Cholestasis | Symptoms, Types, Diagnosis & Treatment

Cholestasis is a less commonly heard term, but it can be the root cause of various health issues. It’s a medical condition that affects bile flow from the liver, leading to a buildup of bile acids in the bloodstream. Cholestasis can occur during pregnancy, with medication intake, due to liver disease, or in neonates due to congenital problems. This condition can be harmful to both the mother and fetus during pregnancy. If left untreated, it can lead to significant complications, including liver failure or even death.

People diagnosed with cholestasis must undergo surgery and maintain a healthy lifestyle, changing their diet afterward to manage this condition effectively.

In this article, we will discuss everything patients need to know about cholestasis, including its symptoms, various types, diagnostic methods, and available medical treatments. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cholestasis, rest assured that this condition is manageable with proper medical treatment and a healthy lifestyle. We’ll provide you with valuable information on the various treatment options and how to ensure that your condition is well-managed.

What is cholestasis?

Cholestasis is a medical condition in which bile flow from the liver to the small intestine is blocked or reduced. Various factors, including liver damage, certain medications, or certain genetic conditions, can cause this. It is defined as a condition in which the flow of bile is reduced or blocked, and there is an imbalance in bile components. This can cause various symptoms, including jaundice, abdominal pain, itching, dark urine, and pale stools.

Cholestasis can be either acute or chronic. Acute cholestasis is a short-term condition that can sometimes be very severe. Chronic cholestasis is caused by long-term damage to the liver, such as cirrhosis, and it often requires ongoing medical care.

Cholestasis can have serious consequences, such as liver failure, so it is essential to be aware of the symptoms and to seek medical attention if they occur. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent complications and improve a patient’s quality of life.

Signs and symptoms of cholestasis

1) Jaundice

Jaundice is the yellowish coloration of the skin and whites of the eyes caused by elevated levels of bilirubin in the blood. This is typically caused by cholestasis when the biliary system is blocked and the bilirubin cannot be excreted properly. It usually starts to be noticeable in the white portion of the eyes when you reach 2 mg/dL of conjugated bilirubin levels, but symptoms may become more visible with higher levels.

This happens because the biliary system is blocked, impairing bilirubin excretion. This causes the bilirubin to build up in the blood, leading to the characteristic yellowish discoloration.