Acute Fatty Liver in Pregnancy

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Pregnancy is an experience to remember by all caring mothers, it comes with all form of scenes, from morning sickness to delivery cramps, sound health in a moment to worsening condition in the next moment. One of the rarely health condition during pregnancy is the acute fatty liver. It is a condition in pregnancy when there is excessive fat in the liver cells with attendant negative effects on the liver and by extension the fetus and the mother.


Causes and Risk factors
The primary cause of this condition is yet to be uncovered by medical practitioners and researchers; this has prompted the submission that it could be hereditary problem on how the liver processed the fats. The risks of developing acute fatty liver in pregnancy are high in multiple pregnancies, first time pregnancy, and male child gestation to name a few.


It mostly appears in the third trimester of pregnancy. Some of the most common symptoms are abdominal pain especially in upper right side, malaise, jaundice, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, headache. If there are any of the symptoms, it is advisable to seek medical attention as some of these symptoms may also indicate other pregnancies related conditions that require adequate medical attention.


Detailed physical examination will primarily be done by the doctor; this will be complimented with an ultrasound scan and sometimes CT scan. However, the best way to diagnose acute fatty liver is by a liver biopsy which involves taking a sample of liver tissue for evaluation under a microscope but cannot be done during pregnancy.

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It is important to urgently deliver the baby as soon as possible with a view to reduce the risks to the baby and the mother once the AFLP is diagnosed. This may require provision of intensive care for both the mother and the baby several days after delivery.


Sickness may arise for both mother and the baby if the condition is left untreated. Also, there may be severe bleeding liver and kidney failures as well development of severe infections as other associated complications arising as a result of acute fatty liver in pregnancy. It is important to note that all these complications may lead to loss of life.


With its rare occurrence and attendant serious condition, it is a preventable pregnancy condition. Here are some useful preventive strategies: Consume more fruits and eat vegetables Ensure you take proteins and carbohydrates foods Reduce salt intake Eat less fatty foods with high sugar content Exercise regularly Manage the levels of cholesterol and blood sugar

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