Eclampsia: Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis

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Overview

Eclampsia is a rare condition , which can be fatal if left untreated.Many of the pregnancies that have been affected by eclampsia or preeclampsia are first pregnancies.14 percent of all maternal deaths is due to eclampsia. Preeclampsia symptoms are typically modest and might not need treatment beyond monitoring and potential dietary changes.

What is Eclampsia?

A serious side effect of preeclampsia is eclampsia. Pregnancy-related seizures brought on by high blood pressure are a rare but deadly disorder.

Periods of abnormal brain activity known as seizures can result in episodes of staring, drowsiness, and convulsions (severe shaking). Preeclampsia affects approximately 1 in every 200 women.

Even if you don’t have a history of seizures, eclampsia can develop in you usually after the 20th week of pregnancy, Less than 3% of people with preeclampsia experience it, making it uncommon. Eclampsia necessitates urgent medical attention and might lead to difficulties during pregnancy.

Causes of Eclampsia

Preeclampsia is characterised by high blood pressure that happens throughout pregnancy and, in rare cases, after delivery. Eclampsia frequently follows preeclampsia. There can also be additional results, such as protein in the urine. You have eclampsia if your preeclampsia progresses and starts to harm your brain, leading to seizures.

Preeclampsia is assumed to originate from aberrant placenta production and function, while doctors are unsure of its exact cause.

Warning signs of eclampsia

Many people will have warning signs before having a seizure caused by eclampsia. Some of these signs are

1· Blurred vision, seeing double or loss of vision.

Nausea or vomiting.

3· Severe headaches.

4· Difficulty breathing. ·

Swelling of the hands, face or ankles.

6· Trouble urinating or not urinating often.

Symptoms of Eclampsia

You might experience signs of both preeclampsia and eclampsia since they can develop into one another. However, some of your symptoms might be brought on by undiagnosed illnesses like diabetes or kidney disease. It’s crucial to disclose all medical conditions to your medical professional so they can rule out any other potential causes.

Abdominal pain

2· Elevated blood pressure

3· Swelling in your face or hands

4· Headaches

5· Nausea and vomiting

6· Difficulty in urinating

7. Excessive weight gain

Vision problems, including episodes with loss of vision or blurry vision

Eclampsia patients may exhibit the same symptoms as those listed above, or they may even show up with no symptoms at all. The following signs and symptoms of eclampsia are typical:

1· seizures

2· agitation

3· loss of consciousness

Risk factors of Eclampsia

You might be at risk for eclampsia.If you have or previously had preeclampsia.Other risk factors for developing eclampsia during pregnancy include

  • You are carrying multiples
  • You suffer from an autoimmune disorder
  • You eat poorly or you’re obese (BMI greater than 30)
  • You suffer from kidney disease, diabetes, or hypertension
  • You’re under the age of 17 or over the age of 35
  • This is your first pregnancy
  • History of preeclampsia in the family or personally

Diagnosis of Eclampsia

Your doctor will request tests to see if you already have preeclampsia or gotten worse if you have previously been diagnosed with it or if it has in the past. In order to figure out why you’re having seizures and rule out preeclampsia, your doctor will run testing for preeclampsia as well as other conditions. These tests might be:

Blood test

In order to evaluate your condition, your doctor may request a variety of blood tests. A complete blood count, which counts the number of platelet count and red blood cells in your blood, which checks how efficiently your blood clots, are among these examinations. Blood tests may be used to check the health of your liver and kidneys.

Test for creatinine

Wastes produced by the muscles is creatinine. The majority of the creatinine in your blood should be removed by your kidneys, but if the glomeruli are injured, extra creatinine will stay in the blood. Preeclampsia may be indicated by excessive levels of creatinine in the blood, but this is not always the case.

Urine tests

Urine tests may be prescribed by your doctor to examine the amount and frequency of protein excretion.

Treatment of Eclampsia

Preeclampsia and eclampsia are best treated by having your baby and placenta delivered. When selecting a delivery date, your doctor will take the disease’s severity and your baby’s developmental stage into account.

In order to stop mild preeclampsia from progressing to eclampsia, your doctor may monitor your status and provide medication. Until the baby is old enough to give birth, medication and monitoring will help keep your blood pressure within a safe range.

In the event that you experience severe preeclampsia or eclampsia, your doctor might induce labour early. The severity of your disease and how far along you might be in your pregnancy and will determine your care plan. You might have to stay stay in the hospital for observation until you give birth.

Anticonvulsant medications, often known as seizure control drugs, could be required. You might require medication to lower it , if you have high blood pressure. Additionally, you might be given steroids, which can hasten the development of the lungs in your unborn child.

Coping with Eclampsia

After giving birth, your symptoms should go away within a few days or weeks. Despite this, you still have a higher risk of experiencing blood pressure problems during your subsequent pregnancy and maybe in the future. After giving birth, it’s crucial to schedule follow-up appointments for blood pressure checks and exams to make sure the disease is subsiding.

If pregnancy issues arise, you could have a medical emergency like placental abruption. The condition known as placental abruption results in the placenta separating from the uterus. To rescue the child, an urgent caesarean birth is required.

The infant could become seriously unwell or perhaps pass away. Mothers can experience some very serious complications, including the possibility of dying from a cardiac arrest or stroke.

After giving birth, most people recover from eclampsia. You can take the following actions to hasten your recovery

  • Adopt a balanced diet
  • Keep moving as much as you can
  • Get lots of sleep
  • Remain present at every prenatal appointment
  • Try to maintain a minimal level of stress
  • As prescribed, take all of your medications.
  • After giving birth, keep a tight eye on your blood pressure for at least two weeks.

When to consult a doctor

Consult your doctor if you have a new seizure during pregnancy. Other symptoms that might require medical attention during pregnancy are:

Severe abdominal pain

Vomiting

Severe headaches

Vision loss or seeing double

You feel the fetus move less or not at all

Vaginal bleeding

Conclusion

Although uncommon, eclampsia can be fatal during pregnancy. You may avoid developing eclampsia by receiving immediate medical attention for preeclampsia. Regular blood pressure checks, urine and blood tests, which are part of prenatal visits, can help identify eclampsia signs. If you develop symptoms of eclampsia such as disorientation, headaches, blurred vision or convulsions, let your obstetrician know.

FAQ’s

What deficiency causes eclampsia?

Maternal vitamin D insufficiency increases the risk of eclampsia.

What is the major risk factor of eclampsia?

Eclampsia’s major risk factor is having seizures, which may lead to coma or death.Other risk factors include
You suffer from kidney disease, diabetes, or hypertension.
You’re under the age of 17 or over the age of 35.
This is your first pregnancy.
History of eclampsia or preeclampsia in the family or personally.


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The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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