Pregnancy Worries: Symptoms of Proteinuria and Pre-eclampsia

Woman Holding Pregnant Belly

Thousands of unborn babies and women get very ill each year and many die from a condition that can become very dangerous called pre-eclampsia.

This condition can become a life-threatening disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

The signals of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia symptoms are most often presented as a rapid rise in blood pressure that can lead to seizure, stroke, multiple organ failure, and even death of the mother and/or baby.

This warning is not made to scare one during pregnancy, but to instill the seriousness of symptoms which signal problems and to help women pay attention to both their own conditions and the baby’s.

Protein in Urine During Pregnancy

Question for Dr. Leia: I am pregnant. My doctor ordered a 24hr urine test and the results show that I have a high level of protein in my urine.

How do I lower this, or can I without drugs?

Woman Holding Pregnant BellyDr. Leia’s Answer: Protein in your urine during pregnancy is a symptom that could lead to a more serious condition called pre-eclampsia.

If you are more than 20 weeks pregnant and have high blood pressure or hypertension along with proteinuria, it could mean that you are developing this more serious condition.

It is very important that you listen to your doctor who is in charge of your care during pregnancy and follow his or her instructions carefully and fully.

Symptoms That Can Lead to Pre-Eclampsia

Other pre-eclampsia symptoms to be aware of could include:

  1. high blood pressure
  2. swelling of the face
  3. swelling of hands
  4. swelling of the feet and legs
  5. severe headaches
  6. nausea or vomiting
  7. dizziness
  8. vision changes or light sensitivity
  9. decreased urine
  10. sudden gain in weight
  11. any abdominal pain

Please tell your doctor immediately about any and all of these symptoms if they occur.

Monitoring for Proteinuria

Even though the problem of pre-eclampsia is not fully understood, there could be factors which could cause proteinuria.

Proteinuria involves protein in your urine and is a symptom that indicates that there may be a problem with your kidneys functioning properly due to the excess burden which pregnancy places on the body.

If the proteinuria gets worse, it should be carefully monitored by blood and urine testing, which your doctor will order for you regularly. It is important to monitor so the symptoms do not lead to the serious problem of pre-eclampsia.

Pre-Eclampsia Causes and Corrections

Causes that lead to pre-clampsia can include eating a nutritionally poor diet and one high in fast foods.

Healthy Nutrition While PregnantThere could also be a problem with the immune system, extra burden on the kidneys, kidney disease, damage to blood vessels, and even not enough blood flow to the uterus.

You have the power to eat a healthy balanced, whole food diet without any junk foods, high-salt foods, or sugary, empty-calorie snacks.

Make sure that you have not relaxed your diet to eat junk foods only because of the cravings. This is very important!

Pre-Eclampsia Prevention

You can take many precautions to support a healthy pregnancy.

Prevention includes maintaining a healthy weight both before and throughout pregnancy, taking your pregnancy multivitamins daily, and maintaining a good diet.

It may be possible to work with a local naturopathic doctor in your area who is knowledgeable about proteinuria and pre-eclampsia problems, but I could not suggest any other supplements over the internet because of the need to follow your doctor’s advice and to be monitored carefully to prevent a more serious condition.

In severe cases, doctors will recommend complete bed rest throughout the remainder of your pregnancy if he or she feels it is necessary.

Good luck in your pregnancy.