Friday - - The Leisure Charts -

What is it? A liver dis­or­der in preg­nancy where bile salts leak into your blood in­stead of flow­ing nor­mally from the liver to your gut to help you di­gest food. It can cause itch­ing, rashes, jaun­dice and sick­ness. It also in­creases the risk of pre­ma­ture and still­born births. Who gets it? One in 100 preg­nant women. It is most com­mon in women of In­dian, Pak­istani and South Amer­i­can ori­gin where it’s es­ti­mated to be as high as 1 in 20. Cause: OC seems to run in fam­i­lies and it’s thought women may in­herit a prob­lem in their bile duct. But it can oc­cur with no fam­ily his­tory and some ex­perts link it to hor­monal changes in preg­nancy. Treat­ment: Keep­ing cool, wear­ing loose clothes and us­ing creams like calamine lo­tion can help. Some peo­ple need an­ti­his­tamines to help itch­ing and ur­sodeoxy­cholic acid to bring down bile lev­els, but th­ese should only be taken on doc­tor’s ad­vice. There’s no cure but it goes af­ter preg­nancy. For more info: Log on to www.pa­tient.co.uk/health/ob­stet­ric-cholesta­sis.

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