by carolh (206 Posts), Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:10 pm
Hi Regen -
Welcome to the Forum! You'll find alot of support here from women who are in your same situation. You may want to post in the Ask The Experienced section too....there is alot of 'traffic' there.
Regarding causes of preeclampsia previously mentioned............
I've just come from our Annual Conference and we were updated on all the widely accepted theories and current medical research by some of the top PE clinicians and reseachers. PE has existed for thousands of years, well before all the stress, strain and overwhelming anxiety of our modern society. There is no evidence or acceptance in the medical community for PE being caused by any of those sources. What they do know from scores of research is that PE is a vascular disease and that placental dysfunction and the dysfunction of the mother's endothelial cells (cells that line our blood vessels) are the main culprits. Both of these contribute in different ways in each woman, depending on her own medical conditions or history. Any underlying or chronic disease can impact these and add increased risk to the probability of developing PE (e.g. clotting disorders, chronic hypertension, kidney disorders, immune systems disorders such as Lupus, diabetes, insulin resistance, etc). A family history of these could also being playing a part. In the last 4-5 years there has also been research that shows that women with a history of severe, early onset PE have a 4-8 times higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease later in life. So, although we may like to think that the cause of PE is as simple as eradicating the stress and chaos from our lives, in truth it is a much more complicated and multifactoral set of medical causes that contribute to developing it. This is clear when you consider that PE affects women from all walks of life, rich or poor, thin or heavy, those that eat healthy and those who don't, those that exercise and those that don't, etc. PE exists in our culture and in those across the world. And unfortunately, babies and even women still die from it right here in the U.S. Knowing the facts and understanding the symptoms when you are pregnant is the best way to be your own advocate. There have been many a success story that has come from a first, tragic experience with PE (my own included). We are here to give hope, encouragement, and support to all the women who find the Foundation and our Forum. The Preeclampsia Foundation as a patient advocacy group plays an important role in preeclampsia education, awareness and in pushing for more research dollars to be spent studying this disorder. The more voices we have to spread our consistent message, the more powerful we will be. This is evidenced by the success of other women's health groups......particularly breast cancer awareness.
Anyone who wants more information on preeclampsia (we can refer you to scores of medical literature) or wants to know how to get more involved, please email me directly.