Gestational hypertension usually transpires in pregnant women who have high blood pressure. The effects of gestational hypertension are usually seen after 20 weeks of pregnancy (MacDonald-Wallis et al., 2012). The fact is, there is no damage done to the organs and no surplus protein can be located in the urine. The problem with gestational hypertension consists in the fact that preeclampsia may develop on the basis of it. Gestational hypertension can be found in approximately 30% of all pregnant women (Brown & Garovic, 2011).
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One of the core symptoms related to this ailment is rapid weight gain (which occurs, in the first place, because of fluid preservation and fluid outflows through capillary blood vessels). Another important indicator of gestational hypertension is the beginning of severe anterior headaches (Vinikoor-Imler, Gray, Edwards, & Miranda, 2011).
The latter may also be accompanied by liver swelling and subsequent intestinal pains. This can also be supported by hurried reflexes that are not typical of women that are not pregnant. One of the key problems may also be disturbed vision. The latter can occur due to cerebral or retinal vasospasms. In pregnant women with gestational hypertension, light sensitivity may increase, and retinal detachment may happen (Kattah & Garovic, 2013).
It is rather important to monitor blood pressure in a timely manner because it is one of the essential aspects of prenatal care. During the physical examination, one has to take into account the level of blood pressure (140/90 mm Hg) that is commonly considered abnormal if it was documented in two instances during the last six to eight hours (Scantlebury et al., 2013). The medications that are taken by any given woman with gestational hypertension should be carefully reviewed because they can adversely impact the health of her baby as well (Scantlebury et al., 2013). Despite this, there are also medications that are considered harmless and are utilized to lower pregnant women’s blood pressure.
Some of the medications that are generally avoided by healthcare practitioners when dealing with gestational hypertension in pregnant women include ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) and renin inhibitors (Kennedy, Woodland, & Koren, 2012). However, one should not underestimate the impact of proper treatment. High blood pressure during pregnancy is usually inextricably linked to strokes, heart attacks, and other crucial health ailments that may impact a pregnant woman’s health (Kennedy et al., 2012).
Evidently, the fetus is also exposed to the risks of high blood pressure and gestational hypertension in particular. There is a number of pivotal follow-up activities that should be performed in order to preserve the woman and her child’s health (Brown & Garovic, 2011). First of all, the women that were exposed to the adverse effects of preeclampsia and gestational hypertension should be informed about the complications in later life that may transpire due to the development of chronic high blood pressure (Kennedy et al., 2012). Some important data may also be shared with women who previously struggled with gestational hypertension that transformed into preeclampsia (but had no excess of protein in their urine) (Kattah & Garovic, 2013). During the period of postnatal review, these women should be aware of the fact that the risk of end-stage kidney disease is rather high. At the same time, the absolute risk is commonly insignificant, and there is no need to perform any follow-ups in the future.
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Kattah, A. G., & Garovic, V. D. (2013). The management of hypertension in pregnancy. Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease, 20(3), 229-239. Web.
Kennedy, D. A., Woodland, C., & Koren, G. (2012). Lead exposure, gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia: A systematic review of cause and effect. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 32(6), 512-517. Web.
MacDonald-Wallis, C., Lawlor, D. A., Fraser, A., May, M., Nelson, S. M., & Tilling, K. (2012). Blood pressure change in normotensive, gestational hypertensive, preeclamptic, and essential hypertensive pregnancies. Hypertension, 59(6), 1241-1248. Web.
Scantlebury, D. C., Schwartz, G. L., Acquah, L. A., White, W. M., Moser, M., & Garovic, V. D. (2013). The treatment of hypertension during pregnancy: When should blood pressure medications be started? Current Cardiology Reports, 15(11). Web.
Vinikoor-Imler, L. C., Gray, S. C., Edwards, S. E., & Miranda, M. L. (2011). The effects of exposure to particulate matter and neighbourhood deprivation on gestational hypertension. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, 26(2), 91-100. Web.