abdominal pain and swollen ankles

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abdominal pain and swollen ankles

Postby familymember » Sun Oct 19, 2008 03:21 am

I am asking a question about a friend. She's about 34 weeks pregnant with her first child. She has had ankle swelling for about a month or so, but before the swelling would go down at night, now her feet, ankles and calves are just staying swollen. She had an OB apptmt on Wed. and the doc wants to go ahead and start seeing her once a week now to monitor it. Her BP was 130/80, and I'm assuming her urine was ok, as the doc didn't mention anything to her about it.
But, she said that she has been having sharp pains in her abdomen for at least a week now. Several times a day, painful enough to just about stop her in her tracks. I told her to mention it to her OB. She didn't because she thinks that since they aren't regular that it's ok. I think she's thinking that it could only be contractions, not worrying about some other problem. Anyway, when she told me about the doc wanting to see her once a week now because of swelling. I did some research on pre-e, and it mentions abdominal pain, now I'm really worried. Should she call her doc immediately or is it ok for her to wait 3 days until next apptmt?
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Re : abdominal pain and swollen ankles

Postby alviarin » Sun Oct 19, 2008 05:39 am

In your friend's shoes I would call the doctor. Preeclampsia is serious and can move quickly so it's better to err on the side of caution when reporting possible preeclampsia or HELLP symptoms.

Have you and your friend seen our signs and symptoms page? It has this to say about stomach pain:

"Stomach and/or Right Shoulder Pain

This type of stomach pain, called epigastric pain by the medical profession, is usually under the right-side ribs. It can be confused with heartburn, gallbladder problems, flu, indigestion or pain from the baby kicking. Shoulder pain is often called referral pain because it radiates from the liver under the right ribs. Lower back pain is different from muscle strain common to pregnancy. It is usually more acute and specific. All may be a sign of HELLP Syndrome or a related problem in the liver. Shoulder pain can feel like someone is deeply pinching you along the bra strap, or it can be painful to lie on your right side.

What you can do...

Pain in this area should be taken very seriously; do not dismiss it and go to bed. Call your health professional immediately."


http://www.preeclampsia.org/symptoms.asp
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Re : abdominal pain and swollen ankles

Postby onesock » Sun Oct 19, 2008 07:16 am

Good for you that you are looking out for your friend! Can she pinpoint where her abdominal pain is? Is it low in her abdomen, center, left or right sided? As Alanna has said above, abdominal pain can be a serious sign that there is liver involvement. If you can get her to tell you where it is located, if it is indeed in the upper right quadrant, (not to say that it can't be problematic elsewhere)maybe you could get her to see someone sooner. Is she having any headache or visual problems that you are aware of? You are being a great friend in looking out for her! Glad you found us here.
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Re : abdominal pain and swollen ankles

Postby caryn » Sun Oct 19, 2008 01:35 pm

I'd also ask what her baseline pressures were. If she started at 120/80 her current pressures aren't a concern, but if her baseline blood pressure was 90/60, she's seen a significant elevation. The NIH Working Group Report says that an elevation of 30/15 "merits close observation".

I'd prefer to rule out problems than wait and see, myself. They can check her liver enzymes with a simple blood test in L&D, and if they're contractions and they're painful enough to make her stop, then they might be preterm labor contrax as well.

Keep us posted.
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Re : abdominal pain and swollen ankles

Postby familymember » Mon Oct 20, 2008 01:48 am

Thanks so much for your help. It turns out the pain is in her lower abdomen. Is it possible it could be "round ligament pains"? I'm not sure if that's the correct term, but I think what I mean, is when you hurt because of the baby growing and it pulls on your muscles??? She has her doc apptmt on Wednesday and she said that she would mention it then, although I'm gonna still work on her to try and call on Monday.
Thanks again!
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Re : abdominal pain and swollen ankles

Postby alviarin » Mon Oct 20, 2008 01:01 pm

quote:
Originally posted by familymember
It turns out the pain is in her lower abdomen. Is it possible it could be "round ligament pains"?



Anything's possible, but it's best to be examined by a doctor to be sure.

I had very bad lower abdominal pain during pregnancy at one point, and wound up at the ER since I couldn't keep anything down. My pain turned out to be round ligament pain but another pregnant lady same gestation presented with very similar symptoms at the hospital the same night and had surgery for appendicitis.
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Re : abdominal pain and swollen ankles

Postby familymember » Wed Oct 22, 2008 07:25 pm

I just wanted to update. My friend had her doc apptmt today. She and baby are good. Her BP is down to 120/70. Doc said the pains are just her body getting ready for labor. I never had anything like that, that early on, but I guess everyone's different. Thanks everyone for your advice!
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Re : abdominal pain and swollen ankles

Postby caryn » Thu Oct 23, 2008 00:21 am

Thanks for updating us. The tricky thing about preeclampsia is that it shares so very many symptoms with normal pregnancies. 'Round here we're overcautious, on the grounds that it's easy to rule things out by having the real experts in L&D check you over. By taking your blood pressure a few extra times and sending you home to pee in a jug -- much better than getting sick!

I hope she has an uneventful remainder of her pregnancy. :-)
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