Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) in Denver, CO
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What is primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC)?
Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a liver disease that has some similarities to PBC (primary biliary cholangitis); however, PSC impacts the bile ducts located outside and within the liver. Primary sclerosing cholangitis causes the bile ducts to become inflamed, damaged, and constricted, which might eventually lead to liver cirrhosis as time goes on.
Bile is critical to the way the body functions. It aids in digestion and helps your body get rid of toxins, bad cholesterol, and worn-out blood cells. Therefore, it is vital you seek treatment for primary sclerosing cholangitis without delay. Our team at Colorado Gastroenterology offers personalized treatment for primary sclerosing cholangitis. For more on this liver condition or to receive care for PSC in Denver, CO, request a consultation with one of our gastroenterologists today.
What is the cause of PSC?
While the causes of PSC remain unclear, it is thought to be an immune defense against infection or a toxin. Primary sclerosing cholangitis can be genetic, which means that if a family member has or had the liver condition previously, you have a higher risk of having it as well. Factors of risk associated with PSC involve:
- Heritage (people of Northern European descent are at higher risk of getting PSC)
- Being male
- Age (PSC is most commonly diagnosed in those between the ages of 30 – 50)
- Having IBD (inflammatory bowel disease
Our specialists at Colorado Gastroenterology can offer additional information about the possible reasons behind primary sclerosing cholangitis and help you gain an understanding of your chance of developing this chronic condition.
What are the signs and symptoms of PSC?
PSC is most commonly diagnosed before symptoms arise through routine testing for other conditions. Treating primary sclerosing cholangitis is more effective when detected early. The early symptoms of primary sclerosing cholangitis could include itching and tiredness. Other common signs and symptoms of PSC involve:
- Pain in the joints
- Pain in the upper right abdomen
- Swollen feet and ankles
- Frail bones
- Significant sweating during sleep
- Dark-colored and oily bowel movements
- Darkening of the skin unrelated to being in the sun
- Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin)
- Unplanned weight loss
- Dry eyes
- Dry mouth
- High levels of cholesterol
- Muscle tenderness
We urge you to request a consultation with a local Colorado Gastroenterology GI specialist should you experience excessive itching on a large portion of your body, or if you feel fatigued more often than not. It is especially crucial to bring these symptoms up to your provider if you have been diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel disease, like Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.
What are the treatments for PSC?
Healthcare providers have not found a cure for primary sclerosing cholangitis. Most treatment strategies include treating the biliary strictures (narrowed bile ducts) along with managing the complications and symptoms resulting from the condition. Our Denver, CO gastroenterology specialists may recommend one or more of the following options to treat primary sclerosing cholangitis:
- Topical creams to relieve itching
- Remain at a healthy weight
- Avoid alcohol consumption
- Balloon dilation to address narrowed bile ducts
- Regular exercise
- Stents for blocked or narrowed bile ducts
- Nutrition support therapy
- Liver transplant procedure
- Antibiotics for infections
- Surgery to temporarily open bile duct obstructions
To discuss the best treatment options for you, request a consultation with your Colorado Gastroenterology provider.
Expert care for chronic liver disease
PSC is a chronic liver disease that can impact your health and wellness in a multitude of ways and can result in further health problems without proper treatment. However, our GI team at Colorado Gastroenterology is ready to deliver the specialized care you require to help enhance your quality of living. To visit a provider who offers primary sclerosing cholangitis treatment in Denver, CO, please contact one of our office locations in your community.
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