There are three classic signs of Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH), also known as Gestational Hypertension and they are: a blood pressure of not lower than 140/90 mmhg., presence of protein in the urine and presence of generalized swelling or edema (only edema of the lower extremities is normal, edema of the face and hands is considered generalized edema).
If you observe these three signs, you will require special management to prevent the complications that can be dangerous to both you and your baby.
What exactly causes PIH is unknown, but there are factors closely associated with it that places you at greater risk of developing one.
If in your family, your grandmother, mother or sister had PIH, there is a higher risk that you may also develop the condition.
Mothers who have twin or multiple pregnancies that poses a greater demand on her cardiovascular system may also develop PIH. Lastly, women who have a history of kidney disease or history of high blood pressure at any time before the pregnancy is at risk of developing PIH.
There are dangerous complications associated with PIH like:
- Preeclampsia, a condition when the blood pressure reaches as high as 160/110 mmhg. That predisposes the woman to having a seizure.
- Eclampsia is when the woman had even one episode of seizure.
- Severe eclampsia is when the woman experiences several episodes of seizure (this stage is already very dangerous and can be fatal to both mother and baby).
- HELLP syndrome stands for: Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes and Low Platelet. This condition will end up in a severe bleeding episode and may result to death of the mother if not managed immediately and distress or death of the baby.
PIH is a serious condition that should not be ignored; working close with your health provider is a must. PIH may develop at any stage of the pregnancy from the first trimester even after the delivery of the baby.