Monday, March 24, 2014

Preeclampsia in the News (short version: Juice Plus does NOT cure preeclampsia)

Most people who come to this site through search engines are looking for information about preeclampsia or giving birth on magnesium sulfate, both topics I've written about.  I have a google alert for preeclampsia news, and when I come across interesting or useful information I post it.

Most of the stuff I come across is really depressing, like this facebook thread. I don't think the woman who asked the original question about how to treat her preeclampsia at 27w (with two previous pre-e pregnancies) was wrong to ask this question on the internets.  That's what we do these day, we ask on the internets.  But I do think the crowdsourced advice that she received is scary.  Will it hurt this woman to do the Brewer's diet or give up hotdogs or take magnesium supplements?  No, probably not.  The problem is that our little human minds want so desperately to believe what we want to believe.  It's too easy to take advice based on no scientific evidence and think "I definitely feel better.  I definitely have less swelling.  My head hurts less.  That high BP reading must be a fluke." Which is fine until you wake in a hospital bed after passing out on your bathroom floor.

This thread from the Midwifery Today facebook thread was more useful in terms of offering a diversity of opinions, but worse in the multiple recommendations of Juice Plus (that's a trademarked product name) as a cure for preeclampsia.  Yes, from the "you've got to be kidding me" files, you can both participate in a multi-level marketing scheme AND cure preeclampsia.  In addition to JP, most supplement purveyors seem to have a number of expensive supplements to prevent and cure preeclampsia.

I wish there was a simple and natural cure for preeclampsia.  I'd love to be able to tell every woman who comes to this site desperate and scared that for only $44.50 a month she can buy a cure.  Instead I'm a adding a new rule to my rules for preeclampsia--never trust a health-care provider who seeks to involve you in a multi-level marketing scheme.  

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