What is HELLP syndrome?
HELLP syndrome may be a potentially life-threatening disorder that’s usually related to preeclampsia, a condition that happens in 5–8 percent of pregnancies — most frequently after the 20th week of pregnancy.
Preeclampsia also can occur earlier in pregnancy or, rarely, postpartum.
HELLP syndrome may be a disorder of the liver and blood which will be fatal if left untreated. The symptoms of HELLP syndrome are wide-ranging and vague, and may often be difficult to initially diagnose. The name HELLP syndrome is an acronym of three major abnormalities seen on the initial lab analysis. These include:
Ø EL: elevated liver enzymes
Ø LP: low platelet count
Hemolysis refers to a breakdown of red blood cells. In people with hemolysis, the red blood cells get weakened timely and too rapidly. this might end in low red blood corpuscle levels and may eventually cause anemia, a condition during which the blood doesn’t carry enough oxygen to the remainder of your body.
Elevated liver enzymes indicate that your liver isn’t functioning properly. Inflamed or injured liver cells leak high amounts of certain chemicals, including enzymes, into your blood.
Platelets are components of your blood that help with clotting. When platelet levels are low, you develop an increased risk of excessive bleeding.
HELLP syndrome may be a rare disorder, affecting but 1 percent of all pregnancies. However, it's a serious health concern and may be life-threatening to both the mother and therefore the unborn baby. Prompt treatment and delivery of the baby are generally required for the simplest outcome.
HELLP syndrome usually develops within the last trimester of pregnancy, but may occur earlier, or maybe present postpartum. The explanation for symptoms is unknown. Some experts believe HELLP syndrome may be a severe sort of preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication that causes high vital sign . Approximately 10–20 percent of girls who develop preeclampsia also will develop HELLP syndrome.
There also are certain factors which will increase your risk of developing HELLP syndrome, like preexisting high vital sign or diabetes, advanced maternal age, carrying multiples, like twins, and having a previous history of preeclampsia.
What are the symptoms of HELLP syndrome?
HELLP syndrome symptoms are very almost like those of the gastroenteritis . The symptoms could seem to be “normal” symptoms of pregnancy. However, it’s important to ascertain your doctor directly if you’re experiencing any flu-like symptoms during pregnancy. Only your doctor can make sure that your symptoms aren’t indicative of great health issues.
The symptoms of HELLP syndrome may vary from person-to-person, but the foremost common ones include:
Ø feeling generally unwell or fatigued
Ø stomach pain, especially in your upper abdomen
You may also experience:
Ø swelling, especially within the hands or face
Ø excessive and sudden weight gain
Ø blurry vision, loss of vision, or other changes in vision
Ø shoulder pain
Ø pain when breathing deeply
In rare cases, you'll even have confusion and seizures. These signs and symptoms usually indicate advanced HELLP syndrome and will prompt immediate evaluation by your doctor.
What are the danger factors for HELLP syndrome?
The explanation for HELLP syndrome is unknown, but there are certain factors which will increase your risk of developing it.
Preeclampsia is that the greatest risk factor. This condition is marked by high vital sign , and it typically occurs during the last trimester of pregnancy. However, it's going to present earlier within the pregnancy or postpartum (in rare cases). Not all pregnant women with preeclampsia will develop HELLP syndrome.
Other risk factors for HELLP include:
Ø being over age 35
Ø being African-American
Ø being obese
Ø having previous pregnancies
Ø having diabetes or renal disorder
Ø having high vital sign
Ø history of preeclampsia
You’re also at a better risk for HELLP syndrome if you had the condition during a previous pregnancy. One study showed that the danger of recurrence for hypertensive disorders, including preeclampsia and HELLP, in future pregnancies is about 18 percentTrusted Source.
How is HELLP syndrome diagnosed?
Your doctor will perform a physical exam and order various tests if HELLP syndrome is suspected. During the exam, your doctor may pity abdominal tenderness, an enlarged liver, and any excess swelling. These are often signs of a liver problem. Your doctor can also check your vital sign.
Certain tests also can help your doctor make a diagnosis. Your doctor can also order a:
Ø blood tests to guage platelet levels, liver enzymes, and red blood corpuscle count
Ø urine test to see for abnormal proteins
Ø MRI to work out whether there’s bleeding within the liver
Preventing HELLP syndrome
HELLP syndrome isn’t preventable in most pregnant women, because the explanation for the condition isn’t known. However, people can lower their risk for HELLP syndrome by maintaining a healthy lifestyle to stop preexisting conditions which will increase the danger , like diabetes or high vital sign . This includes exercising regularly and eating a heart-healthy diet that consists of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and lean protein.
If you've got these or other risk factors, regular routine prenatal care is vital in order that your doctor can evaluate you promptly if you start to develop preeclampsia or HELLP. Some doctors may recommend taking a low-dose aspirin during a subsequent pregnancy for prevention, supported your individual care.
It’s also important to contact your doctor immediately if you’re experiencing symptoms of HELLP syndrome. Early detection and treatment can help lower the danger of complications.
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