Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) in Northwest Arkansas

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Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), formerly referred to as primary biliary cirrhosis, is a rare chronic liver condition. PBC is a degenerative immune system disease that gradually destroys the bile ducts (called the intrahepatic bile ducts) in your liver. Bile assists in digestion and disposes of the fat, impurities, and bilirubin. This problem might also give rise to serious dysfunction in the liver. If the bile ducts become damaged or destroyed, then bile levels in your liver can rise and cause scarring. When the liver incurs too much damage, it could result in liver cirrhosis.

If you want to hear more on this disease or to find support for primary biliary cholangitis in Arkansas, please schedule a consultation at our office. Our GI Alliance of Arkansas physicians are pleased to provide individualized treatments for patients across the region.

Primary biliary cholangitis is classified as an autoimmune condition. This means that the immune system mistakenly harms normal cells and tissues. Liver inflammation happens when white blood cells, known as T cells (T lymphocytes), start to collect and attack normal cells in the liver. Inflammation in the small ducts expands to additional portions of the liver, killing those cells and causing scar tissue. As this scarring increases, the liver begins to function inadequately, resulting in cirrhosis. It is undetermined what makes these white blood cells hurt normal cells, although it seems to be inherited.

Factors of increased risk

A few of the risk determinants associated with having primary biliary cholangitis are:

  • Being a female
  • Genetics (people are at a higher risk of this condition if a member of the family has had it)
  • Being 30 – 60 years old
  • Tobacco and exposure to other toxins
  • Specific infections
  • Region or country (primary biliary cholangitis is more widespread in northern Europe and North America)

To receive more details regarding PBC and the way it harms your body, talk to a gastrointestinal specialist at GI Alliance of Arkansas now.

PBC normally does not start presenting with symptoms until five years up to two decades after diagnosis. The identification of PBC often takes place while looking for different conditions. The first indicators of PBC include tiredness, dry eyes and mouth, and itchy skin.

Additional common indicators of PBC are:

  • Loose and greasy stools
  • Swelling of the feet and ankles
  • Fragile bones
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Pain in the joints
  • Pain in the upper right abdomen
  • Muscle soreness
  • Dark skin that is not a result of UV exposure
  • High levels of cholesterol

It is important to identify primary biliary cholangitis as early as you can. If you think you may be at risk of getting PBC because of family history, or any combination of the named symptoms, our Arkansas GI doctors can help.

At this time, there is not a cure for PBC. The goal of PBC treatment is to slow the development of the condition and alleviate the complications it causes. A few of the most frequent therapy recommendations involve:

  • Ursodeoxycholic acid (helps flush bile through the liver)
  • Obeticholic acid (promotes liver health)
  • Vitamins
  • Liver transplant
  • Cholesterol-lowering medicines (reduce itching and liver inflammation)
  • Staying active

The ordinary expected lifespan of a person with PBC after they begin showing signs is 10 years unless they get a donor liver. Although there is not a remedy, patients will be able to receive the treatment necessary to enjoy improved well-being. Our GI specialists are here to consult with you regarding the treatment choices accessible to you.

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Personalized care is available if you or a family member are suffering from the symptoms of PBC. The GI doctors at GI Alliance of Arkansas are pleased to offer treatment options to allow you to handle your liver problem and obtain better health and quality of life. If you want to talk to a gastroenterologist with expertise in treatment for primary biliary cholangitis in Arkansas, don't wait to reach out to our practice now.

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Everything was great with one exception. The nurse that called me back and asked the 1st questions seemed to be having a less than stellar day. I felt as if I were an inconvenience for some reason. It was later in the day and they are all probably tired, but being friendly isn't that difficult. I had a bad experience with a customer once. They described me as being politely hostile. Now I understand how they felt. Otherwise, everyone was great and very helpful.

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Dr Thomas is a very good & professional, caring,Dr. He listen to you and answer all your questions. I have been a patient for years and received the best care from Dr. Thomas and his staff. I highly recommend him!!

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