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Sunday, August 23, 2009

I did some researh on HELLP syndrome

I've been hearing alot about HELLP in association with Pre-e so I decided to research it and find out what it is all about. What I have learned was that:

"What is HELLP syndrome?
HELLP syndrome is a rare but serious illness in pregnancy. This illness can start quickly, most often in the last 3 months of pregnancy (the third trimester). It can also start soon after you have your baby. HELLP stands for Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzyme levels and a Low Platelet count. These are problems that can occur in women with this syndrome.

Women with HELLP syndrome may have bleeding problems, liver problems and blood pressure problems that can hurt both the mother and the baby.

Who gets HELLP syndrome?
We don't know the cause of HELLP syndrome. We also don't know who will get it. Any pregnant woman may get this illness.

Most women who will get HELLP have blood pressure problems before they get HELLP syndrome. (But you can get HELLP syndrome even if your blood pressure is normal.)

You're more likely to get HELLP syndrome if you're white and over 25 years of age. You are also more likely to get it if you have had children before or if you had a problem with a pregnancy in the past.

How can I tell if I have HELLP syndrome?
If you have HELLP syndrome, you may feel tired. You may have pain in the upper right part of your belly. You may have bad headaches and nausea or vomiting. You may have swelling, especially in your face and hands. Rarely, you may notice bleeding from your gums or other places.

Because many healthy pregnant women also have these symptoms late in pregnancy, it may be hard to know for sure if you have HELLP syndrome. Your doctor may order blood tests if you have these symptoms or if your blood pressure is high." familydoctor.org

It was easier for me to copy and past from the website. I was never told I had HELLP with my Pre-e, but it honestly sounds like I did by the description of it. I had elevated liver enzymes and low platlet counts that was one of the biggest reasons why I was admitted into the hospital and also the protein in my urine, but we didn't know that until I was admitted. I had also had pain in my upper abdomen which they said the day they delivered could be my liver swelling and they didn't want to take any chances. I honestly don't think it was my liver, I feel like it may have been gull stones because I still get the same pain today only not as bad. I'm getting it checked out. I also have a blood clotting disorder and was on Lovenox during my pregnancy.

I just don't understand why they wouldn't tell me if I had HELLP as well as the pre-e? I plan on talking to my Perinatologist about it when I see her for my pre-conception visit. Now, I wish I didn't do any research I have to stop doing that.



  1. I know, I can drive myself crazy researching everything. Good luck at your pre-conception visit!

  2. the quest for knowledge/a reason why is both a blessing and a curse-we want to know, yet we don't want to know...

  3. I had severe Pre-e and HELLP with my first pregnancy and then just HELLP with my second. My son was very sick (my first preg) and spent some time in the NICU, he has continued to have health problems, even now 3yrs later. I have done a lot of research about HELLP and if you have any questions am willing to talk to you about it. The way HELLP is diagnosed is by meeting the criteria of the syndrome if you met the criteria then you are right you probably did have it. So sorry for the loss of your sweet Jasper. Would love to share info for the next pregnancy if you are wanting to have some advice

  4. Me again! They had me taking Vitamin B6, and calcium (lots of calcium), avoiding fish (mercury), increasing fruits (I forget the reason-which nutrient). Also a HUGE piece was staying WELL hydrated, they say that for all women, however what that does is prevent toxins from building up in your system and affecting your liver. There is more, do you have email? Can you send it to me? I will tell you the whole plan the doctors gave me and the reasoning (my brain is exhausted we have just moved and I am sure I am missing something) My pregnancy with Sophia was MUCH better, and she was much bigger (more than a pound and was the same gestational age-35wks) Other thigns that I was told (I was treated at a HUGE hospital with my first pregnancy I was an obstetrical emergency, and they didn't think I would make it because the HELLP was so bad) is that HELLP is usually later on than the first time it occured in subsequent pregnancies and that it is less severe. Both of which were true for me. I promise I will give you all the info in a well thought out organized email if you have one:-)
    PS: I am also a nurse and work in maternity so have other experiences with HELLP besides just my own

  5. Someone in my due date group with Carleigh had HELLP and had to deliver early. It's scary! And if you indeed had it the dr's should have told you.

  6. Hi there, found you via a google alert for HELLP. I had HELLP with my pregnancy. Definitely talk with your peri and go over your medical records. If you lab values were the way you describe, you did probably have HELLP.

    Best wishes to you