Can You Still Have Preeclampsia If Your Blood Pressure Is Normal?

During pregnancy, stress on the liver, kidneys, brain and heart increases. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is the most common sign of preeclampsia, a complex clinical condition affecting all organs of the body. It is possible, however, to have preeclampsia with no accompanying rise in blood pressure.

  1. Blood Pressure

    • The heart is a muscle. It contracts, pumping blood through the arteries, and then relaxes. Blood pressure reflects the force during (the top number) and between heartbeats (the bottom number).

    Identification

    • Readings vary, so an average blood pressure is the most accurate. A bottom number over 90 could be a sign of preeclampsia, if there is also protein in the urine and other clinical signs.

    Considerations

    • A woman whose normal blood pressure is very low could have preeclampsia with "normal" readings. Other signs of preeclampsia are swelling of hands and face, headache, pain above the stomach, and generally feeling unwell.

    Significance

    • Preeclampsia is not diagnosed on the basis of blood pressure alone. Lab indicators of liver and kidney function and reflexes will be assessed as well. Treatment is aimed at preventing seizures and pregnancy loss.

    Risk Factors

    • The cause of preeclampsia is unknown, but it may be related to poor nutrition, obesity, family history, age, race, and the presence of chronic diseases. Preeclampsia is more common in first pregnancies.

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  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of diluvi.com Anna i Adria

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