- Illustration of the damage to the biliary tract
- Bile duct damage Open popup dialog
- Primary biliary cholangitis, formerly known as primary biliary cirrhosis, is a chronic disease that slowly destroys the bile ducts in your liver. Bile is a liquid that is produced in your liver. It aids digestion and helps your body get rid of cholesterol, toxins and used red blood cells.
When the biliary tract is damaged, the bile can move back to your liver and sometimes cause irreversible scars in the liver tissue (cirrhosis).
Primary biliary cholangitis is considered an autoimmune disease, which means that your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues. Researchers believe that a combination of genetic and environmental factors causes the disease. It usually grows slowly. Medications can slow liver damage, especially if treatment is started early.
More than half of people with primary biliary cholangitis have no apparent symptoms at diagnosis. The disease can be diagnosed if blood tests are done for other reasons. Symptoms will eventually develop over the next five to 20 years. Those who show symptoms at diagnosis tend to have worse results.
Common early symptoms are:
- Itchy skin
- Dry eyes and mouth
- The following signs and symptoms could include:
- Pain in the upper right abdomen
- Swelling of the spleen
- Bone, muscle or joint pain (musculoskeletal system)
- Swollen feet and ankles (edema)
- Fluid build-up in the abdomen due to liver failure (ascites)
It is not known what causes primary biliary cholangitis. Many experts consider it an autoimmune disease in which the body turns on its own cells.
Inflammation of the liver in primary biliary cholangitis begins when certain types of white blood cells called T cells (T cells) build up in the liver. Normally, these immune cells recognize germs such as bacteria and help to defend them. However, in primary biliary cholangitis, they mistakenly destroy the healthy cells that line the small bile ducts in the liver.
The inflammation in the smaller ducts spreads and eventually damages other cells in the liver. When the cells die, they are replaced by scar tissue (fibrosis), which can lead to cirrhosis. Cirrhosis of the liver is scarring of the liver tissue that makes it difficult for your liver to function properly.
The following factors can increase your risk of developing primary biliary cholangitis:
- Sex. Most people with primary biliary cholangitis are women.
- Age. It is most likely to occur in people between the ages of 30 and 60.
- Genetic factors. You are more likely to get the disease if you have a family member who has or has had it.
- Geography. It is most common in northern Europe and North America.
- Researchers believe that genetic factors combined with certain environmental factors trigger primary biliary cholangitis. These environmental factors can include:
- Infections caused by bacteria, fungi or parasites
- Toxic chemicals
By working together, you and your doctor can help prevent these specific complications:
- Increased pressure in the portal vein (portal hypertension). Your doctor will likely examine you and monitor for portal hypertension and enlarged veins if you have liver disease. Primary biliary cholangitis Treatment in Nizamabad
- Weak bones (osteoporosis). Exercising most days of the week can help increase bone density. If you have osteoporosis, your treatment may include calcium and vitamin D supplements.
- Vitamin deficiency. Your doctor can recommend vitamin A, D, E, and K supplements to help improve vitamin levels. Avoid taking herbs or supplements without talking to your doctor first.