Seizures in pregnant women

Seizures in pregnant women.  Photo from

A pregnant woman, tired of the day, the evening falls finally to rest. But what is it? Sharply, suddenly, causing severe pain, clenched calf muscle located on the back of the leg. Stop straightened, stretched, as if wanting to "stand on his toes." Moreover, experiencing considerable pain from muscle overload and hyperextension, you just can not relax and get a foot in the normal position: the muscles simply refuse to obey the orders of the brain. So manifested seizures, which are often unwelcome companions of pregnancy.

Most seizures are beginning to disturb the mother-in early pregnancy with recurrent vomiting (early toxicity). Twitching calf muscles or muscles of the hand (at least — the facial muscles surrounding the mouth) usually occur at night, during sleep. But they can be seen during the day, such as when a pregnant sits or lies down to rest.


Mechanisms of muscle contraction and its regulation of the nervous system are extremely complex and are based on the difference in ion content of certain trace elements outside and inside the cell. Any violation of this relationship can be manifested, among other things, and convulsions. One of the main reasons gipnogogicheskih (that is emerging before going to sleep), seizures in pregnant women is just the disturbance of mineral metabolism.

What is leading to these violations:

  • First, increase in the need for trace elements, minerals because now much more is needed: a woman needs and ensure their own body, and "saturate" the growing child.
  • Secondly, vomiting of pregnancy. With vomit man loses huge amounts of trace elements — not just the ones he got with the food the day before, but the ones that are part of the digestive enzymes.
  • Third, imbalance of power, when for the sake of food cravings woman refusessome product group and therefore does not receive unique substances contained in them (for example, giving up cheese and other dairy products, we do not get enough calcium).
  • Fourth, abnormal, uncontrolled use of diuretics, the reception of which is associated with the attempt to remove the puffiness in the second half of pregnancy. Diuretics hard derive not only water but also by dissolved minerals.

Most seizures are caused by the deficit of potassium, calcium, magnesium or vitamin B6.


Potassium is present in every living cell and are extremely important to her. Prolonged, frequent vomiting and profuse diarrhea, as well as the incorrect use of certain diuretics danger of a deficiency of this substance. Excessive consumption of coffee (caffeine) may also lead to a shortage of potassium. Furthermore, in terms of magnesium deficiency and impaired uptake of potassium.

Potassium deficiency is manifested:

  • rapid muscle fatigue and cramps;
  • constipation;
  • retention in salt and fluid, i.e. edema;
  • low blood pressure;
  • thirst and dry mouth;
  • depression, nervousness, depressed mood;
  • increased levels of cholesterol in the blood;
  • dry skin;
  • occurrence of acne;
  • tachycardia (heart palpitations).

Potassium widespread, and can be found in any food products, only one of its slightly larger and the other — a little downward. Most are rich in potassium: dried apricots — dried apricots and dried apricots, cantaloupe, bananas, beans, potatoes, broccoli, beef liver, milk. A day adult should get about 4-5 g of potassium, and a comprehensive daily diet completely satisfies this need.

Potassium vitaminnomineralnyh included in the complex preparations are usually in the form of potassium iodide.


Calcium — one of the most well-known minerals that are required to man. The possible lack of calcium in the body will indicate:

  • the excited state (increased activity, nervousness, irritability);
  • insomnia;
  • high blood pressure;
  • palpitations;
  • numbness, tingling and "pins and needles" in some parts of the body;
  • pain and bleeding gums;
  • tooth decay;
  • brittleness of nails;
  • eczema.

Women usually start to worry only if already developed a significant deficiency of this substance at night and legs twisted painful cramps.

Being heard a lot about calcium, pregnant women often start taking their own calcium gluconate, but only one pill is not enough. To assimilate calcium ingastrointestinal tract andhit-taki on purpose — the cells are needed vitamin D3 andmagnesium. Without them, the calcium received by the body, it becomes useless!

"Consumption" of calcium in the body increases with stress during pregnancy (because of his "eat" is now two). Inhibit calcium absorption spinach, sorrel, rhubarb, which contain a large amount of oxalic acid (soluble salts thereof, reacting with calcium ions to form insoluble and hence indigestible compounds). Reduces the absorption of this substance as a food with a high content of phosphate (caviar, canned fish, eggs, cheese, peas, beans, cauliflower), soft drinks, cocoa and chocolate. Diets high in protein also inhibit the absorption of calcium, and only 15% of ingested calcium in this situation will be assimilated. But the low-protein diet also does not contribute to the absorption of calcium: aorganism man gets in this case, 5% of the total amount eaten it. Excessive coffee contributes to enhanced calcium excretion by the kidneys. And adequate consumption of iron, on the contrary, improves the absorption of calcium.

What foods are sources of calcium? This is primarily dairy products (of which we get to 55% of calcium); zelenolistnye vegetables (broccoli, kale, turnip greens, cauliflower, asparagus), egg yolks, various legumes, nuts, figs.

If you take calcium supplements, they will be absorbed better if they do not drink on an empty stomach, and after scant meal.


The content of magnesium in the body of an adult is about 20 g of this element must be no more and no less — so to say, the golden mean. Elevated levels of magnesium in the blood may cause drowsiness, confusion, dry mouth, thirst, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, slow pulse. This condition can be expressed in violation of renal excretory function, hypothyroidism, severe complications of diabetes.

Decrease of magnesium content in the blood is possible with strong and repeated vomiting, diarrhea significant, some other conditions and chronic diseases (overactive parathyroid glands, kidney failure, liver cirrhosis, etc.). The relative lack of magnesium in the body develops with its increasing consumption even if enough of his arrival with food, such as excessive neuropsychiatric and physical activity during pregnancy and lactation (as well as, for example, during the period of active growth in children). In the body of a pregnant woman's need for magnesium increases2-3 times. One of the main reasons for this is that in the development of the fetus is magnesium from the mother.

Increases the excretion of magnesium by the kidneys alcohol, caffeine, excess potassium, some diuretics. Increases the need for high levels of magnesium in the diet of proteins, sugars, fats, butter, uncontrolled use of certain hormones.

The consequences of magnesium deficiency are different and affect both the health of the mother and baby's health. A pregnant woman is a condition manifested:

  • increased neuropsychiatric excitability (irritability, susceptibility to stress, feelings of anxiety, memory loss, insomnia, fatigue);
  • instability when walking;
  • the advent of numbness in hands and feet, tingling, "pins and needles";
  • lowering the temperature of the body;
  • disorders of the ca
    system (arrhythmia, increased or, conversely, the fall in blood pressure);
  • increased muscle excitability (lower back pain, cramps, increased uterine tone, and sometimes — up to a miscarriage).

Magnesium is found in virtually all foods. They are particularly rich in whole seeds, nuts, sunflower seeds, whole beans, green vegetables, carrots, green onions, spinach. One would expect a large magnesium content in bread, but "thanks" to new technologies — refining — the bread loses this mineral.

Magnesium fill only through food is often not possible, and in this situation it requires additional appointment as a tablet type Magnesium-B6 or in multivitamin mineral complexes. If you are taking magnesium tablets, it is better to drink before going to bed with plenty of water (about a glass) in a few hours after eating. Loose stools — a sign that you overdo it with magnesium.

Adult should receive every day about 360-380 mg of magnesium for pregnant and lactating mothers, and adolescents — to400-450 mg.

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)

Violation of his daily intake by itself does not cause seizures, but this vitamin promotes the absorption of magnesium cells, improves its absorption into thegastrointestinal path serves to guide it into the cell, increases the permeability of cell membranes and fixes the magnesium ions within the cell, inhibiting its rapid elimination from the body.

Lack of vitamin B6 appears:

  • increased hair loss;
  • anemia;
  • loss of appetite;
  • nausea;
  • in the corners of the mouth;
  • sores in the mouth;
  • depression;
  • nervousness, irritability;
  • feeling of numbness in hands and feet, tingling, and (or) "goose bumps on the skin";
  • fatigue, muscular weakness, drowsiness.

Food sources of B6 include: poultry, beef, pork, veal, beef liver and kidney, tuna, salmon, soybeans, bananas, brewer's yeast, walnuts, peanuts, and avocados. But, alas, we have to reckon with the fact that when cooking meat, the loss of this vitamin will be from 50 to 70%, milling wheat, causes losses of 50 to 90%, and frozen vegetables and fruits are depleted by15-70% Of vitamin B6.

Pyridoxine deficiency also contribute to alcohol intake and smoking.

Other causes of seizures

  • Recurrent seizures in pregnant women may also result in severe anemia — reducing the amount of hemoglobin.
  • Sometimes cramps in the calf muscles may appear on the background of developing varicose veins. However, they are combined with fatigue and a feeling of heaviness in the legs, rapidly growing throughout the day, especially if you have to stand for long. In some patients, these symptoms precede the appearance of visible varicose veins. Varicose veins deteriorated venous drainage from the legs, which gives power muscles, including calf, causes imbalance trace leads to seizures.
  • In the third trimester, especially when multiple pregnancy, you may experience cramps in the legs against the inferior vena cava syndrome, where, when woman lying on his back or on the right side, the enlarged uterus compresses the inferior vena cava, which is a violation of the venous outflow from the legs. A further mechanism of seizures resemble the processes of varicose veins of the legs. To prevent the manifestations of the syndrome of the inferior vena cava woman should sleep on your left side or tucked under right buttock small pillow to redistribute the weight of the enlarged uterus on the left side of the body and thus reduce its pressure on the inferior vena cava to the right of the spine.

First aid for seizures

To remove a light leg cramps, you can:

  • with force, even through the pain, slowly pull your fingers clamped over his feet;
  • grind untroubled muscle, pinch her, scratching, etc.;
  • foot massage, squeezing and straightening the toes;
  • join the big toe and pull it toward you;
  • put on the hardened muscle yellow card, substitute it under hot (which only tolerates skin) local showers.
  • When the pain subsides, you like to improve circulation.

As prevent seizures can do foot massage, douches and wear wool socks for the night.

Seizures may be a symptom of various diseases, including serious complications of pregnancy. Therefore, when they do occur it is necessary to see a doctor: he will determine the specific cause and pick up the necessary drugs.

Pregnancy brings about changes in required for its development levels of vitamins, micro-and macro-and she immediately punished for violation of various ailments "spheres of interest". So do not throw things slide, hiding behind introductions like 'maybe blow over. " No, do not blow over! Once emerged, metabolic sword of Damocles will pursue a woman during pregnancy. Moreover, they will not be slow in coming — alas, is not the best way — on the course of labor, and then — on the growth and development of the child. And this applies not only to deal with the problem of night cramps and related items, but also for all levels of metabolism. So Heed primarily to what you eat.

Your diet should be complete in content and microelements, vitamins and essential amino acids. Listed in Article foods rich in these or other substances must be present on your desktop. Do not neglect vitamin and mineral complex preparations: they are specifically matched to the increased needs of pregnant women and contain a sufficient amount of all essential vitamins and minerals, including the above. To choose the right diet and vitamin therapy will help your doctor.

According to the magazine "Pregnancy. From conception to birth »№ 3/2006

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