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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am 33 weeks pregnant with my 7th baby. This will be my 4th homebirth and I have never had any complications except I am aALWAYS anemic the last 10 weeks and must take Floridex.<br><br>
Ok so at my last prenatal which was this past week I was spilling protein in my urine and my hemoglobin jumped from 10.7 (last prenatal 29 weeks) to to a 12.3 even though I haven't taken any iron at all and my ice craving (which usually means low iron for me) has gotten much worse. Ok so these two together seems to point to very very early signs of Pre-eclampsia. No other signs thus far thankfully. My midwife assures me this is not a big deal and upping my protein will take care of it. So my question is have you all seen that pre-eclampsia is always fixable with higher iron intake and plenty of water? I do have a cold so she said dehydration could have played a part in the protein in my urine.<br><br>
I should mention I LOVE my midwife and trust her for sure I think I would just feel better hearing from others that this is very easily fixable. Pre-eclampsia is very scary and I don't want to mess with it at all. I am drinking protien shakes and eating lots of eggs and chicken hoping to improve my numbers by next week.<br><br>
Thanks for any input you may have <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">

1,889 Posts
I know that I'm not really answering your question, but both of the symptoms you have could have been caused by dehydration. Is that a possibility?<br><br>
I'm just not that accustomed to seeing pre-e for the first time in a 7th pregnancy, especially severe (early) pre-e.

Premium Member
14,677 Posts
Nothing *always* works. But, that being said, if you can follow Brewer's recommendations on protein, there's nothing inherently dangerous about it (barring rare medical conditions), and it may resolve the issue. Just be sure to get in all the protein and veg before you start filling in with the grains (I'm not crazy about his grain recommendation personally).<br><br>
But you'll definitely want to address the dehydration issue as well.

3,473 Posts
No--the Brewer diet does not work for everyone, though it works very well for some. But it's a good place to start because it is so unlikely to cause any harm. I agree with the pp who said eat your proteins and veg/fruit before grains--adding grains only as needed for enough calories.<br><br>
But I also agree that it sounds more like your seeming 'issues' were caused by dehydration....and also that pre-e at this point seems pretty unlikely for you. Not entirely out of the question, but unlikely.<br><br>
I also wonder how accurate your mw's hemoglobinometer is. I mean, she might have a pretty fancy one that has a high degree of accuracy--but maybe not. There are few that are highly accurate. Knowing what brand/type of hemoglobin measuring she uses could also help clear this up...and if she has a type that is not always accurate, she might not be aware of that. I have one which I totally trusted at first--then started hearing from other mws that it has a tendency to misread, especially depending on variable conditions such as temperature. Looking back, I realized that I had indeed seen readings from it, that didn't seem right at the time. Now, if I get a reading on someone that just doesn't fit, I retest and most always get a more believable reading.<br><br>
Mind you, the company who makes them swears they are very accurate--yet all the mws who've used them are probably not wrong! Until I can buy one of the fancy ones, I assume that all results are 'ballpark estimates' at best and just pay attention to mom's condition, possible anemia symptoms, etc. With any serious questions, I will have them see a doc to get a lab order for testing hemoglobin and hematocrit (like in your case, if you tested again that high, I'd probably want you to do this).<br><br>
Even the urine test sticks could be an issue--either getting close to/beyond their expiration date, or a 'bad one' in the lot. You said you were spilling protein--what was the reading? trace, or plus 1 or...?<br><br>
Before I would trust either test result, I'd try again when adequately hydrated. I'd also find out what kind of hemoglobinometer she's using. Otherwise, more protein won't hurt, and may would rest and nurturance to help you kick the virus you've got.

1,594 Posts
Dr Brewer's diet is a preventive way of eating, you eat that way throughout the pregnancy.<br><br>
I have not read it in ages, but I don't believe his research used it as a quick fix remedy when you have an acute medical problem.<br><br>
On the other hand, It's food, it can not hurt you, it can only help if you quickly change what you are eating. The key is to eliminate sugar and white starchy foods from your diet.

3,473 Posts
You are so right that the Brewer diet is meant to be a regular normal diet throughout a pregnancy--not so much as crisis intervention or 'medicine'.<br><br>
Still, IF the OP is really having early signs of pre-e at 33wks, and IF she is among those who can be helped at all by Brewer's method, then starting the Brewer diet (or a modified version, high protein diet) now *could help. It just might head things off at the pass, and bring her back into a healthier state.<br><br>
The basic idea is that a mom with pre-e is a mom suffering from malnutrition, especially not getting enough protein, right? Once she is getting what she needs--what her organs and tissues need by way of proteins, vitamins and so forth to work with--then her body can do all the things it needs to do to run smoothly. Potentially, the better-nourished kidneys (for instance) will help sort out both swelling and blood pressure issues, able to do now what they are supposed to do in filtration and elimination, as well as blood pressure regulation via kidney hormones.<br><br>
Same goes for all her other organ systems, if a woman's diet starts providing the nutrients her body needs--health ensues for the woman. There are several known diseases whose root is malnutrition with respect to one or a few main nutrients--vitamin C deficiency produces scurvy, for one. Simply providing that missing nutrient helps the body to begin to recover, to very rapidly fix what is wrong because now it CAN--now it does have the nutritional components needed to carry out all their many tasks for the body.<br><br>
Of course, the Brewer theory only accounts for women who *are* suffering that protein deficiency--and also, maybe, for women in earlier stages of pre-e. It seems that there is more than one possible way to manifest pre-e/HELLP symptoms.

20 Posts
Hi, new here.<br><br>
As others have said, pre-E is not that clear cut. Just wanted to share info I have gathered:<br><br><b>Avoiding pre-Eclampsia/Eclampsia</b><br><br>
For many women, Brewer's Diet and WAP diet for diet with good protein intake helps *prevent* pre-E and E. A diet like this starts pre-conception ideally. For some, digesting a lot of animal protein is difficult. If digesting protein is difficult for you, you may be lacking enzymes to digest them and need enzyme supplements. However, I believe that the protein is just what comes with what it is really about: good fats.<br><br>
I think it's worth saying though that nothing has been proven or disproven to prevent, treat or cure preeclampsia. The protein theory is only one of many.<br><br><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br>
These threads have a TON of info. It's also important to know also that no one has (been able to) replicate(d) the success that Brewer claimed to have had. Ina May has had amazing success with it at the Farm but I think there are obviously huge mental, nutritional and emotional benefits of simply being there that would contribute to this.<br><br>
For what Dr. Weil has to say<br><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br>
I don't agree with what he considers to be the right fats though. Coconut oil, I believe is a good fat, and soy bean oil not because of it's high oxidation rate upon processing which causes free radicals.<br><br>
Lauro,V. "Preeclampsia: correlation between changes in symptomatology and changes in diet". (1997) 68:95<br><br>
This study analyzes 13 cases of pregnant women affected by varying degrees of preeclampsia, and correlates the patients' data (height, weight, preeclampsia symptoms according to intensity and time of onset) to the amount of mean daily intake of nutrients (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, starch, total calories, Na). The amount of nutrients was obtained processing with a special computer software the patients' weekly dietary diaries. The analysis of the data shows the correlation between the onset of pre-ecclampsia symptomatology and the excess of certain nutrients: excess in calories and/or proteins, and/or lipids, and/or simple sugars, and/or sodium. A reduction in the amount of these nutrients, especially proteins and Na when applied during the early stage of preeclampsia symptoms, favours the disappearance of the clinical signs of the disease. Of course this is a very small study.<br><br>
All in all, I've known a lot of women following the Brewer's diet faithfully that developed preeclampsia and or Hellp regardless. I think the diet may be helpful some women. After all, some women aren't getting nearly enough protein or nutrition at all. I would guess that the women who the diet does not help or makes worse would go on to have chronic hypertension later in life.<br><br>
About fatty acids:<br><br>
The essential dietary fatty acid DHA has been shown to be important in regulating heart function and high blood pressure<br><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br>
Babies need a *lot* of this structural fatty acid - they may take as much as 300mg a day from mama's brain in the last trimester. I wrote a bit about my reading on this subject here: <a href="http://viewtopic.php?f=70&t=1024" target="_blank">viewtopic.php?f=70&t=1024</a><br><br>
Many people can't interconvert this specific essential fatty acid from the more general plant fatty acid sources such as hemp and linseed: the best way to ensure the requirement for DHA is covered is by eating high quality fish oils, an extract from fish oils or the algae extract. Look for something that says it delivers >300mg /daily dose.<br><br>
Michel Odent's hypothesis about the origins of pre-eclampsia supports the importance of dietary fatty acids which are most easily absorbed from the sea food chain:<br>
"Theoretically, the most direct way to prevent preeclampsia would be to consume sea fish that is rich in n-3 polyunsaturates and also in minerals that are essential nutrients for the brain (eg, iodine, selenium, and zinc). This conforms with the geographical variations in the rates of preeclampsia and with the results of our encouragement of pregnant women to eat sea fish.(16)" from <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br>
As far as hypertension goes, many cases of hypertension during pregnancy are easily remedied through hydration and balancing the body's minerals. So of course it goes without saying that keeping well hydrated (2quarts of<br>
water a day AT LEAST while pregnant), eating whole foods (which<br>
contain the right amounts of nutrients and trace minerals that your<br>
body expects), and NOT restricting salt intake (unrefined sea salt is<br>
the absolute best, because of the natural trace mineral content that<br>
your body needs!) are essential to staving off pre-e in the first<br>
Sometimes supplements are needed, especially if you already have high<br>
blood pressure starting off in your pregnancy, or you are being<br>
diagnosed with pre-e later on in pregnancy. Cal/Mag, potassium, zinc,<br>
and selenium are what is often found to be deficient in women who<br>
suffer from pre-e. DHA is also VERY important, and unless you like<br>
sardines and salmon, you should be taking a DHA/ fish oil supplement<br>
everyday while pregnant. (Make sure the DHA is from a natural source,<br>
and cold pressed. It should say on the bottle "Hexane Free". DO NOT<br>
TAKE IT IF IT DOESN'T SAY THIS!) The less processed the better, so if<br>
you can stomach the sardines, eat them like that. They also contain<br>
the trace minerals that are so important to preventing pre-e. 500mg<br>
of vitamin C during pregnancy (unless you get it from food sources,<br>
which you really *should* be doing anyway while pregnant <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> It isn't<br>
hard to get that much vitamin C) can also help prevent pre-e and is<br>
can be good for reversing it.<br><br>
And of course, pregnancy massage is good for draining the lymph<br>
system, lowering blood pressure, and just keeping stress levels down<br>
period <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
What you want to avoid:<br>
Processed foods, refined sugar, caffiene, refined foods, trans fat,<br>
stress. If you are following a good diet, are well hydrated, you try<br>
herbal remedies, etc, and your b/p is still rising, a full thyroid<br>
panel is then indicated. I think checking the thyroid is always a good thing when things are haywire. I would then start myself on kelp to help<br>
with my iodine levels; another culprit in pre-e. I would also<br>
consider cutting out dairy at that point, as sometimes that can<br>
aggrevate pre-e in some women.<br><br>
To treat rising blood pressure/ pre-e with food/suppl:<br>
Up Protein to 80-100g/ day and water intake to a gallon/ day<br>
Supplement with Cal/Mag (800/ day), zinc (15mg/ day), selenium (not<br>
sure how much, it is a trace mineral, so you wouldn't need a whole<br>
lot), and potassium. Getting these from foods is much better than a<br>
pill of course.<br>
200-400iu Vitamin E<br>
600mg of garlic oil (The vitamin E and Garlic oil might be something<br>
you would want to cut down on as you got closer to your due date as<br>
these can cause you to bleed too much as it thins the blood)<br>
DHA supplements<br>
Cayenne pepper (absolutely amazing for bringing down b/p... works<br>
almost immediately)<br>
Hawthorne (has been used for centuries as an herb that brings down<br>
b/p and is safe in pregnancy)<br>
Dandelion tea (is a mild diuretic, so lots of water while taking this<br>
is important; it helps clean out the kidneys and liver which helps<br>
Pomegranate juice<br>
Fresh OJ<br>
Watermelon, Asparagus, Cucumber, Celery, Blueberries<br>
Yellow Dock tea (ONLY take if you do NOT drink coffee, black tea, or<br>
anything else with tannins in it)<br>
Pure Grapefruit juice<br>
Unrefined sea salt added to diet, as well as sea salt baths are<br>
extremely helpful<br>
Healthy fats (cutting out all unhealthy ones)<br>
GSE taken daily<br>
Lowering stress through swimming, massage, yoga, meditation, positive<br>
affirmations, sex, etc<br><br>
Good place to read and ask:<br><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br>
It has a forum with great info <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br>
Also, and not any less important, there is a theory (and one that I've heard echoed a few times since discussing it) that pre-E is also partially an autoimmune issue. It is apparently much rarer in subsequent children with the same partner than it is in first children with any given partner, almost as if it is an allergic reaction to the partner's DNA inside the mother's body. It was interesting and I'd never heard of it before, but from a lot of people that I've talked to it seems to be the case.<br><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br>
Male children of preeclamptic pregnancies are thought more likely to father preeclamptic pregnancies. That's because the father's genes direct the growth and development of the placenta, and the baby is carrying half the father's genes.<br><br><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br>
Preeclamptic pregnancies are shallowly implanted, most likely because the mother's body doesn't recognize the signals being sent by the trophoblast that modulate the immune response to the foreign cells.<br><br><br>
About Trophoblast:<br><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br>
The father's genes direct the growth and development of the placenta. This is interesting in light of some association with the husband and preeclampsia. You're more likely to be preeclamptic in your first pregnancy with a given partner, even if you've had previous children with another man.<br><br>
Finally, activity may ward off preeclampsia for lean women:<br><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br>
It says that being physically active during pregnancy may help prevent preeclampsia, but that the effect is small, and only seems to apply to women who are not obese, according to new research from Norway.<br><br>
However, the study wasn't designed to look at why exercise may or may not help prevent preeclampsia. What the study does suggest is that early development of the placenta might be a key factor in the condition. Exercise may promote healthy placenta development among lean women, but it may be stressful for women who are heavier.

5 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Wow I can not thank you all enough for all this information! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
maria22000 I will be looking through all the links you sent for sure. Thanks for the time you have taken to type all of that out!<br><br>
I am currently eating 90-100 grams of protein everyday and drinking so much water I may just float away<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">. My midwife comes back on Tuesday to redo the numbers so we will see. I am praying that it was just dehydration and all will be well next week. I do know that she has one of the good hemoglobinometer's so I am confident that the numbers were good and she did test my urine twice but I am not sure exactly how much protein I was spilling. She just said it was not good. My cold is finally getting better so hopefully that will help as well. I am realizing how blessed I have been to have 6 pregnancy's and birth's with no major problems at all. I will not take it for granted again for sure.<br><br>
Thanks again to all of you for your help and the time you took to answer my question. As an aspiring midwife I enjoy this board very much and love learning from you all. It's also nice to know I am not the only one that is obsessed with pregnancy, birth and babies <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">

5,492 Posts
things that could influence likelihood of having PE this time around- first pregnancy with a new partner, chronic metabolic illness like diabetes or hypertension, autoimmune disease, multiple pregnancy, over 40, 10 years since your last baby-- anything that could change your tissues and circulation --- PE starts at implantation and can either be expressed or not depending on a variety of things it is the interplay between the placental circulation and maternal response to that circulation-- if a placenta implants too deeply or not deeply enough --<br>
that being said first of all even a near diagnosis or a pattern showing that you are tending toward PE needs one more thing-- change in BP 140/90 take at 2 different times with a 24 hr urine protein of 300 is diagnositc -- but say we also see that your normally low bp is creeping up we would try to start preventive measures--personally I would want to check the accuracy of my equipment - very often out of date dip sticks will give you funky answers and it could be the heme is ok or that it was misread-<br>
the list above that has several recommendations left out one B vitamins with folate- recent studies show that it can help prevent expression of PE and I have seen it work besides changing BP it also has to do with platelets so double the reason to take supplemental Bs with folate (I coulple them up because if you need one you may need the others they work together)<br>
------the other thing that I have noticed is if you are very constipated that it stresses your other systems and so if you are I would recommend some magnesium to help with that it has the added benefit of lowering bp and with digestion/metabolism--<br>
herbal/dietary liver support is another angle that we look at<br><br>
take care

359 Posts
I developed severe pre-eclampsia at 27 weeks.

Prior to pregnancy, I'd been eating a whole foods diet for at least 5 years (lots of fruits and vegetables, local meat, whole grains).

During pregnancy I had had strong protein cravings and was eating two eggs a day, two glasses of whole milk, at least one serving of meat-usually two, lots of leafy green vegetables, lots of fruits and nuts.

I also ate a good amount of dulse seaweed (love that stuff), took a Nordic Naturals fish oil, supplemental B vitamin, and a general prenatal. I also had a fair amount of salt in my diet because I love salty food and I used sea salt at home. And I drank a lot of water.

In my case clearly diet did not prevent or cure preeclampsia. It seems like you may not actually have preeclampsia (and I hope that is the case!). However, if you do have preeclampsia, it is not easily fixable. There is no cure for preeclampsia besides delivering your baby. Anyone who tells you that there is a cure for preeclampsia, aside from delivering your baby, does not have your best interest and the best interest of your baby in mind.

I hope your symptoms turn out to be nothing and you have an easy rest of your pregnancy!
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