Effects of cholestatis on the fetus

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Cholestatis is a liver and pregnancy disorder characterized with itching particularly in the third trimester of pregnancy as a result of increased levels of hormones which interfere with the normal flow of bile in the gallbladder.

Causes

The main cause of cholestatis is the rise in the levels of hormones during pregnancy which seriously disrupt the function of gallbladder by either reducing or ceasing the flow of bile. The inability of the gallbladder to hold bile that is secreted in the liver and required in the processing of fats during digestion leads to the build-up of bile acids in the liver which can spill into the bloodstream and ultimately resulted in severe itching.

 

 

Symptoms
Tiredness and exhaustion
Severe hands and feet itching
Dark urine color
Light color stools
Loss of appetite
Jaundice
Chest pain
Nausea

 

Diagnosis
There is need for the doctor to physically examine the patient before ordering for blood tests such as liver function tests, bilirubin and bile acid test.

 

 

Effects of cholestatis on the fetus

A pregnant woman diagnosed with cholestasis may result in severe complications and risks for the pregnant woman and the fetus. It is important to note that the fetus relies on the mother’s liver to get rid of acidic bile. Cholestasis in pregnant woman stresses the liver of the fetus. Some of the possible risks include fetal distress, preterm delivery and or stillbirth.

Women with cholestasis should be monitored closely and serious consideration should be given to inducing labor once the baby’s lungs have reached maturity.

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Treatment

The purpose of the treatments is to ease itching and some of the treatment options include:

Take a cold baths because ice water reduces blood flow in the body by bringing down temperature.

Using medications such as anti-itching drugs and drugs which reduce the build-up of bile acids in the liver may be effective in treating the condition.

Using a steroid that increases the development of the baby’s lungs is another treatment option.

Vitamin K supplements may be given to the mother before delivery and after birth to prevent intracranial hemorrhaging.

There is need to closely monitors the fetal heart regularly.

There is also the need to regularly have liver function tests and the bile serum level tests.



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