Cholestasis: Causes, Symptoms, Characteristics and Treatments

Definition: is a medical condition where bile is blocked and does not flow normally.

In a normal system, bile flows from the liver to the duodenum. This allows the body to be free of toxins and other things, but when the area is blocked cholestasis occurs.

A type of cholestasis occurs when the duct that removes the bile is blocked mainly. The other type is a metabolic condition and works differently than a blockage.


Cholestasis can be caused by a series of medical conditions that are pre-existing. In fact, cholestasis is rarely a primary condition.

Other diseases often cause it to occur, making it a secondary disease. The medical conditions that cause cholestasis are usually very serious and painful, such as:

  • ABCC2 gene polymorphism.
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis.
  • Intestinal Inflammatory Disease.
  • Certain medications
  • Abdominal cancer
  • Liver conditions in children.
  • The gallstones.
  • The pregnancy.

It is evident that the causes can be very serious and cause serious problems for those who develop this disease.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to treat this problem so that the individual can become healthy again.

Cholestasis of Pregnancy

The cholestasis of pregnancy is also another classification of the disease. It is independent of the other types of cholestasis and is also treated differently.

Many women experience this disease only a few months before giving birth. She heals herself after having the baby, usually within a week.

If cholestasis does not go away after pregnancy, then additional treatment is recommended to avoid any problems or serious complications.

Generally women with cholestasis of pregnancy experience itching and discomfort.

Characteristics of Cholestasis

Under a microscope this condition looks very different. The cells responsible for the metabolism of fats and proteins that enter the liver will look green and brown.

The cells resemble an unpleasant infection with a mottled appearance. If the disease is severe, the cells begin to rot.

On the outer surface, cholestasis does not look like anything. Internally the organs may be swollen and slightly abnormal.

Ultrasounds and X-rays can determine if the person has an obstruction.

The symptoms

Since cholestasis is usually caused by other medical conditions, it is particularly difficult to clearly establish the exact symptoms caused by it.

Stools with clay-like texture and white color are a common symptom. White stools are actually very rare and it usually means that something is very bad inside the body.

The urine is dark even though the patient removes a lot of fluids, it is also a symptom. Not being able to process food in the stomach and regular itching are also serious symptoms.

Pain, nausea and vomiting are common, and frequent.

The jaundice is a symptom that occurs when bile not freely discharged from the body itself.

People who have cholestasis, their stools, give off a pungent odor. In general, those who have a blockage will lose a lot of fat and nutrients through their urine and stool.

They will lack calcium, as well as vitamin D deficiencies, in the absence of these nutrients can cause other problems within the body, such as bone weakness.

If women have cholestasis during pregnancy, early treatment is needed. This will ensure that the baby is born safely.

The symptoms can get to alter daily life, and require a lot of downtime to prevent it from getting worse.

Diarrhea and stomach pain can become severe enough to limit people to normal activity.

The diagnosis

Cholestasis can occur either inside the liver or outside. Checking the symptoms and a physical examination will determine what type of cholestasis the individual has.

After the diagnosis is completed, the doctor will ask you questions related to drug use, the medications you take, and even family history.

Stool and urine tests are also good methods to determine if the patient has an obstruction. This is done by examining the proteins and nutrients that have been excreted.

If there is a high number of proteins in the stool, then the person may have a problem with cholestasis that should be treated as soon as possible to avoid damage to the body.

Other enzyme tests can be performed to determine if the patient has cholestasis, and why it may have developed it.

The enzyme test can be done in several ways by introducing several reagents with the enzymes that occur during cholestasis and several different but closely related medical conditions.

This may take some time to determine especially if there are other existing conditions that must be handled as well.

Treatment of cholestasis

The treatment for this condition is quite complicated. There are a number of methods that doctors can take to treat the disease and help the person have a normal life.

Surgery is usually the first course of action. Endoscopy is also an option, if the patient wants to avoid scars.

When undergoing treatment for cholestasis the patient should stop drinking alcohol and the medication should be left to ensure a safe recovery.

These are often toxic to the liver and very harmful in the long term.

Secondary complications, infections and other diseases can also occur with an inappropriate management of the disease.

Taking advantage of information given by doctors or medical staff can help save the patient’s life and allow them to add years to their life by treating the disease before it is too bad and possibly uncontrollable.

The prognosis

Most individuals who undergo early treatment will recover normally. Not seeking treatment early enough can cause serious metabolic problems.

It can also cause gallstones that can develop extreme jaundice. Sometimes cancer can develop.

Most people can avoid all complications by receiving treatment from the start of cholestasis and avoid the use of harmful drugs and drugs.