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HELLP syndrome is particularly dangerous because it represents damage to several organ systems. On occasion, it may develop suddenly, even before high blood pressure is detected or it may develop without any symptoms at all. When preeclampsia isn't controlled, eclampsia — which is essentially preeclampsia plus seizures — can develop. It is very difficult to predict which patients will have preeclampsia that is severe enough to result in eclampsia.

Often, there are no symptoms or warning signs to predict eclampsia. Because eclampsia can have serious consequences for both mom and baby, delivery becomes necessary, regardless of how far along the pregnancy is. Researchers continue to study ways to prevent preeclampsia, but so far, no clear strategies have emerged. Eating less salt, changing your activities, restricting calories, or consuming garlic or fish oil doesn't reduce your risk.

Increasing your intake of vitamins C and E hasn't been shown to have a benefit. Some studies have reported an association between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of preeclampsia. But while some studies have shown an association between taking vitamin D supplements and a lower risk of preeclampsia, others have failed to make the connection. It's important that you don't take any medications, vitamins or supplements without first talking to your doctor.

Before you become pregnant, especially if you've had preeclampsia before, it's a good idea to be as healthy as you can be.

Lose weight if you need to, and make sure other conditions, such as diabetes, are well-managed. Once you're pregnant, take care of yourself — and your baby — through early and regular prenatal care. If preeclampsia is detected early, you and your doctor can work together to prevent complications and make the best choices for you and your baby.

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This content does not have an Arabic version. Overview Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, most often the liver and kidneys. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. References Hypertension in pregnancy.

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Bokslag A, et al. Preeclampsia; short and long-term consequences for mother and neonate. August P, et al. Clinical features and diagnosis. Mayo Clinic School of Medicine integrates health care, research and science of health care delivery experiences to empower students to revolutionize health care.

Learn why students choose Mayo Clinic School of Medicine. Mayo Clinic School of Medicine students acquire experiences across a spectrum of patient populations in multiple practice settings. Mayo Clinic School of Medicine is the first in the nation to integrate a science of health care delivery certificate program into medical degree training.

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