Cholestasis is a condition that affects the liver and, during pregnancy, causes bile acids to build up, crossing the placenta. Cholestasis can be extremely dangerous for both mother and baby. This can increase the chances of stillbirth by 15 percent. Women who have a family history of cholestasis are most likely to be diagnosed themselves. Once diagnosed with cholestasis during pregnancy, a woman has a 60 to 80 percent chance of being diagnosed with cholestasis in subsequent pregnancies.
A low-fat diet can help the liver combat cholestasis by making vitamins and minerals easier for the intestine to absorb from the diet. Bile usually regulates the absorption of vitamins and minerals from diet, but if intestine is not working properly, the bile cannot regulate the amounts being absorbed. Drinking more water, eight to 12 glasses, can also be helpful to the liver and help to flush toxins from your system. Fresh lemon juice squeezed into warm water can be consumed, as well. The acids in the lemon juice will help neutralize bile acids.
Organic fruits and vegetables with deep pigments like beets, carrots, red cabbage, cauliflower, pumpkin and potatoes are recommended because of their lack of pesticides and wealth in vitamins and minerals. High protein foods like beans, nuts, eggs and fish will also be beneficial. Foods that contain omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are crucial in combating any illness. Foods that contain omega-6 fatty acids include leafy greens, soy beans, nuts and fish. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, oysters and sardines, as well as cod liver and linseed oils. Rye, wheat, rice, barley, corn and oats are grains that are essential to a low-fat diet. Oils and spreads can be added to foods to add some flavor. Virgin olive oil, canola oil and sunflower oil are acceptable for this type of diet. Hummus, honey spread and natural fruit jams are options for healthy spread alternatives. This diet is designed to help the liver decrease its production of bile, according to ItchyMoms.com.
A liquid or water soluble prenatal vitamin should be taken on a daily basis. If the single dose makes you sick to your stomach, try taking at bed time or taking 1/2 dose, twice daily. Vitamin K is an essential vitamin for those suffering with cholestasis during pregnancy. Supplements can be taken which helps the blood to clot. This should be discussed with your doctor.
Some common herbal remedies used in the treatment of cholestasis during pregnancy are milk thistle and dandelion root supplements. These can help to lower the levels of bile acids.
Symptoms of cholestasis include itching, fatigue, insomnia and jaundice. Medications, like ursodeoxycholic acid and steroids, can be prescribed to manage the bile acids and decrease itching.