Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) in Louisiana
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What is PSC (primary sclerosing cholangitis)?
Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a condition that has some similarities to PBC (primary biliary cholangitis), but it impacts the bile ducts outside and inside the liver. Primary sclerosing cholangitis makes the bile ducts irritated, scarred, damaged, and constricted, which may ultimately result in cirrhosis of the liver.
As a fluid that aids in digestion, bile is essential to normal bodily function. It helps with the elimination of bad cholesterol, toxins, and worn-out red blood cells. Because of this, it is vital for you to obtain care for PSC without delay. GastroGroup & Endocenter provides individualized services for primary sclerosing cholangitis. For more information about this concern or to get treatment for PSC in Louisiana, please request a consultation with one of our GI providers today.
What is the cause of PSC?
Although the reason behind primary sclerosing cholangitis has not been determined, it is believed to be associated with an immune reaction to an infection or a toxin. PSC carries a genetic predisposition, which means that if a family member has or had the disease, you are more likely to have it as well. Risk factors of PSC include:
- Having inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Being a male
- Age (PSC is most commonly diagnosed in those between 30 – 50 years old)
- Ancestry (people having Northern European heritage are at greater risk of developing PSC)
Our specialists at GastroGroup & Endocenter can provide further information about the potential reasons behind PSC and help you learn more about your odds of developing this chronic condition.
What are the symptoms of PSC?
PSC is most commonly detected before symptoms arise through a routine test for other health concerns. Treatment approaches for PSC are more favorable when caught in the early stages. The initial symptoms of primary sclerosing cholangitis could include itching and fatigue. Further general signs and symptoms of primary sclerosing cholangitis include:
- Undesired weight loss
- Dark and oily bowel movements
- Dry eyes
- Muscle soreness
- Darkening of the skin not associated with being in the sun
- High cholesterol levels
- Dryness of the mouth
- Swelling in the feet and ankles
- Heavy sweating during sleep
- Pain in the upper right abdomen
- Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin)
- Joint pain
- Fragile bones
We encourage you to request a visit with a GastroGroup & Endocenter provider if you have excessive itching on much of your body, or if you feel very tired all the time. It is particularly crucial to mention these symptoms to your doctor if you have a type of inflammatory bowel disease IBD, including Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.
How is PSC treated?
Medical providers have not determined a cure for PSC. The majority of the treatments include treating the narrowing of the bile ducts along with the symptoms and complications resulting from the disease. Our Louisiana gastroenterologists may suggest one or more of the options listed below to treat primary sclerosing cholangitis:
- Topical creams to manage itching
- Balloon dilation procedure to widen constricted bile ducts
- Stents for blocked or narrowed bile ducts
- Antibiotics for infections
- Surgery to temporarily open bile duct obstructions
- Liver transplant procedure
- Nutrition support
- Regular exercise
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid alcohol
Expert care for chronic liver disease
Primary sclerosing cholangitis is a chronic liver condition that may affect your health and life in various aspects, and it could lead to additional health issues in the absence of treatment. However, our GI team at GastroGroup & Endocenter is here to offer the specialized services you need to help enhance your quality of life. To connect with a provider who offers primary sclerosing cholangitis treatment in Louisiana, please contact one of our practice locations in your area.
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