Remarkable change in hormones takes place during pregnancy which may influence the liver. Liver problems during pregnancy commonly arise due to abnormal flow of bile and viral infections. Any liver problems during pregnancy should be treated properly and immediately. Some common liver problems during pregnancy are discussed below.
Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP) – One of the common liver problems seen during pregnancy is ICP. When there is abnormal flow of bile and build-up of bile acids in pregnant women, it leads to ICP.
Its symptoms include severe itching which is accompanied by skin rashes. Other symptoms of ICP are jaundice, fatigue, anxiety, bloody stools and dark colored urine. It may also increase the risk of meconium in the babies during labor. In severe cases, ICP can also lead to the baby’s death. If you observe the symptoms of ICP, you must get it treated.
Hepatitis – Three strains of virus viz. Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C cause severe liver disease called Hepatitis. The most serious form among these three is Hepatitis B.
The symptoms of Hepatitis include jaundice, abdominal discomfort, fatigue, and lack of appetite. Hepatitis during pregnancy may even pass on to the baby in the uterus. If left untreated Hepatitis may result in liver failure, liver disease, and liver cancer.
Acute Fatty Liver – Acute fatty liver is a rare condition seen during pregnancy. This condition is characterized by a build up of fat in the liver cells of a pregnant woman which results in liver as well as kidney failure.
Pregnant women suffering from severe jaundice are at high risk of developing fatty liver. Vomiting, abdominal pain, nausea, jaundice, and acute headache are the common symptoms of acute fatty liver.
HELLP Syndrome – It is regarded as a form of pre-eclampsia and is one of the serious problems of pregnancy. In this condition, the platelet count becomes very low and the levels of liver enzymes get elevated. HELLP syndrome usually occurs during the third trimester. It can also occur after the delivery. It can lead to kidney failure, liver damage, and stroke.
Pre-eclampsia – It generally occurs during the third trimester. Extreme swelling occurs in the liver due to an increase in the levels of liver enzymes. An increased blood pressure is its main symptom. If pre-eclampsia is not treated timely, it can result in strokes, liver damage and even death of mother or the baby.