Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) in Utah
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What is PSC (primary sclerosing cholangitis)?
Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a liver condition similar to PBC (primary biliary cholangitis). However, unlike PBC, primary sclerosing cholangitis agitates the bile ducts located both within and outside of the liver. It causes the bile ducts to become irritated, damaged, and more narrow in diameter, which may ultimately result in liver cirrhosis.
Bile is important to normal bodily function. It helps with digestion and helps your body get rid of worn-out blood cells, toxins, and bad cholesterol. That is why it is essential that you find help for PSC as early as possible. Utah Gastroenterology offers individualized services for primary sclerosing cholangitis. To discover more about the disease or to get help for PSC in Utah, please request a consultation with one of our gastroenterologists today.
What causes PSC?
While the root cause of PSC remains unidentified, studies suggest that the condition may be linked to an immune system reaction to a perceived toxin or some other threat. PSC can be hereditary, which indicates that if a member of your family has or had the liver disease, you are more likely to have it as well. Risk factors associated with PSC involve:
- Age (PSC is most commonly found in patients between 30 – 50 years old)
- Heritage (those with Northern European heritage are at an increased risk of having PSC)
- Being male
- Having IBD
The specialists at Utah Gastroenterology can provide additional information involving the possible reasons behind PSC and help you understand your chance of having this chronic disease.
What are common symptoms of PSC?
PSC is frequently spotted and diagnosed during routine testing for other health conditions, often before any symptoms have even manifested. Treatment of PSC is more successful when the condition is diagnosed in the early stages. The early symptoms of PSC may include itching and tiredness. Additional general signs and symptoms of PSC include:
- Muscle tenderness
- Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin)
- Dry mouth
- Joint pain
- Dry eyes
- Swollen feet and ankles
- High levels of cholesterol
- Unwanted weight loss
- Dark-colored and oily stools
- Dark skin not related to sun exposure
- Pain in the upper right side of the abdomen
- Significant sweating during sleep
- Frail bones
You should request a visit with a Utah Gastroenterology specialist if you notice extreme itching on a good portion of your body or if you feel exhausted more than normal. It is particularly critical to mention these symptoms to your physician if you have been diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.
How is PSC treated?
The healthcare community is still working to develop a remedy for primary sclerosing cholangitis. Many of the treatment strategies involve treating the biliary strictures (narrowed bile ducts) along with the symptoms and complications resulting from the disease. Our Utah gastroenterology providers may advise having one or more of the options listed here to treat PSC:
- Nutrition support
- Remain at a healthy weight
- Liver transplant surgery
- Antibiotics to treat infections
- Surgical procedure to temporarily open bile duct obstructions
- Balloon dilation to widen constricted bile ducts
- Topical creams to manage itching
- Stents to address narrowed or blocked bile ducts
- Avoid alcohol consumption
Expert care for chronic liver disease
PSC is a chronic disease that can have an adverse impact on your health and daily life in a number of ways; without the proper care, it may even result in serious health issues. Our GI team at Utah Gastroenterology is ready to offer the individualized services required to help improve your quality of life. To connect with a provider who offers treatment for primary sclerosing cholangitis in Utah, contact one of our practice locations near you.
Excellent experience with Dr Trowbridge and staff. This was my second colonoscopy with Dr Trowbridge.
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I have been a patient of Dr. PJ Pedersen for over twenty years. He saved my life. I was a thin, very ill woman. It took a while but he has given me medication that has controlled my Crohns. Dr. Pedersen is knowledgeable about the gut. He includes his patient in the plan of care. He is not only smart but kind & has always made me feel at ease. He's done many colonoscopies on me & his sense of humor is wonderful. I've aged in these 20+ years, into a senior. And I appreciate all the care he's given me. I would be remiss in not recognizing his nurse, Whitney. She completes the team. Very kind. Very personable. I am blessed to have found Dr. Pedersen.
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