by expert on call (297 Posts), Mon Jun 02, 2003 09:20 am
The shoulder pain often seen in preeclampsia is actually due to swelling and damage of the liver. Although they are far apart in the body, liver swelling can cause irritation of the diaphragm which lies just above it. The nerves that sense pain in the diaphragm also sense pain in the shoulder, and the body has a hard time distinguishing the two. Therefore, irritation of the diaphragm will sometimes be sensed by the body as shoulder pain. This is known as Ã¢â‚¬Å“referred painÃ¢â‚¬Â and it occurs in other areas of the body as well. Shoulder pain is usually only seen in severe forms of the disease. It sounds as though you currently donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a severe form, so the shoulder pain is likely not related to preeclampsia, but if it persists it would be prudent to have it evaluated.
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