Monday, April 19, 2010

Pre-ecampsia and HELLP Syndrome

I found out today that vitamin D deficiency can also cause pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome. I had pre-eclampsia that progressed to class 1 HELLP syndrome (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, low platelets) when I was pregnant with Julianna. This caused me to be extremely ill. I had kidney, liver and heart failure. Because of my illness Julianna had to be delivered via emergency c-section and was premature. This also caused her to have severe intrauterine growth restriction. She was 3 lbs., 8 oz.

I thank God everyday that we both recovered. I know the odds were very much against me surviving at one point. Julianna is thriving and does not seem to have any problems despite the dire warnings I received from the doctors. We really lucked out.

Fast forward 18 months, I find out I have breast cancer. Could it be that both of these incidents were caused by the same thing? I will never know. But I am amazed that a simple blood test and a $5 prescription could possibly have prevented all of this.


  1. I had my Vitamin D tested for the first time this year, and it was very low - 14. That's with taking multivitamins and eating a pretty varied diet. No milk, though. It may be something in our genetics - we don't do D.
    I did the prescription 50K iu for 8 weeks and I am set to re-check my levels in May. Sounds like everyone should check!

  2. Wow. 14 was my level. They say normal is 30-100 but ideally it should be around 60. When you are fair like us it is tough to be in the sun unprotected. I was told I am likely getting enough but having a problem metabolizing it. Everyone should get it checked because it is the suspected culprit in many medical disorders. Your 50K dose may eliminate cancer for you. Good thing you checked!!!!

  3. Oh My Gosh, I am now after two years of delivering my twins early with HELLP Syndrome, diagnosed with Osteomalacia and severe vitamin D deficiency. My doctors at Group Health, my insurer, never ran a Vitamin D test on me - and they are supposed to do this in pregnancy screening. I hope you do well in your treatment and wish you the best. You have already been through a lot.