Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) in Dallas, TX
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What is PBC (primary biliary cholangitis)?
Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), formerly known as primary biliary cirrhosis, is a rare chronic liver disease. PBC is an ongoing immune system disorder that gradually damages the bile ducts (known as the intrahepatic bile ducts) in your liver. Bile aids in digesting fats and rids your body of fat, impurities, and bilirubin. This condition may also result in serious issues within your liver. When the bile ducts are injured or destroyed, this allows bile to build up in your liver and lead to scarring. If the liver becomes too damaged, it can result in cirrhosis of the liver.
To learn more details on this disease or to get support for primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) in Dallas, TX, please request a consultation with our gastroenterologists. Our Digestive Health Associates of Texas providers are equipped to give personalized care to individuals across the community who need assistance with PBC.
What is the cause of primary biliary cholangitis?
Primary biliary cholangitis is an autoimmune disease. This means that the immune system incorrectly destroys normal cells and tissues. Liver inflammation occurs when white blood cells, also called T cells (T lymphocytes), begin to collect and destroy normal liver cells. Inflammation in the small ducts spreads to additional parts of the liver, harming these cells and resulting in scarring. As the scarring in your liver increases, it begins to function inadequately, leading to liver cirrhosis. It is unclear what causes these T cells to hurt healthy cell tissue, although it seems to be genetic.
Factors of increased risk
Some of the risks related to having primary biliary cholangitis are:
- Genetics (you are at a higher risk of this condition if a family member has had it)
- Region (PBC is more common in northern Europe and North America)
- Specific infections
- Smoking and similar toxic chemicals
- Being 30 – 60 years old
- Being a female
If you would like more information about PBC and how it damages your body, contact a gastrointestinal specialist at Digestive Health Associates of Texas now.
What are the indicators of PBC?
Often, symptoms of PBC will not show up until five years to two decades following your diagnosis. The identification of PBC often takes place while testing for other disorders. The beginning symptoms of PBC are fatigue, dry mouth and eyes, and itchy skin.
Additional common signs of PBC include:
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- High cholesterol
- Swelling of the feet and ankles
- Painful joints
- Muscle or joint pain
- Fragile bones
- Pain just below the ribcage
- Dark skin not connected to sun exposure
- Dark and greasy stools
It is imperative to diagnose primary biliary cholangitis as quickly as possible. If you feel you might be in danger of getting PBC due to family history or are experiencing the above indicators, our Dallas, TX GI doctors are equipped to offer support.
What are the treatments for PBC?
Currently, there is no way to reverse primary biliary cholangitis. Treatment helps in delaying the progression of the disease and managing its symptoms. Some of the standard treatments recommended for PBC are:
- Ursodeoxycholic acid (helps flush bile through your liver)
- Getting physical activity
- Obeticholic acid (aids liver health)
- Liver transplant
- Cholesterol-lowering medicines (decrease liver inflammation and itching)
The normal life expectancy for a person with PBC after they begin showing symptoms is a decade unless they get a liver transplant. Even though there is no cure, Digestive Health Associates of Texas is dedicated to helping you get the care necessary to live a better life. Our GI specialists will be happy to discuss with you the best choices available to treat your PBC in Dallas, TX.
Locate treatment for primary biliary cholangitis
If you or a loved one could be experiencing the symptoms or signs of primary biliary cholangitis, please know that individualized help is accessible. The digestive health providers at Digestive Health Associates of Texas are proud to offer various choices to help you to handle this liver condition and elevate your health and wellness. To speak with a provider with expertise in treating primary biliary cholangitis in Dallas, TX, please contact our staff today to request a consultation at a location near you.
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