Help long after HELLP

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

Postby cronanashley » Tue Dec 13, 2011 08:12 am

I am currently 7 weeks pp and 6 weeks after hellp. I am having sore left abdomen by belly button, bloating, radiating pain in back. My obgyn I feel is not doing their job to the full extent and my insurance is maternity only so it is running out soon. My abdominal us was normal blood work normal. But I still feel as if something is wrong.. I feel my anxiety peaks everyday when i feel a twinge or pain or anything. It makes me wonder if I can live a normal life after all this! I just want answers SOON!

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Re: Help long after HELLP

Postby bordergurl72 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 08:58 pm

This sounds similar to how I felt, and then I discovered I have celiac, so I assume pregnancy and HELLP unmasked it. Since going gluten-free, my anxiety and dropped significantly (except when I think of getting pg again :(, no more stomach issues, bloating, etc...

I hope you get answers soon!
Anne, 39
DH, 47
Daughter born March 2005 at 38 weeks at only 4 1/2 lbs. by emergency c-section. Severe PE, HELLP & IUGR.
36 weeks of carefree PG, then it all went downhill and had an excruciating 2 weeks of pain and brushing off by Dr's until being properly diagnosed and delivered at 38 weeks. Since then have been diagnosed with celiac (2009) and Hashimoto's (2011).
Terrified to TTC, but really want to TTC.

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Re: Help long after HELLP

Postby caryn » Sun Dec 11, 2011 05:00 pm

Welcome to the forums. I went ahead and moved this post to where it might get some more replies, and archived the duplicate one that was at the end of an older thread. Sorry to miss your post!

There are two schools of thought on symptoms years postpartum. The most commonly accepted view says that these syndromes are often the "unmasking" of underlying conditions. We don't know about them before we get pregnant, because we're young and healthy-ish, but the strain of hosting a foreign placenta triggers the symptoms of the underlying condition. Most often this is the explanation for hypertension or autoimmune conditions like diabetes that persist postpartum. Or "the underlying chronic hypertension or diabetes is unmasked by pregnancy". As one doc puts it, pregnancy is a stress test for life - and we don't pass.

Another explanation that sometimes accompanies this one - so it could be both, argh! - says that fetal cells persisting in your body from pregnancy can modify your metabolism and immune system in ways that produce symptoms of autoimmune disease, etc. It's a fairly speculative idea but getting some traction (they talk about "microchimerism") so I thought I'd throw it out there. :D there's more about this linked from my .sig file.

Since sometimes these are weird autoimmune responses and since you've already tried talking to an internist, I'm wondering about a rheumatologist. Has anyone checked your bloodwork for inflammatory responses?
Science! The articles you don't want to miss:
The Preeclampsia Puzzle (New Yorker) and Silent Struggle: A New Theory of Pregnancy (New York Times)
Looking for recent articles and studies?
A chance to participate in research? For us on Facebook or Twitter?

Caryn, @carynjrogers, who is not a doctor and who talks about science stuff *way* too much
DS Oscar born by emergent C-section at 34 weeks for fetal indicators, due to severe PE
DD Bridget born by C-section after water broke at 39 weeks after a healthy pregnancy

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Help long after HELLP

Postby sillysally » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:57 am

This is a copy of a post I wrote on the HELLP Syndrome Topic Board. Just wondering if you had input on this or recommendations of where/who I can go to for more answers:

It's been over 8 years since I had HELLP during my first pregnancy. I thought I had recovered and even had a second child without HELLP recurring, so I haven't given HELLP Syndrome much thought in about 6 years. I'm not sure if this is related to HELLP or not, but I have never fully returned to "normal" since my first child was born. Like most everyone with HELLP, delivery and after was brutal - I suffered a hematoma, had a blood transfusion, etc. - but I was told not to worry, that there would be no long term effects. This seemed odd to me at the time, being that I almost left the hospital in a body bag, but I had a baby to focus on and had to get back to work.

Since then, I have suffered numerous health issues: depression, anxiety attacks, chronic fatigue, heart palpatations, digestive issues (had my gallbladder removed a year ago), unexplained abdominal bloating, and endometriosis. None of these were present before my first pregnancy. I have been to several doctors, telling them that something's not right, and it seems like all of them want to just say I have anxiety and/or depression and give me anti-depressants. Some of them have never even heard of HELLP and I've even switched doctors because I felt he wasn't listening and didn't have time for me. I'm convinced that there's more to it because, even with all the anxiety and anti-depression meds, I've still got many of the same symptoms. I feel like it's the chronic fatigue, heart palpatations, etc that brought on the depression and anxiety and not the other way around.

Could my symptoms be long term effects of HELLP? Any suggestions on where I get help for these symtptoms? I'm not even sure what type of physician to look to for help (because these symptoms seem so random). I've tried an internist, gynecologist, and psychiatrist.

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