Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) in Denver, CO
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What is PBC (primary biliary cholangitis)?
Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), previously called primary biliary cirrhosis, is an uncommon chronic liver condition. PBC is a progressive autoimmune disease that steadily harms the bile ducts (called the intrahepatic bile ducts) in the liver. Bile helps with breaking down fats and transports away LDL cholesterol, toxic substances, and bilirubin. This disease could additionally cause serious problems in your liver. If the bile ducts are damaged or destroyed, then bile can accumulate in your liver and create scarring. When the liver becomes too damaged, it may lead to cirrhosis.
If you would like to learn more information about this problem or to get care for primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) in Denver, CO, please request a consultation with our team. Our Denver Digestive Health Specialists providers are equipped to provide customized care for patients within the region.
What is the cause of PBC?
PBC is an autoimmune disease. This conveys that the body mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues. An inflamed liver exists if white blood cells, known as T cells (T lymphocytes) start accumulating and destroying normal cells within the liver. Swelling in the small ducts expands to additional portions of the liver, harming those cells and causing scarring. Once the liver scarring increases, it starts to malfunction, leading to liver cirrhosis. It is uncertain what causes these white blood cells to attack normal cell tissue, but it appears to be genetic.
Factors of increased risk
A handful of the risk determinants connected with having primary biliary cholangitis are:
- Region (Primary biliary cholangitis is more widespread in North America and northern Europe)
- Family history (individuals are at an elevated risk of this disorder if a relative has had it)
- Certain infections
- Being a woman
- Being 30 – 60 years old
- Smoking and similar toxic chemicals
If you want more info regarding PBC and the way it impacts your body, reach out to a gastroenterologist at Denver Digestive Health Specialists today.
What are the symptoms of PBC?
Normally, symptoms of PBC will not be seen until five to 20 years after detection. The detection of PBC usually takes place while testing for other conditions. The early symptoms of PBC are fatigue, dry eyes and mouth, and itchy skin.
Other standard markers of PBC are:
- Swelling of the feet and ankles
- Pain just below the ribcage
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- Joint discomfort
- Dark skin not related to UV rays
- Brittle bones
- High cholesterol
- Diarrhea and greasy bowel movements
- Muscle soreness
It is vital to diagnose primary biliary cholangitis as early on as possible. In the event that you think you may be at risk of experiencing PBC due to genetic history, or have a combination of the named symptoms, our Denver, CO GI providers can assist.
What are the therapies for PBC?
Presently, there is no cure for primary biliary cholangitis. Intervention works by delaying the advancement of the problem and addressing the symptoms. Some of the common treatment recommendations are:
- Physical fitness
- Cholesterol-lowering medicines (decrease liver inflammation and itching)
- Liver transplant
- Ursodeoxycholic acid (helps move bile out of the liver)
- Obeticholic acid (aids liver health)
The approximate life expectancy for someone with PBC once they start showing signs is ten years if they do not obtain a liver transplant. Though there is no cure, you will be able to obtain the therapy required to live a more vibrant life. Our digestive specialists are here to show you the options for treatment available to you.
Find care for primary biliary cholangitis
When you or a family member may be experiencing the symptoms or signs of primary biliary cholangitis, please know that customized treatment is available. The digestive health specialists at Denver Digestive Health Specialists are pleased to provide treatment choices to allow you to manage this liver problem and obtain better vitality and well-being. If you want to speak with a physician who renders therapy for primary biliary cholangitis in Denver, CO, please contact us now.
All staff were great. Kat was super nice and informative. Dr. Miller was great. Attentive and non-judgemental. Definitely felt comfortable expressing my concerns and he he listened and I left feeling like I had a plan together and all questions for now answered.
Very friendly, professional, and willing to help you to understand or solve any issue you may have.
Dr. Siegel is absolutely the best he makes you feel very comfortable in sometimes an uncomfortable situation🙄. He will always be my go to doc!…. Thanks for your compassion Dr Siegel👍🏼
Good first meeting & great support from on call Dr when I became ill the very next (weekend) day.