Cholestasis is any condition in which the flow of bile from the liver is slowed or blocked. The symptoms are:
• Clay-colored or white stools
• Dark urine
• Inability to digest certain foods
• Nausea or vomiting
• Pain in the right upper part of the abdomen
• Yellow skin or eyes
HOW IS CHOLESTASIS DIAGNOSED?
The health care practitioner may suggest a few imaging tests to diagnose this condition. Tests include:
• Blood tests
• CT scan of the abdomen
• MRI of the abdomen
• Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) (can also determine cause)
• Ultrasound of the abdomen
HOW IS CHOLESTASIS TREATED?
The aim of treating the condition is to reduce the itching and to prevent pregnancy complications. A prescription drug, ursodiol, is usually prescribed to reduce the amount of bile in the expectant mother’s blood. Anti-itching lotions are not advisable as they may pose threat to the unborn baby. To avoid any complications, an early delivery is most often advised.
DID YOU KNOW?
Cholestasis during pregnancy occurs in late pregnancy and triggers intense itching, usually on the hands and feet and need medical attention.