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Someone please hold my hand -obstetric cholestatis

(27 Posts)
ruledbyheart Thu 11-Apr-13 12:25:58

I'm 21 weeks pregnant and for the last 5 days I've been itching like mad, worse at night so I can't sleep, my legs, feet and bum are reduced to a bloody mess and I still want to find a cheese grater to try and stop the itching, rang doctors this morning but have a 2 week wait for an appointment however I spoke to a friend of mine who mentioned Obstetric Cholestatis (sp?) So I rang the midwife who rushed me in straight away for bloods.

I have to wait now until the results are back hopefully tomorrow, but I suffer anxiety so the wait is horrible, I'm hoping it's just hormones but worried if it isn't.

Has anyone else had this who could reassure me or if not just hold my hand?

Purplemonster Thu 11-Apr-13 12:29:32

I don't know if I can offer any reassurance or information but I'm in exactly the same position except I'm 28 weeks. Emergency bloods taken yesterday and I'm waiting for results (they told me that the bile results would take 10 days though). I'd offer you a hand to hold but I need it for scratching! Maybe we can just sit and scratch together while we wait, my legs are looking pretty raw too!

honey86 Thu 11-Apr-13 12:30:04

not much advice as i havent actually had it, i had symptoms with dd but my bile salts test came back normal, just a lil bit of bilirubin, dd was born healthy..

<holds hand> all the bestxx

growyourown77 Thu 11-Apr-13 12:35:38

Hi there, I can't offer any direct advice but well done for going via midwife and getting a rush on it. If it is, they'll look after you. Easy to say but try not to scratch, can you have a cool shower or go for a walk to get some cool air and distract yourself? Can you do some yoga or breathing if that would help your anxiety?

I had some itching about 19-21 weeks but it turned out not to be OC. My mw said its specifically hands/palms and feet. It went after a couple of weeks.

I'm 38+2 and have really bad swelling causing carpal tunnel in my hands, so can sympathise with an ongoing painful/irritating pregnancy symptom.

Distract yourself as much as you can and chase those results tomorrow.

ruledbyheart Thu 11-Apr-13 12:41:10

Purplemonster we can scratch and wait together.

Thanks everyone trying to distract myself and thankfully during the day its not so bad as I have 3DC to run around after but its the evenings/trying to sleep thats hell I imagine this is what chicken pox feels like.
Not fun sad

Purplemonster Thu 11-Apr-13 12:59:18

Yes I'm finding it a lot worse at night too, didn't get ANY sleep for two nights in a row and a few websites I looked at recommended opening your bedroom window to make it cooler in the room and I did get some sleep last night doing this though I'm not sure if that was due to having the window open or sheer exhaustion!

aPseudonymToFoolHim Thu 11-Apr-13 13:00:47

Hi, I sympathise, I had this condition with my first and third babies.
I hadn't heard anything about it, and thought that itching was just a part of pregnancy. It was only because I had an itching fit just as I was leaving the midwife appointment that I actually mentioned it,. Luckily she acted fast, rang hospital and got me up there immediately for bloods,. I was advised to take my hospital bag to work with me the next day as they would have the results back then, and at 10am they rang and said 'we have to get this baby out now' so off I went! They induced me and my beautiful dd was born the next day.
I don't know how many weeks I was when I started the itching, but it kept me awake a lot for a long time, I had to get out of bed to attack my thighs.

Ime They don't induce before 37weeks if they can help it, with ds once they realised my bloods were up, (I think they said that up to 10 was acceptable, I was 12.6 when they started keeping heir eye on me. by the time they induced me I was over 25 - whatever that means!)they had me going in everyday for bloods to keep their eye on my levels til they finally said he had to be born. Once born, all went back to normal, though with dd then INSISTED I stay in a few days as they said there was a chance I could start fitting, but with ds they let me out after 6hours?! I'm sorry I can't give you any boring strategies, there is NOTHING to stop the itching!
Cut your nails brutally and try maybe putting a barrier between your nails and skin, oil maybe or clothing?

Have a look online, my partner found a lot of info on it for the second time round, there might be some advice there, sorry I can't link.

Keep us up to date with how you get on, I REALLY REALLY feel for you. X
Sorry if this is nonsense, I'm on my phone and can't edit!

aPseudonymToFoolHim Thu 11-Apr-13 13:02:53

Coping strategies, not boring!

Purplemonster Thu 11-Apr-13 13:23:54

Thanks Pseudonym, wow, that does sound scary for you, thank goodness they realised!
I've read loads online and the general consensus does seem to be that there's not much anyone can do about the itching and just to try not to flay yourself alive with your fingernails (easier said than done). I never knew that 'itching' could be such a mental torment though, lots of the websites talk about it being 'very distressing' for the Mum. No kidding! And it's only day 3 of these symptoms for me...they should give it a better name though, itching just doesn't cover it. I don't know how you survived it TWICE. I've got some E45 cream just to try to stop me actually irritating the skin with all the scratching and that seems to be the best I can do to help myself by all accounts.

FidgetPie Thu 11-Apr-13 13:32:47

Try not to worry - if you have got it they will keep you well monitored. I had this with DD 3 years ago (she was induced at 37 weeks) and another friend has just had it (DD also induced a few weeks early).

There is loads of good info online (ICP support website and a Facebook group) and loads of knowledgable people.

When I was diagnosed my ALTs were 700 and bile acids over 40 - but as soon as I was on the medication the itching and my results improved and DD was perfectly healthy when she arrived. I do understand your anxiety though but do try not to worry too much (stress can make the symptoms worse I remember).

I hope all goes really well

MightBeMad Thu 11-Apr-13 13:37:07

If it is oc ask your consultant about urso to reduce your bile salts and piraton for the itch. also, please don't panic, even if it is oc, unpleasant as it is for you, your baby will 99.9% certainly be fine, (I) because you will get treatment and (ii) because they're not even sure that oc poses any risk to the baby anyway, they treat/induce early to be on the safe side, not because it's a medical certainty that anything would happen if they didn't.

NancyBlacket Thu 11-Apr-13 13:38:28

I had OC with my first Baby and scratched myself raw, sheets covered in blood and I looked a mess! The itching is horrendous you have my sympathy. Being cool/cold helped. I used to take freezer blocks to bed with me. Suggestions of bathing in oatmeal baths and aveeno cream had no affect and I just found irritating as hell.
I had blood tests every week, and was booked in for a cs at 37 weeks ( in the end had DS earlier). I was also given vitamin k tablets and told it was important that my DS had the vit k jab when he was born. I think it's fairly standard now. My son was a bit jaundiced and the itching stopped about 2 weeks after he was born.
It's horrid I really hope you don't have OC but if you do I'm afraid you just have to bear it there doesn't seem to be any cure just monitoring and probably an early delivery. I think there is a good website with info for people with OC I'll see if I can find it for you.

5madthings Thu 11-Apr-13 13:39:18

I was itchy like this and had my bloods tested and it was not OC.

I have a friend who has had OC twice, she was monitered carefully and has two very healthy children smile

EwanHoozami Thu 11-Apr-13 13:45:02

I had itching like this that turned out not to be OC either. The consultant suggested that it was because I was allergic to the hormones that my boy baby was giving out, the GP suspected something called PUPPP. Either way, it was hellish and I scratched myself raw. I threw so many remedies at it that I have no idea which one actually worked, or if it just went away by itself, but it stopped at around 24 weeks.

Have a hand to hold while you wait!

QueenOfCats Thu 11-Apr-13 13:45:12

My sil had OC last year. One of her levels was over 700 (can't remember which though.

She mentioned the itch to her mw who sent her straight to hospital for a blood test. She was 35 weeks. The hospital kept her in, gave her a medication to reduce the levels and portion for the itch.

Her ds was born at 36 weeks with no ill effects at all and they both came home 2 days later.

Please try not to worry - as somebody above mentioned - there's very little chance of it affecting your baby aside from him/her being born a little early.

Good luck and let us know how you get on thanks

ruledbyheart Thu 11-Apr-13 14:20:03

Thanks everyone its nice to know I'm not alone (although I don't mean that in a nasty way wouldn't wish this itching on anyone) been told to make a doctors appointment tomorrow and have a letter from midwife stating I need the appointment so I can get some things on prescription and hopefully that will help just need to wait it out until then, although the advice from them is to bath in this stuff for 20mins twice a day, with 3DC under 5 that seems as likely as hell freezing over.

BlingLoving Thu 11-Apr-13 15:15:22

Hi OP. I had OC but was only diagnosed late because the initial test came up clear (apparently that's not uncommon so I have no idea why they didn't retest me when I kept complaining about the itching).

I agree with all the posters saying being cool helps. On that note, your doctor may prescribe a menthol version of E45. Personally, I found it did not help at all. However, what did help was aloe vera gel - it cools things down which I think was the main reason it helped. I would use that, then after it dried, because it gets sticky, I'd then rub regular Nivea onto my skin. Repeat endlessly.

I hated the anti histamines but they do also help you to sleep so i did take them when necessary. Originally, I was told I could only take them once weekly and DH and I would count down the days until I'd be allowed another one.

Being in the bath helped too. But don't add things unless given to you by the doctor as it can make the itching worse.

LadyGranulomaFortesque Thu 11-Apr-13 18:40:30

I scratched myself to bits in my second trimester of my first pregnancy. I had the blood tests but they came back clear. Some people just itch like crazy during parts of pregnancy. It eventually went away but in the meantime, I used a urea cream from the cheap chemist shop and it was amazing. Any anti-itch cream with urea in it should do the trick, although my dr later prescribed me Eurvax, I found the 99p stuff better.

Hope your tests come back clear x

Purplemonster Fri 12-Apr-13 14:21:30

Have you heard about your results yet ruled? They're still waiting for some of mine back but a couple of my liver function tests came back high so they're pretty confident that there is something wrong and so have given me ursodeoxycholic tablets to deal with the itching, vitamin K and a ginormous tub of aqueus menthol cream to soothe my skin and more blood tests in two weeks so hopefully I'm well on the way to feeling a bit better soon. Hope you're doing ok.

StiffyByng Fri 12-Apr-13 14:52:08

Sorry to gatecrash but I'm 36 weeks and for the last few days have been pretty itchy, mostly my legs and tummy. It's mostly in the evening and at night but I don't know if that's the lack of distraction. I have no itching on palms or soles, except when I think about and then they both start itching(!), and the itching isn't remotely unbearable. Am I right in thinking that this is unlikely to be OC?

MightBeMad Fri 12-Apr-13 15:32:28

Stiffy, it could by any number of things, most probably harmless, but it's always work getting checked out just to be on the safe side.

StiffyByng Fri 12-Apr-13 15:48:07

Thanks. It's just struck me, looking at the other itching thread, that I shaved my legs on Monday, and this has been happening since then. I last shaved them in December!

ruledbyheart Fri 12-Apr-13 16:03:49

Stiffy always worth getting it checked probably an idea just to give your midwife a quick call and see what they say.

Nope no results yet, have an appointment
At 4 40 with my GP (mentioning midwife helped a lot) to see if my results are back and to get a prescription of anti itching stuff.
Fingers crossed.

ruledbyheart Fri 12-Apr-13 16:04:07

Stiffy always worth getting it checked probably an idea just to give your midwife a quick call and see what they say.

Nope no results yet, have an appointment
At 4 40 with my GP (mentioning midwife helped a lot) to see if my results are back and to get a prescription of anti itching stuff.
Fingers crossed.

ruledbyheart Fri 12-Apr-13 17:24:13

Well apparently I'm fine snotty bitch doctor says its a normal thing in pregnancy, soon changed her attitude when I said its my 4th and this is a first, still glad its not serious but wanting to take a cheese grater to my body is not normal.
Been armed with lots of anti itching stuff though so fingers crossed I'll feel better soon.

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