Convulsions of pregnant women
Convulsions of pregnant women are not uncommon. Should I be scared or worried?
Often convulsions begin to disturb the expectant mother in the first months of pregnancy against the background of repeated vomiting (early toxicosis). Spasmodic contractions of the calf muscles or the muscles of the hand (less often – the muscles of the face located around the mouth) usually occur at night, during sleep. But they can appear during the day, for example, when a pregnant woman sits down or lies down to rest.
The mechanisms of muscle contraction and its regulation on the part of the nervous system are extremely complex and are based on the difference in the content of ions of certain trace elements outside and inside the cell. Any violation of this ratio may be manifested, among other things, by convulsions. One of the main causes of hypnogogic (that is, occurring before falling asleep) seizures in pregnant women is precisely a violation of mineral metabolism.
What leads to these violations:
- First, the increase in the demand for trace elements, because now the minerals require much more: the woman needs to provide both her own organism with them and “saturate” the growing child.
- Secondly, vomiting pregnant. With vomitus, a person loses a huge amount of trace elements – not only those that he received with food the day before, but also those that are part of the digestive enzymes.
- Thirdly, the imbalance of nutrition, when a woman refuses any food group for the sake of food addictions and, accordingly, does not receive unique substances contained in them (for example, having refused cottage cheese and other fermented milk products, we receive less calcium).
- Fourth, the incorrect, uncontrolled use of diuretic drugs, which are associated with an attempt to relieve swelling in the second half of pregnancy. Diuretic drugs intensively remove not only water, but also minerals dissolved in it.
The most common seizures occur due to a deficiency of potassium, calcium, magnesium or vitamin B6.
Other causes of cramps
- Often repeated convulsions in future mothers may also occur with severe anemia – a decrease in the amount of hemoglobin.
- Sometimes cramps in the calf muscles can appear on the background of developing varicose veins. At the same time, they are combined with increased fatigue and a feeling of heaviness in the legs, which grow rapidly during the day, especially if you have to stand for a long time. In some patients, all these symptoms precede the appearance of visible varicose veins. With varicose veins, the outflow of venous blood from the legs worsens, which violates the nutrition of the muscles, including the gastrocnemius, causes an imbalance of microelements and leads to convulsions.
- In the third trimester, especially in multiple pregnancies, seizures may occur in the legs against the background of the inferior vena cava syndrome, in which, when the woman lies on the back or on the right side, the enlarged uterus squeezes the inferior vena cava, which causes a violation of venous outflow from the legs. And further mechanisms of development of convulsions resemble the processes occurring during varicose veins of the legs. To prevent the manifestation of the inferior vena cava syndrome, a woman should sleep on the left side or place a small pad under the right buttock to redistribute the weight of the enlarged uterus to the left half of the body and thereby reduce its pressure on the inferior vena cava located to the right of the spine.
First aid for convulsions
- To relieve a slight spasm of the calf muscle, you can:
- forcefully, even through pain, slowly pull the toes of the sandwiched foot towards you;
- rub the bound muscle, pinch it, scratch, etc .;
- Massage the leg, squeezing and straightening the toes;
- grab the big toe and pull it towards you;
- put a mustard plaster on hardened muscle, substitute it under a hot (what kind of skin tolerates) local shower.
When the pain subsides, you need to be like to improve blood circulation.
As a prevention of seizures, you can massage the legs, douche and wear wool socks for the night.
Spasms can be symptoms of various diseases, including serious complications of pregnancy. Therefore, when they occur, it is necessary to consult a doctor: he will determine the specific cause and select the necessary drugs.