HELLP Syndrome

HELLP Syndrome: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

During the third trimester of pregnancy one fatal abnormalities appear in few women known as HELLP Syndrome. Only 5 to 7% of women only develop this health condition which can be life-threatening too if not treated on time. This is very important to understand the symptoms of HELLP Syndrome for avoiding its danger effects at the time of pregnancy.

This dangerous health condition is mainly associated with Preeclampsia under which high blood pressure problem occurs during pregnancy causing complications which is dangerous for the life of both mother and her baby. This is why as soon as it is diagnosed, early delivery is needed to be done for saving the life of both mother and baby.

The HELLP Syndrome is primarily seen after the 20th week of pregnancy and before the 37th week. Women with past history of Preeclampsia, high maternity age, and unbalanced blood pressure are highly suspected with this fatal disease.

This disease is related to liver and blood problems. Its symptoms are very problematic to diagnose. This syndrome is an acronym of three abnormalities which is detected in lab test such as:

  • H: H stands for Hemolysis which refers to the breakdown of red blood cells. People with this health problem, their red blood cells get broken down too early and rapidly which causes the low level of red blood cells which slowly develops into anemia in which your blood doesn’t reach to all parts of your body.
  • EL: EL stands for Elevated Liver Enzymes which shows that your liver is not working optimally. An injured or inflamed liver can leak few chemicals such as enzymes in your blood.
  • LP: The LP stands for Low Platelet count means that the count of platelet is very low in your blood. Platelet helps in blood clotting so if its quantity decreases then the risk of high bleeding remains high if you met through any small or big accident.

Signs or Symptoms of HELLP Syndrome

HELLP SyndromeThe HELLP Syndrome’s symptoms are quite similar with the symptoms of flu. You can resemble it with the normal signs of pregnancy but be very careful if you are in your third trimester and noticing flu-like symptoms. Immediately contact and inform your doctor as this fatal disease is life-threatening for both mother and unborn baby.

Doctors after diagnosis will clear whether your symptoms are normal you have developed HELLP syndrome which is an abnormal health condition in pregnancy. Its symptoms vary from one pregnant lady to other however there are some most common symptoms which are developed in women suffering from this health issue mentioned below.

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Feeling of fatigue
  • A headache
  • Chest tenderness
  • Swelling in face, hand, and legs
  • Shoulder pain
  • Pain while deep breathing
  • Bleeding
  • Blurry vision
  • Heartburn or indigestion

In rare condition, some women also experience seizures, confusion, and headaches which indicates the severity of HELLP syndrome and needed immediate medical attention without further delay.

Treatment of HELLP Syndrome

HELLP Syndrome treatmentAs soon as a pregnant woman is diagnosed with the HELLP syndrome, the doctors go ahead with the delivery of the baby in order to prevent further complications. However, your delivery also depends on some factors which doctors consider first before choosing this option. This calls for the birth of a premature baby. If your HELLP syndrome is in mild condition and unborn baby is lesser than 34 weeks older, the doctors generally recommend for the following measures:

  • Complete bed rest is needed whether in the home or in the hospital as per the suitability of patient.
  • Blood transfusion for treating the low level of platelets and anemia.
  • Magnesium sulfate for preventing seizures.
  • Anti hypertensive medication in order to control blood pressure.
  • Corticosteroid medication in order to make baby’s lungs mature under the condition if early delivery is required.

Major Complications of HELLP Syndrome

The HELLP syndrome is associated with some mild to major complications during its treatment process which are mentioned below.

  • Adult Respiratory distress syndrome or lung failure.
  • Infant Respiratory distress syndrome or lung failure.
  • Blood transfusion.
  • Acute Renal failure.
  • Placental abruption which happens due to detachment of the placenta from the uterus before the birth of a baby.
  • Raptured liver hematoma.
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) or blood clotting issue which results in hemorrhage.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Excess bleeding during delivery.
  • Death of both mother and baby.

Natural Preventive Mesures to Avoid HELLP Syndrome

The causes of HELLP syndrome are not very clear so it is really become difficult to apply the preventive methods to protect oneself from this fatal disease during the pregnancy period. Preeclampsia which is a medical condition under this abnormal development of the placenta, high blood pressure and concentration of protein in urine is noticed which is not good for the health of pregnant lady.

A woman who has a past history of Preeclampsia or HELLP syndrome is suspected to develop this medical condition in their third trimester of pregnancy. However, by keeping your blood pressure level in balance and with healthy diets and some important changes in daily lifestyle one can prevent the symptoms of HELLP Syndrome.

Maintain Your Blood Pressure Level

High blood pressure during the pregnancy period is not at all a good sign of health and this develops the risk factor for both mother and her unborn baby. With some necessary and healthy changes in your regular diet, you can control your blood pressure level.

It is better to prepare yourself before you conceive so that your body can easily fit for the pregnancy period. You should consume less salt and more potassium-rich foods which reduces the high blood pressure level and keeps it at a balanced level. Also, doctors recommend consuming vitamins, high antioxidants and minerals containing food so that your body remains to prepare for the next cycle of your life.

High blood pressure is not good for both the pregnant lady and her unborn baby and it causes complications at the time of delivery. So throughout the pregnancy cycle, you should always do regular check-ups of your BP level and should take healthy intake so that your blood pressure level can be well maintained and it also prevents the risk of HELLP syndrome and Preeclampsia.

Healthy Diet

Healthy Pregnancy DietIn spite of different usual symptoms of pregnancy like nausea, vomiting you should not stop the consumption of as much healthy diet as you can as your body needs twice level of energy and food for you as well as your unborn baby. Also, a healthy diet will boost your immunity system and keep away the chances or risk of complications such as under the condition of HELLP syndrome (if it is developed).

You should avoid the consumption of caffeine and alcohol as it is not good for you as well as your baby. Consume leafy foods, green vegetables, fresh and healthy fruits. This healthy diet is essential to maintain your blood pressure level also it will reduce the issues related to blood like the low level of platelets etc. which plays a vital role in causing complications during delivery.

Avoid the consumption of high sugar snacks, fried foods, artificial additives and packaged foods. You can ask from your doctor too whom you are visiting during your pregnancy period regarding your diet chart. All these healthy and beneficial diet habit will prevent the symptoms of HELLP syndrome.

Balance Your Body Weight

High body fat causes obesity and this causes difficulty during the pregnancy period. So it is your duty to balance your body weight before you get pregnant.  Your target should be to maintain a healthy body weight so that you can easily carry yourself as well as your baby. Also, it prevents the complications that might arise at the time of delivery.

Consume the nutrient dense foods as it will not enhance to your body fat rather will help to maintain a healthy body weight. Keep a constant watch of your Body mass index (BMI) this will be helpful for you to measure whether your body has appropriate weight or not.  The BMI ranging from 19 to 25 or below 30 is a sign of good health and this reduces the chance of complications during pregnancy.

Obesity issue or regular dieting habit affects a lot to your health and it also affects to your body’s metabolism. At the time of delivery your body needs strength and this you can get through your improved and stimulated metabolism power. Also, the increased body weight worsen your inflammation that is why the body weight is associated with the Preeclampsia risk.

Stay Hydrated

Being HydratedDuring the period of pregnancy frequent urination is a natural and obvious symptom but due to this habit, the water level of your body easily get reduced causing dehydration which is not a good health condition. So increase your water intake at this particular time so that your body can stay hydrated every time.

Water also balances the sodium level in your body. At least eight glasses of water you should drink every day. A reduced level of water in your body can cause complications at the time of delivery. So for preventing the complications associated with HELLP syndrome it will be better for you to maintain a healthy water level by drinking enough quantity of water every day.

Prevent Fatigue Feeling

Changes in the internal and external appearance of the body during the pregnancy time cause the feeling of tiredness and fatigue very easily which is not good for you. For preventing the complications during the pregnancy time a pregnant lady needed to take enough amount of rest so that her body won’t get exhausted easily.

Seven to eight hours of sleep in the night time is must for ensuring a good and fit body. This will also help to fight against the stress level by keeping your mind calm and peaceful. You can also try some effective body stretching steps as these works very positively in preventing the fatigue feeling and behavior.

Do Regular Doctor Visit

Regular or a fixed interval routine visit to the doctor is must for any pregnant lady. From time to time necessary test and check-ups should be conducted for detecting the underlying health condition of both the mother and her unborn baby. These tests will help to make you aware if an abnormal symptom is been detected and thus prevent the occurrence of abnormal symptoms just like the HELLP syndrome.

If doctors will find you susceptible for Preeclampsia or HELLP syndrome on the basis of your past medical history or due to your mature age of motherhood then they will recommend for some extra test and will also keep a constant watch on your symptoms during the pregnancy time. As early as you will be aware of your abnormalities if any, it will be better for you as because the early-stage treatment process can prevent its probable symptoms.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise During PregnancyBenefits of regular exercise or workout during the pregnancy period are lots many for both the future mother and her unborn baby. This will boost your body’ metabolism and will keep you energetic all the time so you don’t feel tired or exhausted easily. Also, it keeps away the unforeseen complications during the delivery time such as HELLP syndrome effects etc.

Regular exercise habit reduces inflammation, helps to maintain a healthy body weight and also reduces your stress level. A pregnant woman needs to stay happy and stress-free throughout the period of pregnancy as this negative mental condition is harmful to her as well as for her baby’s health. Also, stress or tension reduces the body’s immunity power and may cause other complications while delivery.  You can control your stress level with regular body exercise.

Exercise that is especially for the pregnant women is mild and risk-free. You can take the help of a trainer who can guide you regarding exercise steps which are good as well as safe for your health. There are lots of effective exercise videos on youtube from there also you can choose three to four type of exercise steps so that with variations in steps you can enjoy your exercise time.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of HELLP Syndrome then immediately contact your doctor without further delay as because early the treatment is started it reduces the level of risk associated with this disease.

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