Pre-eclampsia simply means high blood pressure during pregnancy. The problem is that as delivery day approaches, the blood pressure can rise extremely high extremely quickly, resulting in brain damage and other organ failures. It is a problem which must be taken extremely seriously as this is a major cause of death in pregnancy, much more so in developing countries.
In my knowledge there are two obvious causes of pre-eclampsia. The most fascinating reading comes from Dr T Brewer in his book "Metabolic Toxaemia of Late Pregnancy: A Disease of Malnutrition". Keats publishing, New Caanan, Connecticut 1982. This doctor has the most extraordinary record for preventing pre-eclampsia. He simply puts his pregnant mums on high protein diets. I always get suspicious when doctors claim 100% success rate, but this is exactly what he does. Simply by feeding his mums a high protein diet, he was able to prevent pre-eclampsia in women of all social classes. Normally speaking pre-eclampsia is a disease of the less well off and he points out that this is simply because they cannot afford to eat protein in their diet.
With respect to treating pre-eclampsia, the most effective treatment is magnesium. These nutritional studies have been reported in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Lancet and hundreds of women in multi-centre trials have been randomly assigned either to receive intravenous magnesium sulphate or anti-convulsants such as diazepam or phenytoin. Magnesium won hands down in every case. "It is concluded that there is compelling evidence in favour of magnesium sulphate rather than diazepam or phenytoin for the treatment of pre-eclampsia".
These observations reinforce my view that everybody should be aiming to eat a stoneage diet. Because of modern farming practices and lack of exercise, the micronutrient content of our diet is deficient. Therefore we should all be taking nutritional supplements. This is particularly important during pregnancy when there are higher requirements for protein and micronutrients that at any other stage of life and the optimal supply will ensure a healthy vigorous baby with good brain development.
- Stone Age Diet. More often I now prescribe the ketogenic diet - please see Ketogenic diet - the practical details and My book The PK Cookbook - Go Paleo-ketogenic and get the best of both worlds.
- Nutritional Supplements
- Magnesium - treating a deficiency
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