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What is Cholestatic Liver Disease

What is Cholestatic Liver Disease

April 23, 2020

Cholestatic liver disease happens when the bile flow from the liver is blocked or reduced, due to some defect or an interference with normal bile secretion. Knowing about the disease, is the the key to manage it, and to stop it from spreading, which helps in keeping your liver healthier for longer.

Types of cholestatic liver disease

There are two types of cholestatic liver disease

  • Intrahepatic Cholestasis – caused due to infection, genetic factors, hormonal imbalances, disease or drug use
  • Extrahepatic Cholestasis – occurs due to tumours, gall stones, cysts which may restrict bile flow

Other types of Cholestasis Liver diseases, which may affect people of all age groups are PBD, PSC etc. Timely diagnosis and treatment helps in the long run.

What are the symptoms of Cholestatic Liver Disease

Symptoms are common for both intra-hepatic cholestasis and extra-hepatic cholestasis

  • Itching
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Jaundice
  • Fatigue
  • Dark coloured urine
  • Nausea
  • Light or whitish stool

What are the causes of Cholestatic Liver Disease

Factors that may cause a restricted bile flow can be present either inside the liver or outside it.

  • Medications – Anabolic steroids, antifungal drugs, amoxicillin, oral contraceptives and anti epileptic drugs make it difficult for the liver, to metabolize and digest the medicine. It is important to inform your doctor about your past and current medications
  • Diseases – People with Hepatitis, HIV, jaundice, auto immune diseases, bacterial infections, genetic disorders, cancer and other medical conditions are prone to developing cholestatic liver disease
  • Pregnancy – Pregnancy may make the mother prone to cholestatic liver disease. Recent studies have revealed that 1-2% of pregnant women go through this condition. A doctor should be consulted immediately if itching and lower abdomen issues are experienced

Diagnosis and Treatment of Cholestatic Liver Disease

Cholestatic liver disease can happen across all age groups. Diagnosis includes

  • Body check-ups
  • Blood tests
  • MRI
  • Ultrasound
  • Liver biopsy

Depending on the condition of the patient and the severity of the disease, doctor decides on the best possible treatment, which may include

  • medications
  • surgical removal of tumours and gall bladder stones If diagnosed in the earlier stages, Vitamin K may help improve the condition but in severe cases a surgery or liver transplant may be advised. How to prevent Cholestatic Liver Disease
  • If you are an alcoholic, it is advisable to quit alcohol
  • Consider getting vaccinated for Hepatitis
  • Avoid recreational intra-venous medications

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