Pregnancy and Current Medical Problems

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* Pregnancy is not as simple as it sounds.

There are plenty of angles to consider prior to attempting to conceive and begin your family. Consideration of your lifestyle in terms of diet, exercise and psychological conditions can give you some idea as to how your child will be affected.

* There is also the matter of current health issues or family related health concerns like diabetes, or a high blood pressure.

If you are undergoing any kind of treatment of sorts or have been prescribed medications, share the information with your doctor and he may suggest some changes to medications or referral to a registered dietician. Registered dieticians will go over your diet with you and give you some excellent alternatives to ensure optimum health for you and the child. Some common health concerns are discussed below.

* Asthma

Thankfully, this affliction affects only a very small number of all pregnant women at 1%. Of these afflicted women, asthma has absolutely no change for half of that number during the tenure of their pregnancy while the remaining half is evenly split with twenty-five percent enduring accelerated conditions in their asthma and the other twenty-five percent actually enjoying some improvement on theirs.

For those that have asthma, you are more than likely fully aware of what precipitates an asthmatic attack so the main trick is a no brainer; try to avoid the triggers. While many of kinds of asthmatic medications aren’t considered hazardous at all for your or the unborn child, it is always a prudent protocol to inform your doctor about what you are using in the off chance that it isn’t a good thing to use and alternatives can be found.

* Anaemia

If you suffer from short breath, fatigue, pale skin or weakness, you may be suffering from anaemia as these are some of the symptoms of the condition. The characteristics of anaemia are a low haemoglobin count in your blood stream. Haemoglobin are those cells within the blood that carries oxygen to the body. Pregnancy means that the little being inside of you is making extra demands on what the body has available such as oxygen and haemoglobin so you can see thus where this may cause a problem. Don’t think that because you don’t already have anaemia that you won’t develop the problem during pregnancy. It isn’t guaranteed that you, but then again, it isn’t guaranteed that you won’t either, so be on the lookout for the signs and symptoms. Sometimes, anaemia is caused by an existing low iron level in your body when you conceive. As the foetus grows within your tummy and the demands on the iron in your body increase, this imbalance and poor supply and demand can alter your pristine condition into, you guessed it, anaemia. There is a pre pregnancy health check and when you attend to have it completed, be sure to request a complete blood count (or CBC). Thalassemia or sickle-cell diseases are other forms of anaemia and be sure to mention this to your doctor if you have it or if it was part of your family’s health history. One of the medications prescribed for sickle-cell disease is known as hyrdoxyurea but it should be mentioned that the effects that this has on the pregnancy isn’t entirely known.

Pregnant Woman Consultation. (Photo by: Media for Medical/UIG via Getty Images)

* Kidney and Bladder Problems

Urinary tract infections, known overall as a bladder infection is an issue that can develop as the pregnancy ensues through the gestation period. A Urinary tract infection that hasn’t been treated can accelerate with infections reaching back up into the kidneys. The resultant kidney infection is a little more serious and referred to as Pyelonephritis. Generally these problems arise during pregnancy so your physician will be keeping an eye on your urinary tract. If you have had surgery before regarding your bladder or kidney, feel free to tell your doctor… in fact, make it a point of telling him! Again, this is something that you might want to share with your doctor prior to pregnancy so that you can properly be assessed for that potential once you conceive.

The development of kidney stones sometimes happens and these too can develop into kidney infections and infections of the urinary tract. A little more difficult to tell apart from other relative issues during pregnancy, they can cause a fair volume of pain which is a good tell tale sign of their existence.

* Diabetes

In distant ages, those women who have had diabetes endured a very difficult pregnancy and these difficulties can generate into some very serious issues if untreated and managed poorly. Thankfully there have been a lot of research and treatment advances for diabetes which means that they may not be able to be eliminated but with a more studious management of diabetes, pregnancies will not be quite as difficult as it was years ago. Pregnancies and delivery will be as easy as those who haven’t got the trouble of diabetes.

You would be wise to share this with your doctor prior to conception so that you both understand how to manage diabetes properly and what the potential side effects of the disease can have on your child. You stand a higher chance of having children with birth defects and in the worst case scenario, still born so it follows that most physicians will suggest that you have your diabetic condition well under control for a period of about two to three months prior to conceiving.

That you are pregnant, having diabetes is quite dangerous so a careful eye must be maintained toward diabetic management. The increased need for vital insulin to break down sugars into glucose is paramount and diabetes can cause some interruption in the growing process of the child. Miscarriages and birth defects such as heart troubles are prevalent in some cases. Generally speaking, at about the thirteenth week of pregnancy, diabetes begins making itself known so if you have those symptoms relative to diabetes, seek immediate treatment as this is the onset of what is called gestational diabetes. If you don’t have any problems, thank goodness and carry on with the rest of the term.

* Celiac disease

This disease affects the digestive system in that the small intestine is afflicted with the reduced ability to absorb the vital nutrients from the foods that you consume. This problem happens as a result of having eaten foods laced with gluten such as breads and pastries baked with white flour, oats, wheat, rye and barley. Having Celiac disease and recurring issues with intestinal functions are two absolutes when it comes to pregnancy. Typically, family doctors and paediatricians alike will suggest that a two year period between a successful management of the disease and pregnancy is suggested. This will allow your digestive system to heal itself and thereby absorb vital nutrients more successfully. In so doing the validation of studies which maintain the reduction of possibilities of premature birth and babies with neural tube defects occurs.

* Lupus

The autoimmune disease known as lupus creates anti bodies within your very own organs. These antibodies will and may very well either damage or destroy organs and their ability to function properly. Kidneys, the heart, lungs and even the joints can be affected from different forms of lupus and the diagnosis of lupus can be difficult to ascertain. As it is found more commonly in ladies over men, it is known to occur in women who range in ages between as young as fifteen years old to sixty-four with a staggering statistic as being evident in one out of every two-hundred, fifty-four women of African or Asian descent.

It is recommended that conception not happen whenever you are experiencing a flaring up of lupus, you should bear in mind that there is a treatment but no cure for the disease. Usually treatment comes in the form of steroids. Having lupus means that there is a greater chance of still birth or miscarriage so it therefore follows that more careful attention is given to the health of the woman as the pregnancy progresses. For those that have lupus who are taking methotrexate as a means of treatment, you are advised to stop this medication treatment prior to conception as it too can create situations of miscarriage and even birth defects. Quitting the use of the medication cold turkey isn’t something that is recommended and so a consultation with your doctor can produce some viable alternative treatment options.

Be advised that for those ladies who have lupus and deliver children, you will notice some heart defects, rashes, or even heart block in your child and these very children will be either prematurely born babies or grow up to develop issues with intrauterine growth restriction or IUGR. Again, talk to your doctor and share your family history with the disease if it is relevant to you.

* Back Surgery

It is no big secret that the progression of the pregnancy brings pressure onto the back of the expectant mother. If you have ever had back surgery, this may create some complications and so it follows that telling your doctor will produce some alternatives to help mitigate the matter as the pregnancy carries on. Usually it is said that for anyone who has ever undergone back surgery that they wait for at least half a year prior to beginning the attempts to conceive. To heck with it, you may say, but this vital healing period is essential if you want to have a muscular system capable of sustaining the ever growing weight of the unborn child and it also drastically reduces complications or other problems as you continue through the pregnancy stages.

Pregnant woman with doctor

* Headaches and Migraines

We all suffer from the occasional headache and even the migraine. This is probably more so in women who are pregnant however, some fortunate women actually see them disappear altogether during their pregnancy. However, if you aren’t one of the fortunate ones that don’t have migraines or even headaches during pregnancy and you take medication, be sure to share this information with your doctor just to ensure that you aren’t taking medications that can cause problems with the unborn child.

* Issues with your Thyroid Gland

You have no doubt heard about the scales of justice. Well the scales of thyroid glands is another obviously lesser known necessity and never more so than the time that you are pregnant. There can’t be too much nor too little in this matter. When you have a thyroid gland that is producing too much of the hormone, it is known as hyperthyroidism. This nasty affliction causes an accelerated metabolism and is the result of a condition called Graves disease. It is usually treated in its mild form with medications to reduce the amount of the thyroid hormone in your system but in its extreme form, surgery may be required.

Now, on the other hand, a lack of the essential hormone, called hypothyroidism, is the result of issues with the autoimmune system in which antibodies that you generate damage your thyroid gland. This particular end of thyroid issues is the most common during the course of gestation and it can, naturally affect the health of your child should it not be treated. There are symptoms and signs that you can look for and they are;

– Gains in weight
– Low pulse,
– Fatigue,
– A hoarse sounding voice,
– Dry skin and/or
– Dry feeling hair.
Mention these to your doctor if you have them and that way treatment can begin immediately once confirmed BEFORE you get pregnant. Those whose affliction is untreated sometimes suffer infertility or endure a miscarriage.

* Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you are taking any kind of medication in the treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis, check with your doctor to ensure that ongoing treatment won’t affect the health of the developing baby or result in some side effects after the birth of the child. A green light to carry on or alternative treatments may be recommended to ensure against the unexpected later on.

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