What Is Cholestasis of Pregnancy and How to Deal With It?
Some of the pregnant women experience some peculiar symptoms in late pregnancy, particularly in the last trimester, including itching of the skin and darkening of the urine color. These symptoms are indicative of the “cholestasis of pregnancy”.
According to the obstetricians in India, cholestasis is one of the rather less common conditions associated with pregnancy and if caught early on in pregnancy, it is completely treatable.
What Is Cholestasis Of Pregnancy?
Also known as intrahepatic cholestasis or obstetric cholestasis, cholestasis is a liver condition that often develops late in pregnancy as a result of obstruction of the drainage of bile from the gallbladder which is the structure that stores the bile, thereby causing retention of the bile.
Bile is the fluid that helps in the breakdown of fats in food. Since the drainage of the bile is blocked, bile accumulates within the liver and ultimately, it spills into the blood stream. The components of bile accumulate in the skin and cause intense itching. Since bile components are responsible for giving the stools their dark color, absence of bile from stools causes them to become pale.
According to the gynecologists in India, cholestasis develops as a result of the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy including increase in the estrogens level. Estrogen decreases the muscular contractions that are responsible for drainage of bile. Besides, some women have a genetic predisposition for the cholestasis of pregnancy.
The risk of developing cholestasis of pregnancy is also increased in women suffering from diabetes during pregnancy. Pregnant women are also at risk of gall stones which can obstruct the bile draining passages, leading to cholestasis.
Signs and Symptoms of Cholestasis
You can ask one of the best gynecologists in India about the signs and symptoms of cholestasis which include
· Itching of the skin of hands and feet
· Dark colored urine
· Pale stools
· Fatigue and weakness
· Loss of appetite
In rare conditions, some of the women may also develop
· Jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes)
· Pain in right upper abdomen
· Nausea and vomiting
How to Deal With Cholestasis of Pregnancy?
Obstetricians in India have flagged cholestasis as one of the pregnancy conditions that demand immediate attention. Since the symptoms of cholestasis appear late in pregnancy and visiting the clinic is hard for you, you can ask an obstetrician about the symptoms that you are experiencing by downloading your obstetrician’s personalized mobile app.
You can easily book an online consultation session with one of the obstetricians in India to discuss your situation via these apps. The obstetrician will subsequently ask you to book an appointment at the clinic to start the medical treatment immediately. The obstetrics and gynecology care providers will look into your family and personal history to find the cause of cholestasis.
If your symptoms are picked early and your condition is still in relatively earlier stages, it can be treated at home. You can ask an obstetrician about the home treatment options for cholestasis which include
· Soaking in lukewarm water bath
· Application of cold compresses to itchy areas
· Application of calamine lotion on the itchy areas of the skin
· Wearing light fabrics to prevent irritation of the skin
Some of the obstetricians in India recommend herbal supplements like milk thistle and dandelion root but their efficacy is limited. You should always talk to your obstetrician before taking any of these supplements. The obstetricians in India warn against the use of anti-histaminic and steroid based anti-itch creams at home as they can be harmful.
According to the obstetricians in India, cholestasis management mostly includes treatment with medicines but the good news is that the symptoms resolve after the baby is born. If you experience cholestasis during one pregnancy, chances are that you will develop it again in subsequent pregnancies.