For pregnant women, understanding the potential complications that you can encounter are important. For example, one condition that some women aren't aware can occur during pregnancy is kidney disease. Here's a look at what you should know about the potential signs of kidney disease so that you can seek treatment right away.
High Blood Pressure/Preeclampsia
The development of kidney disease often leads to fluid retention. This retention of fluid can then cause high blood pressure, also called preeclampsia when it occurs during pregnancy. If your obstetrician finds that your blood pressure is persistently high, he or she may test you for signs of kidney problems. Since high blood pressure can damage the vascular system, it's important that you identify the source of the problem as quickly as possible.
Foot, Hand and Ankle Swelling
Pregnant women often experience swelling, especially later in the pregnancy. However, if you're experiencing swelling in your hands, feet and ankles throughout your pregnancy, it may be caused by the fluid retention of kidney disease. If the swelling is paired with persistent muscle cramping and occasional numbness, it's even more important that you have your symptoms assessed.
Creatinine In your Urine
During every prenatal appointment, you'll be asked to provide a urine sample. This sample is tested for several things, not the least of which is the presence of creatinine. A byproduct of creatine breakdown, creatinine can actually saturate your kidneys and reach your urine. It can only do that when the blood vessels in the kidneys become permeable, which occurs due to failure of your kidneys.
Urinary Tract Infection
Not only can urinary tract infections occur as a result of kidney disease, they can also cause infections in your kidneys that may lead to worsening kidney disease. If you happen to develop a urinary tract infection while you're pregnant, you'll need to talk with your medical care team right away. If you don't address it in a timely manner, these infections can cause renal failure in pregnancy. In addition, untreated urinary tract infections and kidney infections can also cause low birth weight and premature birth.
When you know the most common signs of kidney disease in pregnancy, you're better equipped to identify the condition early. With the information presented here and the help of your obstetrician, you'll be able to get treatment right away and potentially avoid some of the more serious complications that can come from developing kidney disease or associated problems. Ask your midwife or obstetrician, like one at Desert Rose OBGYN PC, about other signs and symptoms that you should watch for so that you can protect yourself and your baby.