Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) in Utah
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What is PBC (primary biliary cholangitis)?
Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), referred to in the past as primary biliary cirrhosis, is an infrequently seen chronic liver condition. PBC is an ongoing immune system disorder that steadily harms the bile ducts (known as the intrahepatic bile ducts) in your liver. Bile assists in digestion and flushes out fat, waste, and damaged red blood cells. This issue might also cause serious problems within the liver. If the bile ducts are impaired or dysfunctional, this allows bile to accumulate in your liver and lead to scarring. When the liver incurs too much damage, it could cause liver cirrhosis.
If you would like to hear more info about this disorder or to receive treatment for primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) in Utah, we invite you to arrange a consultation at our practice. Our Utah Gastroenterology specialists are here to provide customized treatments for patients within the community.
What is the cause of primary biliary cholangitis?
Primary biliary cholangitis is classified as an autoimmune disease — in other words, it is a disorder that occurs as a result of the immune system mistakenly attacking your body's healthy tissues and cells. Liver inflammation occurs when white blood cells, known as T cells (T lymphocytes), begin to collect and harm healthy cells within the liver. Inflammation in the bile ducts spreads to other portions of the liver, destroying those cells and producing scarring. Once the liver scarring increases, it starts to function incorrectly, causing liver cirrhosis. It is unclear what makes these white blood cells hurt normal cells, but it appears to be inherited.
Factors of increased risk
A number of the risk factors connected with having PBC are:
- Family line (people are at a higher risk of this condition if a relative has experienced it)
- Certain infections
- Region or country (PBC is most common in northern Europe and North America)
- Age 30 to 60 years
- Being a woman
- Smoking and similar toxins
To get additional details about PBC and the way it impacts a person's body, contact a gastroenterologist at Utah Gastroenterology today.
What are the symptoms of PBC?
Primary biliary cholangitis symptoms can often take anywhere from five to 20 years to manifest. The diagnosis of PBC often occurs while looking for other disorders. The beginning signs of PBC include tiredness, dry eyes and mouth, and itchy skin.
Other standard symptoms of PBC include:
- Diarrhea and greasy bowel movements
- Pain just below the ribcage
- Dark skin (that is not a result of UV exposure)
- High cholesterol
- Musculoskeletal pain
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
- Painful joints
- Swelling of the feet and ankles
- Fragile bones
It is essential to find primary biliary cholangitis as soon as feasible. If you believe you might be in danger of experiencing PBC due to family history, or any one or more of the above symptoms, our Utah gastrointestinal physicians are equipped to provide a solution.
What are the therapies for PBC?
There is no known cure for PBC at this time. Primary biliary cholangitis treatment works by slowing the advancement of the condition and addressing the symptoms. A number of the standard therapy choices involve:
- Liver transplant surgery
- Ursodeoxycholic acid (works to flush bile through your liver)
- Fibrates (lower liver inflammation and itching)
- Obeticholic acid (improves liver function)
- Staying active
The normal expected lifespan for someone with PBC once they start showing signs is ten years if they do not get a healthy liver from a donor. While there is no remedy, you can receive the therapy necessary to gain improved well-being. Our digestive doctors are here to show you the treatment choices accessible to you.
Find care for primary biliary cholangitis
If you or a member of your family are showing signs pointing to primary biliary cholangitis, personalized assistance may be closer than you think. The gastrointestinal specialists at Utah Gastroenterology are pleased to render therapy choices to allow you to manage this liver disease and realize improved health and quality of life. If you want to consult with a doctor who offers care for primary biliary cholangitis in Utah, don't wait to reach out to us now.
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