start to have consistent pain in this part of the body, this could be the symptoms of high blood pressure in pregnancy and you may need further medical attention.

Symptom #5: Nausea or vomiting later in pregnancy

Although in the first stages of pregnancy it is likely, and even common, to experience nausea or vomiting, these symptoms are not normal later into term. Unusual food cravings or the occasional upset stomach should not be cause for concern, but persistent and regular nausea or vomiting could be a signal that something is up.

Symptom #6: Difficulty breathing

At any point during pregnancy, difficulty breathing should be taken seriously and followed up with consultation from a doctor. Being short of breath due to the increased strain put on the body is normal, but if difficulty in breathing persists even when you’re stationary, it could mean that your blood pressure is high.

Symptom #7: Rapid weight gain

Rapid weight gain that takes place over one or two days is usually a sign of the fact that the body is retaining fluid. Unless you’ve been eating to excess, it is unlikely that you could create a noticeable change in weight over a few days. If the gain is substantial, it could be a sign of high blood pressure and you should see a doctor.

Symptom #8: Changes in reflexes

A change in reflexes is typically caused by an overreaction of the involuntary nervous system as a result of stimulation. Deep tendon reflexes also tend to increase in women prior to seizures, so if you notice any change in your reflexes at all, you should see a doctor immediately.

Symptom #9: Reduced urine

Reduced urine, or no urine at all, could be a sign of high pressure. If you’ve been consuming a regular amount of food and liquid and otherwise feel hydrated but are not peeing, you should see a doctor. High blood pressure can change the way your kidneys function and therefore effects your urine output. A doctor can also test your urine to see if it contains protein, another symptom associated with high blood pressure.

Symptom #10: Lower back pain

Pain in your bad is another indication that sometimes is going on with your kidneys, or possibly even your liver, both symptoms associated with high blood pressure. Of course, some lower back pain is completely normal during pregnancy and should not necessarily be a cause for concern if it remains relatively mind. On the other hand, if you start to feel an unusual pain in your back that doesn’t seem to be associated with the extra strain placed on your body as a result of pregnancy, you should see a doctor. Keep in mind that it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Ronald Ryan

I'm a self-proclaimed science geek and all-around nerd. Useless fun trivia seems to be my forte. If you ever need to hear a good dad joke, I'm your guy!

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