Pre-Eclamptic Toxaemia (PET)

A complication of late pregnancy, associated with raised blood pressure (see Cardiovascular Problems). In mild cases, there may be no obvious symptoms apart from raised sphygmomanometer readings. In severe cases, symptoms are headaches, blurred vision, intolerance of light, nausea and vomiting, and swollen ankles due to fluid retention; protein may appear in urine. If blood pressure is not brought under control, the symptoms of eclampsia - convulsions, drowsiness, unconsciousness - develop, threatening the life of mother and baby.

Eclampsia is now rare, thanks to better antenatal care, but PET is quite common, especially in first pregnancies. PET is routinely treated by drugs to lower blood pressure; in some cases it may be necessary to induce the baby early.

If convulsions develop or if other symptoms are severe, contact Emergency Medical Services and give one of the emergency remedies below. The other remedies given below are interim palliatives only - they are no substitute for expert medical care.

Specific remedies to be taken every 5 minutes for up to 10 doses while waiting for help

  • Face hot, dry, and flushed, staring eyes, congestive headache Belladonna 30c
  • Severe symptoms accompanied by great fear Aconite 30c
  • Severe symptoms aggravated by grief Ignatia 30c
  • Severe symptoms aggravated by fright Opium 30c

Specific remedies to be taken 3 times daily for up to 3 days

  • Stinging pain in legs, aggravated by heat Apis 30c
  • Feeling chilly, exhausted, and anxious Arsenicum 30c

Self-help: The most sensible thing you can do is cut down on salt and rest as much as possible.

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Ailment & Diseases

  Cardiovascular Problems During Pregnancy
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Related to Fertility & Pregnancy
  Brook Advisory Centres
  National Council For One-Parent Families
  Foresight, the Association for the Promotion of Preconceptual Care

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