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What To Eat & Avoid When You Have Cholestasis Of Pregnancy?

When you are pregnant, it is normal to experience a few (or a lot) of new and odd symptoms. But if you feel an extreme, intense itch on your hands and feet, be sure to see your doctor. Cholestasis — an uncommon yet acute liver ailment — should be the cause.

Cholestasis of pregnancy is typically a liver disorder that can develop during the gestation period. The main symptom of this common condition is severe itching. Cholestasis of pregnancy often disappears without any later complication after the birth of the baby.

What To Eat When You Have Cholestasis Of Pregnancy?

What To Eat When You Have Cholestasis Of Pregnancy?

Some studies have related nutritional deficiency in relation to this condition. Lecithin is a generic term to designate any group of yellow-brownish fatty substances that is essential in the cells of the body. It can be found in many foods, including soybeans and egg yolks.

According to a study available in Life Sciences, the utilization of lecithin may inhibit the advancement of cholestasis. Some studies have linked nutrient deficiencies with cholestasis of pregnancy. The connection depends on regional factors, genetics, and diet, but it is still a good idea to make sure you are getting adequate nutrition.

To reduce the risk of cholestasis and other problems during pregnancy, it is important to follow a healthful, balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.1

Antioxidants: Antioxidants are man-made or natural substances that may help prevent birth defects tied to alcohol by neutralizing the damaging effects of free radicals, natural by-products of cell metabolism. Diets rich in minerals and nutrients (veggies, lean meats and fruits), which are good sources of antioxidants, have been found to be healthy.

Vitamins- Multivitamins are the most commonly used supplements in the world. It is important to get enough vitamins and minerals in your diet, but you are not supposed to have too much of a good thing. In addition to general vitamins such as vitamin B, Vitamin C & E (glutathione) which are found to generate profound results for cholestasis of pregnancy research shows that vitamin K is the most essential component for this condition.

Pregnant women with this disorder have an increased risk of vitamin K deficiency which often results in a higher risk of maternal hemorrhage and abnormal clotting shown in PT (prothrombin time). In fact, some researches recommend vitamin K to all Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy patients.

Include Organic Food To Your Diet- There is proven evidence that organic foods may have higher nutritional value than conventional food. Accredited organic implies foods have no banned insecticides or artificial composts. Therefore, include these foods in plenty.2, 3

What To Avoid When You Have Cholestasis Of Pregnancy?

There are certain foods that should be kept at bay when you are affected by this condition. This includes

Sugar And Highly Refined Foods – An association between glucose intolerance and dyslipidemia in cholestasis pregnancy has been identified with the latest retrograde report describing an increased occurrence of pregnancy diabetes mellitus (GDM) after the onset of cholestasis. Instead of refined starchy (white) food go for wholegrain or higher fiber options.

Soy Products- Although it is safe to eat soy products during pregnancy as long as they are part of the balanced diet when it becomes problematic it is advisable to avoid such foods due to the following reasons

  • Most of the soy products are genetically modified
  • Study show soy has increased level of pesticide residue

Processed Meat- They are generally considered unhealthy. Processed meat such as bacon and hotdogs that are dangerously high in salt, nitrate, and unhealthy fats put you at a higher risk of developing itching sensation and hence considered as a food to be avoided.4,5


  1. What is cholestasis of pregnancy? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/173503.php
  2. Cholestasis Pregnancy Diet https://www.hellomotherhood.com/article/519413-cholestasis-pregnancy-diet/
  3. Cholestasis of Pregnancy: Why You Can’t Ditch the Itch https://www.mamanatural.com/cholestasis-of-pregnancy/
  4. What To Eat When You Have cholestasis of pregnancy? https://www.cedars-sinai.org/health-library/diseases-and-conditions/c/cholestasis-of-pregnancy.html
  5. Management plan for cholestasis of pregnancy https://icpcare.org/what-is-icp/treatment/

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 15, 2021

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