Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) in Louisiana

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Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), previously called primary biliary cirrhosis, is a rare chronic liver disease. Primary biliary cholangitis is an ongoing autoimmune disease that steadily destroys the bile ducts (called the intrahepatic bile ducts) in your liver. Bile assists with the digestive process and rids your body of LDL cholesterol, waste products, and worn-out red blood cells. This disease may also lead to serious problems with your liver. If the bile ducts are impaired or dysfunctional, then bile can increase in your liver and lead to scarring. If the liver gets too injured, it might result in liver cirrhosis.

If you would like to hear more information regarding this disease or to locate treatment for primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) in Louisiana, don't hesitate to request an appointment at our office. Our GastroGroup & Endocenter doctors are happy to offer customized care for individuals throughout Louisiana.

Primary biliary cholangitis is an autoimmune condition. This means that your body incorrectly fights off normal cells and tissues. Liver inflammation is caused when white blood cells, called T cells (T lymphocytes), begin to collect and harm normal cells in the liver. Inflammation in the small ducts progresses to additional parts of the liver, harming those cells and resulting in scar tissue. As the liver scars more and more, it starts to function incorrectly, causing liver cirrhosis. It is uncertain what leads these T cells to attack healthy cells, although it seems to be inherited.

Factors of increased risk

A handful of the risks associated with having primary biliary cholangitis include:

  • Being 30 – 60 years old
  • Some infections
  • Region (Primary biliary cholangitis is more widespread in northern Europe and North America)
  • Tobacco and other harmful substances
  • Genetics (individuals are at a higher risk of this condition if a member of the family has experienced it)
  • Being a female

For additional information about PBC and the way it damages your body, speak with a digestive doctor at GastroGroup & Endocenter now.

Many times, signs of PBC do not manifest until five to 20 years after detection. The identification of PBC commonly takes place while testing for different conditions. The beginning symptoms of PBC are tiredness, dry mouth and eyes, and skin itching.

Other common symptoms of PBC include:

  • High cholesterol
  • Dark skin not caused by UV rays
  • Upper right abdominal pain
  • Swollen feet and ankles
  • Brittle bones
  • Pain in the joints
  • Dark and greasy stools
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Muscle or joint pain

It is vital to identify primary biliary cholangitis as early on as possible. When you feel you could be at risk of experiencing PBC, our Louisiana digestive health specialists are equipped to help.

Presently, there is no way to reverse primary biliary cholangitis. Therapy helps with delaying the advancement of the disease and addressing the symptoms. A few of the standard therapy recommendations include:

  • Physical fitness
  • Vitamin supplements
  • Obeticholic acid (improves liver health)
  • Ursodeoxycholic acid (works to flush bile out of the liver)
  • Receiving a donor liver
  • Cholesterol-lowering medicines (lower liver inflammation and itching)

The normal life expectancy of a person with PBC after they start displaying signs is ten years unless they obtain a donor liver. While there is not a cure, individuals can receive the treatment required to have a better quality of life. Our digestive physicians will consult with you regarding the options for treatment available to you.

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When you or a family member are experiencing the symptoms or signs of primary biliary cholangitis, we want you to be aware that personalized assistance is within reach. The GI physicians at GastroGroup & Endocenter are pleased to offer intervention options to allow you to address this liver disease for better vitality and wellness. If you want to talk to a provider who offers care for primary biliary cholangitis in Louisiana, don't hesitate to request a consultation with us.

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