Preeclampsia and Eclampsia - Cause

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What causes preeclampsia and eclampsia?

The exact cause of preeclampsia and eclampsia is not fully understood, but it is believed to be a disorder of the lining of blood vessels. Abnormalities of the placenta have also been described. It likely arises due to a combination of factors, including both genetic and environmental influences. A number of genes have been studied as potentially being involved in preeclampsia, and there is an increased risk for women with affected family members. Nutritional factors, obesity, and the immune system may also play a role in its development although this is not yet fully understood. Some studies of the immune response in preeclampsia have shown problems in the way certain cells of the immune system interact with each other to regulate the immune response.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Omo, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 30

I am African American and 40 years old. I had swellings in my feet during pregnancy that was even more severe after giving birth. It was only 2 days before I gave birth that the issue of high blood pressure never occurred. On the day of delivery my blood pressure was normal. At my 1st appointment at the clinic after my C-Section I had high blood pressure again and I was given drugs. 8 days after giving birth I found myself gasping for every breath I was taking and not able to sleep except in a sitting position. My husband insisted I go to the hospital and on been wheeled to examine me the full symptoms occurred. I was agitated, restless. They had to put me to sleep to get anything done. My husband said I convulsed, vomited, my BP going to as high as 250:140. After recovering I am dazed at what happened but I am recovering well.

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Comment from: crisulo, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: February 10

I have been frustrated in my search for information relative to the effect of preeclampsia on the unborn child. I was diagnosed with the condition; spent two weeks on hospital rest and then a caesarean was done. My son was unresponsive at birth and required special attention. At age of six weeks trephines were done to aspirate fluid on the left side of his brain. He has been diagnosed as developmentally disabled with moderate retardation. His pediatrician said much is known about effects on the mother's health but nothing definitive as to effect on the unborn child.

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