Hypertension ailing would-be mothers

It's common in women with late pregnancies: Doctor

Bengaluru: Thirty-two-year-old Shilpa P. (name changed) was detected with high blood pressure during the second trimester of her pregnancy.

However, thinking it to be normal she did not do anything about the diagnosis. Both the would-be mother and her gynecologist thought that matters were under control with regular medical supervision. However, when Shilpa was twenty weeks pregnant, all of a sudden her blood pressure shot up to 180/120 mm Hg. As there was no medication for the condition, it turned out to be very risky for Shilpa and she had to terminate her pregnancy. Shilpa was just one of the numerous cases suffering from Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH).

Gestational hypertension, also referred to as pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) is a condition characterised by high blood pressure during pregnancy and many pregnant women are getting diagnosed with PIH. "It is becoming a relatively common phenomenon in the city among women who are having late pregnancies or with other metabolic disorders. Sadly, it is very unpredictable and can happen suddenly, causing complications," says Dr Sheela Mane, Senior Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Anugraha Nursing Home. She says that she is seeing many cases where women who are five months pregnant are developing PIH.

"Around 5 per cent of women in India are detected with PIH," says Dr Kavitha Kovi, Consultant Gynecologist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Whitefield. This is more common in rural India where other factors like diabetes and anemia are not monitored regularly among pregnant women due to lack of awareness, she added. Also, obesity, late pregnancy and conceiving twins can cause PIH.

"PIH can also cause HELLP syndrome, another life-threatening obstetric complication. This usually occurs during the later stages of pregnancy and the patient suffers from hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count," says Dr Kovi. In many cases the would-be mother can also suffer from hypoxia (lack of oxygen in the body) and eclampsia (onset of seizures), due to uncontrolled PIH. Advising caution, Dr Sheela adds, "Pregnant women should not have folic acid deficiency or nutritional deficiency and ensure that their weight is in check and women who are anemic should take extra precautions during pregnancy."

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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