Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) in Connecticut
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What is PBC (primary biliary cholangitis)?
Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), previously called primary biliary cirrhosis, is an uncommon, chronic liver disease. Primary biliary cholangitis is an ongoing immune system disease that gradually damages the bile ducts (called the intrahepatic bile ducts) in your liver. Bile assists with the digestive process and rids your body of bad cholesterol, toxins, and damaged red blood cells. This condition could additionally cause severe problems within your liver. If the bile ducts become impaired or dysfunctional, this allows bile to build up in your liver and create scarring. If the liver becomes too damaged, it could lead to cirrhosis of the liver.
If you would like to learn more information about this condition or to get help for primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) in Connecticut, we encourage you to request an appointment at one of our office locations. Our Connecticut GI specialists are here to offer individualized treatments for patients throughout the nearby areas.
What is the cause of primary biliary cholangitis?
PBC is an autoimmune disorder. This means that the immune system mistakenly harms healthy tissues and cells. An inflamed liver occurs if white blood cells, called T cells (T lymphocytes), begin to accumulate and harm normal liver cells. Inflammation in the bile ducts advances to other regions of the liver, killing those cells and creating scarring. Once the liver scars more and more, it begins to work incorrectly, leading to liver cirrhosis. It is uncertain what causes these white blood cells to hurt other cells, but it appears to be inherited.
Factors of increased risk
Some of the risk determinants connected with having PBC include:
- Being a woman
- Being 30 to 60 years old
- Region (Primary biliary cholangitis is most prevalent in North America and northern Europe)
- Tobacco and other toxic chemicals
- Family history (patients are at a higher risk of this condition if a member of the family has gotten it)
- Certain infections
To get additional info regarding PBC and the way it functions in the body, reach out to a gastrointestinal specialist at a Connecticut GI location today.
What are the signs of PBC?
Most of the time, symptoms of PBC will not manifest until patients have had the condition for five years to two decades after detection. Diagnosing PBC usually occurs while testing for different reasons. The beginning signs of PBC include fatigue, dry mouth and eyes, and itchy skin.
Additional standard signs of PBC are:
- Upper right abdominal pain
- Dark-colored skin not caused by UV rays
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
- Swelling of the feet and ankles
- Pain in the joints
- High levels of cholesterol
- Muscle soreness
- Dark and greasy stools
- Brittle bones
It is essential to identify PBC as early as possible. If you suspect you might be at risk of having PBC because of genetic history or any number of the above signs, our Connecticut GI providers can offer support.
What are the treatments for PBC?
Presently, there is no cure for PBC. Treatment focuses on delaying the development of the condition and addressing the symptoms. Some of the common therapy recommendations are:
- Cholesterol-lowering medicines (decrease liver inflammation and itching)
- Ursodeoxycholic acid (helps flush bile out of your liver)
- Liver transplant surgery
- Obeticholic acid (promotes liver function)
The typical lifespan of an individual with PBC after they begin showing symptoms is ten years if they do not receive a liver transplant. Though no treatment exists, you can obtain the intervention required to live a better life. Our digestive providers are ready to guide you through the choices for treatment available to you.
Understand your primary biliary cholangitis diagnosis
If you or a loved one might be dealing with the symptoms or signs of primary biliary cholangitis, please know that individualized treatment is available. The GI specialists at Connecticut GI are happy to provide intervention options to allow you to deal with this liver disease for elevated vitality and quality of life. If you want to talk to a provider who renders care for primary biliary cholangitis in Connecticut, please reach out to our team.
Dr. Bloom helped me so much in both a procedue done in the hospital and a follow up office visit. During both occasions he took the time to fully explain my test results and give me a plan that has helped me deal with my condition.
Top notch service, timely and personable. Highly recommended
I had seen Dr Goldman for years and recently Dr Coll for the first time because of Dr Goldman’s retirement. Dr Coll was great personable easy to talk to, very professional and I felt extremely confident in his care..He explained everything including the new advancements in field really making me feel very comfortable in a procedure that’s not the most comfortable of procedures to begin with. I would highly recommend him.
Dr. Cipolla and her staff were very kind. I was a little worried about the procedure, they reassured me that everything was going to be fine. That made my experience smooth. Before the procedure she informed me what was going to happen and the after care. Everyone was great!
I recently had a routine follow up with Dr. Jo has always been an excellent doctor who listens, explains fully and takes any time needed for you. I strongly recommended him. MC