Cholestasis Of Pregnancy

The condition of cholestasis arises when the bile flow in the gall bladder is stopped or slowed down. This stoppage of the normal flow of the bile results in jaundice and itching. Jaundice will cause the skin, mucous membranes, and eyes yellow.

Cholestasis in pregnant women usually occurs in the last trimester of the pregnancy if at all.. It usually goes away within the few days after the delivery. Cholestasis has a high reccurrence with pregnancies that follow. It is also known as pruritus gravidarum or intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy.

Causes of Cholestasis During Pregnancy:

Near the lower part of the liver is the gallbladder. This organ holds bile, a substance produced by the liver. Bile, is used for the breakdown of the fats during digestion. The waste products present in the blood are converted in a form of bile called bilirubin.

There is a view that the hormones of pregnancy affect the functioning of the gallbladder which includes stopping or slowing down of the bile flow. Hence, collection of bile acids takes place in the liver which then spills into the blood stream. Similarly, when the levels of bilirubin increase it results in jaundice.

Symptoms of Cholestasis During Pregnancy:

  • Dark colored urine
  • Itching especially on the hands and the feet
  • Exhaustion or the fatigue
  • Light colored stool
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Jaundice which can be recognized by the yellowing of the eyes, skin, mucous membranes
  • Nausea

Intrahepatic Cholestasis Of Pregnancy:

Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy can be another cause for jaundice during pregnancy. This condition elevates the levels of bile acid in the blood stream which results in itching. Cholesterol, bilirubin, and triglycerides have also been found in high levels as a result.

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