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Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Causes

The exact cause is not yet known; however there are evidences showing a link between auto immune disorders and the destruction of bile ducts in the liver.

Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Definition

Primary biliary cirrhosis is a medical condition characterized by gradual destruction of the bile ducts in the liver that is responsible for transporting bile, a fluid produced in the liver. Destruction of bile ducts result to accumulation of harmful substances in the liver leading to cirrhosis (permanent liver tissue scarring).

Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Diagnosis

Liver function tests are blood tests that can check enzyme levels indicating liver disease and bile duct injuries. Magnetic resonance elastography helps diagnose primary biliary cirrhosis. Liver biopsy can confirm diagnosis of the condition.

Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Symptoms and Signs

Energy levels are low especially during the later part of the day and onwards; often progresses even after resting. Bothersome itching in the legs, back, and arms that often gets worse at night resulting to sleep disturbances, worsening fatigue and increased tendency to develop depression; dry eyes and mouth are often observed resulting to swallowing difficulties, sensitivity to light, and corneal ulcers. Later stage symptoms include jaundice or yellowing of the skin, hyperpigmentation, swollen feet and abdomen, intestinal problems such as diarrhea and oily stool, and urinary tract infections.

Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Treatment

Treatment is aimed at relieving the effects of the symptoms or the symptom itself and delaying the progression of the disease because there is no definite treatment that can cure primary biliary cirrhosis. Liver transplant may also be an option if medications are not working.

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