Toxemia/Preeclampsia Help??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 02-25-2003, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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First, some background info:

I was diagnosed with Toxemia at aproximately 20 weeks with my first pregnancy. I was on strict bedrest and lots of medication to help control it. I was eventually induced because my health had deteriorated so badly and it was imperative to get the baby out ASAP.

Now, two years later, I am pregnant with twins. While the risk of Toxemia in subsequent pregnancies goes down, the risk of having it with multiples goes up. At each of my OB appts, my blood pressure has risen and now is classified as "high" (140/90 at 16 weeks). There was also protein in my urine and I've been getting the protein headaches and blurry vision like I had with my first pregnancy.

It is too premature to put me on medication just yet- the protein in my urine could have been caused by many things- but I am wondering if there are any ways I can help control this before it goes full-blown (if it does)? Anyone know of any herbal teas or food or what-have-you that should help? Any advice at all?

Heather
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#2 of 14 Old 02-25-2003, 05:51 PM
 
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I only have a minute to post, but proteinproteinprotein. I think with twins your requirements are somewhere around 150g/day.

Here's the Brewer's diet site.
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#3 of 14 Old 02-25-2003, 06:22 PM
 
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though not saddled with a diagnossis of toxaemia (ie no proteinuria) I also had BP 140/90 at 16 weeks (singleton preg) and started taking a calcium and magnesium (2:1)supplement and flax seed oil (1 teaspoon per day) which quickly saw my BP drop to 130/80 and headaches/blurred vision stopped overnight

however when I consulted a naturopath who fully assessed my diet, she changed me over to a high dose magnesium with less calcium (due to high calcium intake in diet) and added dandelion leaf tea, takingBP down to 110/70

I too am keeping a close eye on protein intake, much more essential for you with twins
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#4 of 14 Old 02-25-2003, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the info, mamas...

It's hard for me to get all the protein I need... I am not a vegetarian, but most "hunks" of meat (steaks, chicken, etc) still make me gag. Tofu's consistency is (in my mind) too much like chicken, which is the worst thing ever right now... I can't eat beans because of the texture and most cheeses just don't sit right.

So, my options are down to turkey, beef jerky, unsalted nuts, yogurt and eggs for protein sources. My sister recommended drinking Ensure with my meals and between them if I need it-- they make a high protein formula.



What about the magnesium and flax seed oil? Where can I get it? How would I take it? Does it really work to help lower BP?

Heather
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#5 of 14 Old 02-25-2003, 07:49 PM
 
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flax seed oil is available at health food stores, here you can also get it at some supermarkets, as oil to add to a smoothie or other food (as long as it doesn't get cooked), or as capsules

the magnesium I got from my naturopath, at a potency unavailable off the shelf

I can't offer proof of it working other than my own experience and that of my naturopath who specialises in womens health, but you could search the www for info

I have trouble eating enough protein too due to the gag factor so am having a protein powder supplement too
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#6 of 14 Old 02-26-2003, 01:04 AM
 
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It can be really hard to eat enough protein but it may actually become more appetizing as the BP is brought under control. I urge you to find some beans, or bean recipes or disguises, that you can bear to eat, and a flavor of soymilk you can stand that is reasonably healthy. Garbanzos can also take other forms, like hummus, and are ok when slipped whole into a pasta dish.

Flax seeds can be bought and ground at home and sprinkled over things, too, though I prefer capsules. Salmon is also popular for its various healthy attributes. I have found eating cooked salmon cold the next day is more palatable sometimes.

There is a tofu book by Deborah Madison that is very useful and offers some recipes that are quite a relief. The title is actually This Can't Be Tofu or something like that. I eat tofu a lot more since I found this at the library.

I have also had clients and friends who've had success with some aromatherapy treatments, but these have to be screened carefully for pregnancy contraindications.

Exercise is also important! But can be tricky if the BP is already up there. Swimming works well for many who have had high BP.

Above all good luck and stay relaxed.
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#7 of 14 Old 02-26-2003, 10:14 AM
 
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Have you considered acupuncture? I had high blood pressure prior to pregnancy and it went up again in the last month (my EDD is 3/3). I've had really good luck controlling it with acupuncture and chinese herbs. I also take a calcium/magnesium supplement as well. I am lucky to live in a place with many excellent acupuncturists who know a lot about pregnancy, you might ask around in your area if there is a good person to see. My acupuncturist is Raven Lang, she is amazing and wonderful (and expensive, but really worth it).
Edited to add: if you can stomach it, cottage cheese is a good source of protein. I eat it with an apple or some other fruit to hide the taste somewhat. Also, if you freeze tofu, defrost it and drain some of the water out of it, it gets a more crumbly texture. You can stir fry it and it's very much like ground hamburger, you can hide it in sauces and other things and it can be easier to eat that way. Also, a simple thing like adding nuts and cheese to your salad boosts your protein level without being too overwhelming. We like a salad of mixed greens sprinkled with blue cheese and toasted pecans or walnuts with a simple balsamic vinaigrette.
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#8 of 14 Old 02-26-2003, 11:26 AM
 
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some other ways I get protein--
check whole grain breads with seeds, I found one at our Costco that is 5g of protein a slice, if you make a sandwich with almond butter (2T is 5g) you've got a snack that's 15g of protein.

Also you could try the cottage cheese with pineapple-the acidity of the pineapple sort of counteracts the dairy/cheesyness of the cottage cheese.

and Boca burger makes a veg/soy sort of "chicken" patty that is 13g. Even though it's supposed to be chicken, this doesn't gross me out at all, when chicken definitely would.
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#9 of 14 Old 02-26-2003, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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seraph--

Unfortunately, acupucture is not covered by our insurance and we don't exactly have money laying around to spend on it! We're still saving our pennies to get the things we'll need for the second baby-- carseat, diapers, extra clothes, etc.

Thanks for the advice, though.

Heather
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#10 of 14 Old 02-26-2003, 02:47 PM
 
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I had pre-sclampsia with our first (not until 38-39 weeks though). I ate LOTS of protein through out that pregnancy! took Bradley class etc. and I still got toxemia at the end. DH mother was toxemic when she had him, I really think their is a connection with the Father.
Any ways, I am also being extra cautious (even more so) this time around. I have been taking Dr. Sears (not the pediatrician) pharmaceutical grade fish oil, Omega RX. It's about $50 for a bottle of caps and I take one a day (not the mega dose recommended) lasting a long time. I have had great BP so far (25 weeks).
Good luck!
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#11 of 14 Old 02-26-2003, 06:49 PM
 
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Michel Odent, in his book "The Scientification of Love", describes pre-eclampsia as "...the price certain humans have to pay for having a large brain, and the cost is nutritional needs are not perfectly met." He believes it is much easier to meet the "enormous" needs of the developing brain when the diet includes seafood. "A fetus's brain has special needs in terms of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly of the omega 3 family." These are in abundance in seafood. So I would recommend eating lots of fish!

Deborah

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#12 of 14 Old 02-26-2003, 09:18 PM
 
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Yes, I agree with the fish. Just be very aware of mercury toxicity levels in the fish you consume in pregnancy! This is why I have opted for the pharmaceutical grade fish (no mercury with the benefits of eating fish). Then I am careful and limit what fish I do eat. Mercury is very dangerous for a growing fetus!
FDA even warns agains certain fish during preg.
Take Care
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#13 of 14 Old 02-26-2003, 09:29 PM
 
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The cal mag solution to pre-eclampsia is an excellent source for prevention, I don't know however how it works once you are already on the road. I would try it though! I wanted to let you know that I too live in Denver and am studying midwifery so if you need to talk or just get some relief email me privately and I would love to be there for you! maybe I could talk to my midwife and see what her recomendations are. i am do in about well I am 37 1/2 weeks with a 6 1/2 pound baby and I would love to have it sooner than later. Ha, like I have that option.
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#14 of 14 Old 02-26-2003, 10:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by autumnmom
Yes, I agree with the fish. Just be very aware of mercury toxicity levels in the fish you consume in pregnancy! This is why I have opted for the pharmaceutical grade fish (no mercury with the benefits of eating fish). Then I am careful and limit what fish I do eat. Mercury is very dangerous for a growing fetus!
FDA even warns agains certain fish during preg.
Take Care
Oh, I forgot about that.

Personally, mercury in fish doesn't concern me. But then I again, commit an even bigger "no no" and only eat my fish raw! Mercury from ocean wild-caught fish, when digested and made bioactive by plankton and eaten by fish, the traces of mercury are great detoxifiers of toxic mercury in the body. Bioactive and non-cauterized mercury in raw fish helps the buoyancy of fish. When cooked, however, the mercury and other metallic minerals in the fish become free-radicals and toxic. I even eat Swordfish which has the highest content of mercury. I have to say I really don't have much faith in the FDA guidelines either. But then again, my diet, which inlcudes raw fish, raw meat and raw dairy would be make them freak.

Also, freshwater-caught fish have a greater number of toxins because our fresh waters are approximately 30 percent polluted, whereas our oceans are 4 percent polluted.

I would rather take my omega 3 in the most natural way available.

Sorry this went way off topic

Deborah

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