High bilirubin in pregnancy: causes, symptoms, and treatment
Elevated bilirubin is a more common disorder that is thought in pregnancy. But what are the causes, what symptoms are produced and how is it treated? Discover it
There is no doubt that pregnancy becomes a very special stage in the life of a woman. But it also becomes one of the most delicate, which in turn can lead to many fears and concerns.
During this period it is very important that future mothers have an exclusive care with their health since there are various discomforts and diseases that can affect the development of the baby or itself.
The rise of bilirubin is one of the conditions that could possibly afflict pregnant women. If you wonder what is the bilirubin, how it affects and other details on this subject, here we will explain what are its symptoms, causes and treatment to combat it, among other things.
To start, you may wonder what is bilirubin ?. Basically, as we have already mentioned in the article dedicated to the bilirubin test, it consists of a pigment that occurs naturally in our body due to the decomposition of hemoglobin. This has different functions in the body such as reducing fat or being a cellular antioxidant.
However, when bilirubin levels in the blood are high it is time to worry. This condition is not exclusive of pregnancy nor occurs regularly in all cases of pregnant women, but is more likely to increase during this period than in a woman in the normal state since the body is undergoing changes.
Causes: Why does bilirubin rise in pregnancy?
There are different reasons why a woman may suffer from high bilirubin in pregnancy.
Diseases of the liver or bile ducts: In the event that the future mother has a liver pathology or an obstruction in the bile duct there may be jaundice -which is not related to pregnancy-, the causes may be diseases such as cirrhosis, hepatitis or cholelithiasis.
Infectious diseases and other pathologies: Also infectious diseases, bites of insects or snakes, anemia of a certain nature or Crigler-Najjar syndrome may be responsible for the increase of bilirubin in the blood.
Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia: Eclampsia and pre-eclampsia, as well as the increase in the levels of estrogen in the blood that pregnant women suffer naturally, can be the cause of this contrariety.
Cholestasis: Cholestasis – a condition that affects women in pregnancy in the final stage of pregnancy – may also be a possible cause.
Other disorders and habits: Anemia and the intake of certain medications can also be factors that affect bilirubin.
Symptoms caused by elevated bilirubin in pregnancy
Among the symptoms that occur when bilirubin is at high levels we can mention, first of all, jaundice that is shown with the yellowish tone of the skin and eyes.
Basically, these symptoms can warn about the existence of a problem in the pancreas, liver or gallbladder, so to determine if the signs that have appeared are due to the existence of a high bilirubin, it is necessary to perform a fasting blood test.
How is the elevation of bilirubin treated in pregnancy?
Luckily, this condition can be treated. The treatment will depend on the cause for which it is given. Pregnant women with this problem should be put under the microscope of a gastroenterologist or hepatologist in case it is associated with gastrointestinal diseases, or with an internist, if it is due to other causes.
The treatments can consist, in general, of special diets to normalize the level of bilirubin, as well as the performance of exercises, sports, and walks.
Although it is a pattern of pregnancy the interruption of the intake of alcoholic beverages and tobacco, with this condition becomes a totally mandatory requirement to stop the increase in bilirubin.
Rest and good hours of sleep are also part of the treatment. It is essential to follow the doctor’s instructions to the letter and avoid self-medication at all costs.
After the birth of the baby, the bilirubin levels decrease naturally quickly, however it is important to give importance to this disease to know the reason of the problem and thus prevent any damage to the newborn.
Therefore, because this condition can become a serious danger to the health of a mother and her baby it is important to keep informed of the causes, symptoms, and treatment of this disease, and in case there is an increase in Bilirubin during pregnancy is conducive to assist a specialist and start the indicated method to normalize or cure the discomfort.