Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) in Washington
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What is PBC (primary biliary cholangitis)?
Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), formerly called primary biliary cirrhosis, is a rare chronic liver disease. PBC is a degenerative autoimmune condition that gradually destroys your liver's bile ducts, known as the intrahepatic bile ducts. Bile helps in digestion and eliminates LDL cholesterol, toxic substances, and worn-out red blood cells. This disorder could also give rise to severe concerns within your liver. If the bile ducts become harmed or destroyed, then bile can accumulate in your liver and lead to scarring. When the liver becomes too damaged, it may result in cirrhosis.
Request a consultation with our team to learn more about this condition or to receive treatment for primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) in Washington. Our Washington Gastroenterology providers are happy to render individualized care for those in the nearby areas.
What causes PBC?
Primary biliary cholangitis is an immune system disorder. This means that the body mistakenly harms healthy tissues and cells. Liver inflammation occurs if white blood cells, called T cells (T lymphocytes), begin to collect and destroy normal cells within the liver. Inflammation in the bile ducts progresses to other regions of the liver, killing these cells and causing scarring. As the liver scarring progresses, it begins to work inadequately, leading to cirrhosis of the liver. It is unclear what causes these white blood cells to hurt healthy cells, although it appears to be inherited.
Factors of increased risk
Some risk factors associated with having primary biliary cholangitis include:
- Being female
- Specific infections
- Family history (people are more likely to get this disorder if a family member has had it)
- Smoking and additional toxic chemicals
- Region (PBC is most prevalent in northern Europe and North America)
- Being 30 – 60 years old
To receive more information regarding PBC and the way it damages a person's body, talk to a local gastrointestinal specialist at Washington Gastroenterology now.
What are the symptoms of PBC?
Generally, symptoms of PBC will not be seen until five to 20 years following detection. The diagnosis of PBC commonly happens while looking for other conditions. The beginning signs of PBC include tiredness, dry eyes and mouth, and itching skin.
Other frequent indicators of PBC include:
- Dark and greasy bowel movements
- Darkened skin not caused by sun rays
- Pain just below the ribcage
- High levels of cholesterol
- Musculoskeletal pain
- Brittle bones
- Swelling of the feet and ankles
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
- Pain in the joints
It is crucial to identify primary biliary cholangitis as soon as possible. If you think you may be at risk of experiencing PBC because of your genetics, or any combination of the listed signs, our Washington digestive health specialists can assist.
What are the treatments for PBC?
There is currently no way to reverse primary biliary cholangitis. Treatment helps with slowing the advancement of the condition and addressing the complications. A few of the standard therapy options include:
- Ursodeoxycholic acid (helps flush bile out of the liver)
- Vitamin supplements
- Cholesterol-lowering medicines (reduce liver inflammation and itching)
- Receiving a donor liver
- Obeticholic acid (aids liver function)
The standard expected lifespan for a person with PBC after they start showing symptoms is ten years if they do not get a healthy liver from a donor. Although there is no cure, you can get the treatment required to improve your quality of life. Our digestive specialists will discuss the options for treatment available to you.
Find treatment for PBC
If you or a loved one are experiencing the signs or symptoms of PBC, please know that customized help is obtainable. The digestive health specialists at Washington Gastroenterology are happy to provide treatment choices to help you address your liver problem and acquire improved health and quality of life. If you'd like to speak with a local provider specializing in therapy for primary biliary cholangitis in Washington, don't hesitate to contact a location near you today.
My overall experience with Dr. Agarwal was great even with the staff, from checking-in all the way to recovery. It was very smooth and easy procedure, He very well explained to me how it’s gonna be done but after I was put to sleep didn’t really remember anything else, so that was good for me. I just remember the nurse waking me up telling me I’m good to go... The only thing that could be improved if I may say, was the waiting time after the procedure for counseling. It felt like we have waited well over half an hour but then again it’s understandable there was quite a few of us waiting and he’s only one person to counsel all of us. I’m just glad it’s all done and nothing serious to worry about, so for that I’m grateful.
I find Dr Mohan, thorough and will continue to resume medical tests with a solution.
Dr Lee is very knowledgeable. Explains things to me do I understand.
The medical practice is a 10. The business side, a 5. I experienced a number communication failures in making appointments. In addition, I was billed twice, and not reimbursed for the duplicate payment. A minor point: i don’t see the need to communicate through a web portal if I am not a “regular” customer. This practice is a specialty; I will not use the services but infrequently at best, so all the rigamarol re: setting up, remembering password, etc. is not worth the effort.
Entire process could not have been easier. High marks all around.