Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) in Houston, TX
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What is PBC (primary biliary cholangitis)?
Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), known at one time as primary biliary cirrhosis, is a rare disorder of the liver. PBC is a degenerative immune system condition that steadily harms the bile ducts (known as the intrahepatic bile ducts) in your liver. Bile assists in the digestive process and transports away bad cholesterol, waste, and bilirubin. This issue may additionally result in severe issues in the liver. When the bile ducts are impaired or dysfunctional, this allows bile to build up in your liver and cause scarring. When the liver gets too injured, it could cause liver cirrhosis.
If you would like to hear more details about this disorder or to find therapy for primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) in Houston, TX, don't hesitate to set up a consultation with us. Our Gastroenterology Consultants physicians are pleased to provide individualized care for patients throughout the community.
What is the cause of primary biliary cholangitis?
Primary biliary cholangitis falls under the classification of autoimmune disorders. What this means is that your body incorrectly destroys its own healthy cells and tissues. The liver inflammation exists if white blood cells, known as T cells (T lymphocytes), start to accumulate and destroy normal cells within the liver. Inflammation in the small ducts spreads to additional regions of the liver, killing these cells and causing the presence of scars. As your liver scarring increases, it starts to function incorrectly, resulting in cirrhosis of the liver. It is undetermined what leads these T cells to harm other cells, but it appears to be inherited.
Factors of increased risk
A handful of the risk variables associated with having primary biliary cholangitis are:
- Region or country (PBC is most prevalent in northern Europe and North America)
- Some infections
- Being a woman
- Genetics (individuals are at an elevated risk of PBC if a relative has gotten it)
- Age 30 to 60 years
- Tobacco and exposure to other harmful substances
To get additional details regarding PBC and the way it harms a person's body, talk to a gastrointestinal specialist at Gastroenterology Consultants today.
What are the warning signs of PBC?
PBC may persist for five years up to two decades after diagnosis without any noticeable symptoms. The detection of PBC usually happens while looking for different issues. The beginning symptoms of PBC include tiredness, dry eyes and mouth, and itching of the skin.
Other common symptoms of PBC are:
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
- Swelling of the feet and ankles
- High cholesterol
- Dark-colored skin that is not a result of sun exposure
- Fragile bones
- Painful joints
- Sore muscles
- Pain just below the ribcage
- Diarrhea and greasy bowel movements
It is necessary to diagnose primary biliary cholangitis as early as possible. If you believe you may be in danger of experiencing PBC because of genetic history, or a mix of the listed symptoms, our Houston, TX gastrointestinal physicians are equipped to assist.
What are the solutions for PBC?
There is not a cure for PBC at this time. Therapy aids in delaying the development of the problem and addressing the complications. A few of the standard treatment recommendations are:
- Ursodeoxycholic acid (works to flush bile through your liver)
- Obeticholic acid (helps liver function)
- Vitamin supplements
- Liver transplant surgery
- Cholesterol-lowering medicines (lower liver inflammation and itching)
The ordinary life expectancy for someone with PBC after they begin showing symptoms is a decade unless they obtain a transplanted liver. While there is not a remedy, you can get the therapy required to live a more vibrant life. Our GI physicians will discuss the choices for treatment available to you.
Find care for primary biliary cholangitis
If you or someone you love is displaying signs or symptoms that suggest PBC, rest easy knowing that there is personalized treatment is within reach. The digestive health physicians at Gastroenterology Consultants are happy to render intervention choices to allow you to deal with your liver disease and acquire better vitality and quality of life. To talk to a provider who offers treatment for primary biliary cholangitis in Houston, TX, don't hesitate to contact our team now.
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