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I can't know what it's like to be pregnant, but after watching my wife I can say it's often uncomfortable. I was relieved she felt much better after the first trimester.

Thing is - that's not how it is for all pregnant moms. A leading global cause of maternal and infant illness and death is preeclampsia. or maternal high blood pressure.

Researchers believe the problem has something to do with low blood flow to the placenta which can happen if it failed to implant properly in the uterus.

With less blood flow, the fetus gets less air, nutrients and the placenta is triggered into releasing proteins into the blood stream causing problems for the pregnant mom.

So it's important to diagnose preeclampsia but there is not one simple test.

Pregnant moms are checked for high blood pressure and protein in their urine but those methods are not always reliable.

So a new home test is welcome news.

It's a color coded detection kit for urate levels in the saliva. Urate is the by product of the body's use of protein.

Red meat and wine can increase urate levels but so can improper secretion of urate. A positive test for urate might indicate preeclampsia. This along with other symptoms can help doctors determine whether a patient has the disorder.

Women should watch for swelling, sudden weight gain, headaches and changes in vision. But some don't show symptoms and the new home test may be especially important.

The only cure for pre-eclampsia is to deliver the baby, but it can be managed by bed rest and delivery as soon as the fetus can survive outside the womb.

With so many pregnancy symptoms it may be tough to identify a serious problem. If you are concerned, never hesitate to contact your doctor.

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For more information…

Preeclampsia Foundation is committed to promote safe pregnancy and post-partum research, public education and patient support. The Preeclampsia Foundation's mission is to reduce maternal and infant illness and death due to preeclampsia by supporting innovative research, raising public awareness, and helping women access safe reproductive technology, support and care. Their site includes a great deal of useful information and links.
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A good resource for information about women's health is OBGYN.net
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A Web site operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), a national medical organizations representing family physicians, family practice residents and medical students has an excellent and comprehensive information page about Preeclampsia. All of the information on this site has been written and reviewed by physicians and patient education professionals at the AAFP.
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eMedicine is an open access comprehensive medical textbook for all clinical fields and has detailed information about preeclampsia its diagnosis, and treatment.
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