Hellp and weight

Have you suffered from HELLP syndrome or had a pregnancy complicated by an underlying disorder? Discuss your concerns here

Hellp and weight

Postby brismom » Thu Jun 10, 2010 09:17 pm

I always felt that preeclampsia only happened mostly to someone overweight. I was 5'4 and 108 lbs. I also only gained 24 lbs. during my preg. and had no swelling at all during my bout with HELLP. Anyone else on the petite side experience PE and HELLP? I know it's a strange question but the specialist I saw said I had that in my favor for another pregnancy. He said my BMI was really good. I am grasping at straws at this point and trying to encourage myself to look at the positive things rather than the negative.
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Re : Hellp and weight

Postby amandaoasis » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:25 pm

I think that is a common misconception. I think there is some evidence that PE happens more often in obese women, but around here you will see that it happens across the board!

BTW...I am 5'6" and weighed 130 before I was pregnant, so a totally normal BMI.
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Re : Hellp and weight

Postby brismom » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:46 pm

It does affect everyone at anytime. I did everything right and know people who smoked during their preg. and come to find out that nicotine prevents preeclampsia even though it is harmful (never would do it or condone it). Thankfully my daughter was full term even though IUGR. As I contemplate another I am still eating super healthy in preperation. Couldn't hurt even if I decide not to.
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Re : Hellp and weight

Postby l412angel » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:57 pm

It all depends on the person. I was 125 lbs pre pregnancy and a runner. I am 5'1. I got very sick with hellp and PE one week in the hospital and weeks of recovery. We are TTC now.
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Re : Hellp and weight

Postby jules2 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:22 am

I was 5'2" and only around 120 lbs when I got pregnant; I'm also really not carrying much fat as I've done a lot of weight training. I gained <14 lb during pregnancy (apart from the massive swelling at the end). It seems to happen to slim women too. I've also read that its more common in short women, and there do seem to be a lot of those around here.

I've seen one study though that did suggest that for those who had PE in a first pregnancy, recurrence was a bit lower with a low BMI though, so perhaps your specialist had this in mind. I kind of think its largely chance though.

Good luck.
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Re : Hellp and weight

Postby riehlism » Thu Jul 15, 2010 07:21 pm

Typically they say overweight/obese is a risk factor because women who are overweight/obese are more likely to have blood pressure problems than their normal-weight counterparts. I actually have found a study in the literature that examines the overweight/obese who were normotensive prior to pregnancy vs the overweight/obese with chronic hypertension.
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Re : Hellp and weight

Postby jamilyn » Fri Jul 16, 2010 05:52 pm

I had PE, Eclampsia and HELLP with my 1st, PE with my 2nd and PE and HELLP with my 3rd. I am in the normal BMI range and have been fit for my entire life.
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Re : Hellp and weight

Postby anonpreemiemom » Sat Jul 17, 2010 00:16 am

It certainly happens to women across the board in all shapes and sizes but obesity is a risk factor for preeclampsia and HELLP meaning it just increases the odds it will happen. Caryn has a post somewhere comparing it to holding a deck of cards with certain risk factors (like chronic HPT and obesity) upping the risk you'll pull the pre-e card.

So, looking at one or two or 20 examples of skinny women that didn't get it doesnt mean much. One has to look at larger studies covering hundreds to ascertain exactly what risk weight plays.
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Re : Hellp and weight

Postby sam10 » Sat Jul 17, 2010 00:31 am

Here is the 'card deck post': http://www.preeclampsia.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=39318
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Re : Hellp and weight

Postby jgrumet » Sat Jul 24, 2010 02:53 am

I'm almost 5'4" (ughh so close!) and I was 93lbs when I got pregnant.

I'm 102 now with a BMI just under 18 (still considered underweight even though this is how my body is)

I think overweight women are more susceptible to other health issues that put you at a higher risk for PE and HELLP (i.e. vit D deficiency, hypertension, PCOS (although I still think underweight women get that, too), high cholesterol...you name it)

I also think some people with just extremely fast metabolisms can go under the radar with certain diet related health issues...especially when they aren't eating correctly and not exercising.
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