Friday, March 11, 2011

"Beet" Preeclampsia Before It Begins

"Pre-eclampsia is a dangerous condition that may develop in the third trimester of pregnancy [for about 6% of all pregnant women]. It includes hypertension (high blood pressure), edema, and protein in the urine...Western medicine believes that there is no way to prevent pre-eclampsia but that it can be kept from progressing to eclampsia with good prenatal care. Herbalist Susun Weed disagrees, calling pre-eclampsia "the result of malnutrition during pregnancy," and says it is easily prevented by eating 60-80 grams of protein daily, getting enough salt, foods high in calcium, adequate calories and  nourishing herbal supports like raspberry, nettle, and dandelion leaves throughout pregnancy...Once pre-eclampsia is diagnosed [or to try to prevent it]...Potassium levels must be increased...the sodium potassium ratio needs balancing." (Tori Hudson and Christian Northrup M.D. in Women's Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine)
Pre-eclampsia must be monitored very closely by your health care provider once it is diagnosed, since the condition is serious enough to threaten the mother's life and damage the fetus. However, you can do things yourself to try and prevent it from ever occurring- or keep it from progressing into eclampsia if you have already been diagnosed with it in this pregnancy.
Things that help balance your sodium-potassium ratio include raw beets: juice them (4 oz daily) or shred them in a salad; Vitamin B6, spirulina or seaweed, dandelion leaves, potato peels and bananas. I am not offering any medical advice, but if you are looking for some good ideas on how to balance your sodium-potassium ratio and improve your overall health, I will be posting some recipes that  are part of a pregnancy diet that I recommend to any of my clients who are at risk of developing pre-eclampsia. These recipes are also good for anyone who wants to improve their nutritional habits in preparation for conception.



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