What causes preeclampsia?

We don't know what causes preeclampsia, but there are several theories, including:
  • Not enough blood getting to the uterus
  • Hormonal imbalances affect the size of blood vessels
  • Damage or injury to blood vessel linings
  • Too little calcium
  • Undiagnosed high blood pressure or other conditions, such as diabetes, lupus, sickle cell disease, hyperthyroidism or kidney disease
  • Immune system deficiency
  • Too little or too much protein in the diet
  • Poor diet (not enough fruits and vegetables)
  • High levels of body fat
  • Too little magnesium and vitamin B6
There is some evidence that vitamin D deficiency may increase risk of preeclampsia. A 2010 study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that vitamin D levels were generally lower in women with early severe preeclampsia compared with those of healthy pregnant women. Talk to your healthcare professional about vitamin D and how to boost your intake with food and/or supplementation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.