Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) in Denver, CO
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What is PBC (primary biliary cholangitis)?
Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), once called primary biliary cirrhosis, is an uncommon chronic liver disease. PBC is a chronic immune system condition that slowly damages the bile ducts (known as the intrahepatic bile ducts) in your liver. Bile aids with digesting fats and riding the body of fat, waste products, and worn-out red blood cells. This disorder may additionally lead to severe concerns in the liver. When the bile ducts become damaged or dysfunctional, bile can accumulate in your liver and result in scarring. When the liver becomes too damaged, it might lead to liver cirrhosis.
To learn more about this condition or to receive treatment for primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) in Denver, CO, we encourage you to request a consultation with us. Our Colorado Gastroenterology providers are here to offer customized treatments for individuals within the area.
What causes primary biliary cholangitis?
Primary biliary cholangitis is an autoimmune disease. This means that the immune system mistakenly destroys healthy cells and tissues. Inflammation of the liver occurs when white blood cells, also called T cells (T lymphocytes), begin to accumulate and harm healthy cells within the liver. Inflammation in the small ducts progresses to additional parts of the liver, destroying these cells and resulting in scarring. As your liver scars more and more, it begins to function improperly, leading to cirrhosis of the liver. It is unclear what causes these white blood cells to harm other cells, although it seems to be genetic.
Factors of increased risk
A few of the risk factors connected with having primary biliary cholangitis include:
- Being a female
- Specific infections
- Region (Primary biliary cholangitis is most widespread in northern Europe and North America)
- Tobacco and other toxic chemicals
- Being 30 – 60 years old
- Family line (individuals are more likely to get primary biliary cholangitis if a relative has gotten it)
If you want additional information regarding PBC and the way it affects your body, reach out to a gastrointestinal specialist at Colorado Gastroenterology now.
What are the indicators of PBC?
Generally, signs of PBC are not present until five years to two decades following diagnosis. The identification of PBC normally happens while looking for other conditions. The beginning signs of PBC are tiredness, dry mouth and eyes, and itching of the skin.
Other common symptoms of PBC are:
- High levels of cholesterol
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- Upper right abdominal pain
- Brittle bones
- Sore muscles
- Dark and greasy stools
- Joint discomfort
- Darkened skin not related to UV exposure
- Swollen feet and ankles
It is important to diagnose PBC as early as possible. If you feel you might be in danger of getting PBC due to your genetics, or a number of the above signs, our Denver, CO GI doctors can provide a solution.
What are the therapies for PBC?
Right now there is no cure for primary biliary cholangitis. Intervention works by delaying the advancement of the condition and addressing the symptoms. A number of the common therapy recommendations are:
- Obeticholic acid (improves liver health)
- Physical fitness
- Cholesterol-lowering medicines (lower itching and liver inflammation)
- Receiving a donor liver
- Vitamin supplements
- Ursodeoxycholic acid (helps flush bile through the liver)
The typical expected lifespan for someone with PBC after they start showing signs is a decade unless they get a liver transplant. Though there is no remedy, you can receive the treatment required to live a better life. The providers at Colorado Gastroenterology are ready to discuss the options for treatment accessible to you in Denver, CO.
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Receive treatment for PBC
If you or a loved one could be experiencing the signs or symptoms of PBC, please know that individualized support is within reach. The GI providers at Colorado Gastroenterology are pleased to provide intervention choices to assist you in handling this liver condition and acquiring improved health and quality of life. If you'd like to speak with a provider who provides care for primary biliary cholangitis in Denver, CO, we invite you to contact a location near you.
Dr Rufner did a great job and has my GI symptoms under good control
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I have been a patient of Dr. Kevin Rufner with Colorado Gastroenterology for many years, and it has always been a positive experience. Dr. Rufner is a kind and caring human being who really listens to his patients. He never makes me feel rushed or hurried, gives me up-to-date information about my health complaints, and always comes up with a complete plan of care for every issue. Additionally, his staff are friendly and supportive. I cannot recommend Dr. Rufner enough. He is an excellent doctor with an excellent staff.
Dr. Sieja listed to what I had to say. Scheduled appointments for me the very next day, in order to get to the root of my problem. I am thankful for having him as my doctor.
Everyone in the office was super friendly, efficient, and professional. As good of a doctor’s office visit as I have ever experienced.