Pregnancy Medical Symptoms

When it comes to understanding some common pregnancy medical symptoms, the way can be murky. There is so much information available that it can be very confusing to understand the medical terminology for pregnancy symptoms. In this article we will look at causes for some of the common symptoms (and some not so common) that arise in pregnancy.

Of course, the most common symptoms are the ones you get when you become pregnant. A skipped period, mild cramping and lower abdominal discomfort, nausea and vomiting, and the need to urinate frequently are all symptoms of pregnancy. There are more, and you can learn about them by checking out other articles on this site.

Gestational Diabetes - What Causes It?

There are some conditions that show up only in pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes. What causes diabetes in pregnancy? To answer that you should know some facts about glucose, the sugar that results from the digestion of food and the body's main source of nourishment. When you are pregnant, your body supplies your baby with glucose, the only source of energy he or she will receive. It comes through the placenta where other things are going on for your baby - like the production of hormones. Sometimes these hormones in the placenta slow down the uptake of insulin into your body by increasing production of anti-insulin hormones about midway through the pregnancy. If your body is making too many of these hormones, the ability of glucose to move from your blood to your cells is inhibited - it's called insulin resistance. Your pancreas may be experiencing difficulty producing enough insulin to handle the glucose and the result is diabetes. In order to determine if you have diabetes, a blood glucose test and perhaps a glucose tolerance test will be ordered by the doctor.

Two Big Fears - Autism...

Since worry comes along with pregnancy, there are always concerns in a woman's mind about the health and well-being of her unborn baby. There are some issues that seem to cause more fear than others, one of them being autism and the other Down syndrome. Is autism caused in pregnancy? That is a question that is getting more attention these days. We do know that autism is genetic, but there seems to be more at work than genes. Evidence points to triggers in the prenatal environment that are also responsible for causing autism in pregnancy. Studies have shown that women who suffer intense stress between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy are at higher risk for having an autistic baby. Prenatal hormone levels, especially increased levels of testosterone in the womb tend to exacerbate autism. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have indicated possible associations with obstetrical complications, including preterm delivery, low birth weight and breech presentation. Medical side effects of some drugs have been known to cause autism as well. The level of serotonin in the mother may affect the levels in the baby. Autistic children have lower levels of serotonin that those without the disorder.

...And Down Syndrome

Down syndrome can be spotted through amniocentesis, there is no other way to ensure a correct diagnosis. There is no specific cause for this, and the only possible outside factor implicated is the age of the mother. Women over the age of 35 are more likely to have a child with Down syndrome than those younger. The cause of Down syndrome is an error in cell division where an extra copy of chromosome 21 is present in either the egg or the sperm. There are supposed to be 23 chromosomes from each, the egg and the sperm. In Down syndrome, there are 47 chromosomes, the odd one being the third 21st chromosome.

Boiling Blood Pressure

Causes of preeclampsia in pregnancy, also known as toxemia, are not known, but researchers suspect that a poor diet, insufficient blood to the uterus, and high levels of body fat are contributors. It is a condition in pregnancy marked by high blood pressure and high levels of protein in the urine. The condition causes swelling in the extremities and edema. Preeclampsia in pregnancy generally happens in the latter half of the pregnancy, although it has been known to happen earlier on as well. Should the condition get to the final stages, called eclampsia, coma, or even death of the mother and baby can occur.

It Was Just The Imagination

Some women want a baby so badly that they will themselves into a state of pregnancy, even though they are not pregnant. The causes of false pregnancy, or pseudopregnancy as it is referred to in medical terms of pregnancy, is not clear but it is believe that it is a psychological situation triggered by a strong desire to be pregnant. Research has linked an imbalance caused by unusually high levels of hormones produced in the pituitary gland to the condition as well. Women with false pregnancy claim to have, and sometimes exhibit, symptoms of being pregnant.

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