Thursday, 7 February 2008

Obstetric Cholestasis may be helped with nutritional intervention

Obstetric cholestasis is an uncommon complication of pregnancy and is thought to affect 1% of all pregnant women. It is a condition which causes a build up of bile acids in the bloodstream and consequently lower levels of bile acids in the gut. The main symptom is persistent itch in the later third of pregnancy, says UrBod Nutritionist Melody Mackeown, who specialises in pre-conceptual care, fertility and pregnancy.

The main complications appear to be a lack of vitamin K, which is essential for the blood clotting mechanism to work (thereby increasing the risk of hemorrhaging) and potentially a reduction in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins (such as vitamin D). There is also some controversy over whether the risk of still births is increased as a result of this condition.

The most common medical intervention is to give a drug which promotes liver function, as well as frequent ante-natal check-ups to ensure the foetus is not in any distress.

As there are many foods which can support liver function, says UrBod Nutritionist Melody Mackeown and supplements such as digestive enzymes which can be taken to help breakdown fats in your diet, one option would be to seek nutritional advice to optimise your liver function and support digestion during your pregnancy.

To find out more about Nutritional support during or before your pregnancy, contact UrBod Nutritionist Melody Mackeown Dip.ION (mBANT), specialist in pre-conceptual care, fertility and pregnancy care in the city of London, EC2. I have also written a free e-book on how you can improve your diet during your pregnancy, which can be obtained by clicking on my link.