Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) in Indianapolis, IN

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Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), previously known as primary biliary cirrhosis, is an uncommon chronic liver disease. PBC is a degenerative immune system condition that gradually damages the bile ducts (called the intrahepatic bile ducts) in the liver. Bile aids in the digestive process and eliminates bad cholesterol, toxins, and damaged red blood cells. This disease can additionally cause severe issues in the liver. When the bile ducts are damaged or dysfunctional, then bile can increase in your liver and cause scarring. If the liver becomes too damaged, it may result in cirrhosis.

If you want to learn more info on this disease or to get treatment for primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) in Indianapolis, IN, please request an appointment at our practice. Our Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology physicians are pleased to render personalized care for individuals throughout the nearby areas.

Primary biliary cholangitis is an immune system disease. This denotes that your body mistakenly attacks normal tissues and cells. The liver inflammation happens if white blood cells, referred to as T cells (T lymphocytes), start to collect and attack healthy cells within the liver. Swelling in the bile ducts expands to additional portions of the liver, harming those cells and leading to scar tissue. Once your liver scarring increases, it starts to function incorrectly, leading to cirrhosis of the liver. It is unclear what causes these T cells to harm healthy cell tissue, but it seems to be genetic.

Risk factors

A number of the risk variables associated with having primary biliary cholangitis are:

  • Genetics (patients are at a higher risk of PBC if a relative has experienced it)
  • Being 30 to 60 years old
  • Being a female
  • Certain infections
  • Location (PBC is more prevalent in northern Europe and North America)
  • Smoking and similar toxic chemicals


To get additional information about PBC and how it affects a person's body, contact a gastrointestinal specialist at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology today.

Usually, signs of PBC will not be seen until five years to two decades after detection. The detection of PBC usually occurs while testing for other problems. The first signs of PBC include fatigue, dry mouth and eyes, and itching of the skin.

Additional frequent symptoms of PBC include:

  • Dark-colored skin not related to sun rays
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
  • High levels of cholesterol
  • Dark and greasy bowel movements
  • Discomfort in the upper right abdomen
  • Swelling of the feet and ankles
  • Brittle bones
  • Joint pain
  • Joint or muscle pain

It is necessary to find PBC as promptly as feasible. When you feel you could be in danger of getting PBC caused by family history or are experiencing any one or more of the listed symptoms, our Indianapolis, IN GI doctors are ready to provide a solution.

At present, there is no way to reverse PBC. Intervention helps with slowing the progression of the condition and treating the complications. A few of the standard treatment choices include:

  • Getting physical activity
  • Ursodeoxycholic acid (works to move bile out of your liver)
  • Receiving a donor liver
  • Obeticholic acid (helps liver function)
  • Vitamins
  • Cholesterol-lowering medicines (decrease itching and liver inflammation)

The standard expected lifespan for someone with PBC after they begin displaying issues is ten years unless they receive a transplanted liver. Even though there is no cure, individuals will be able to receive the treatment necessary to have a better quality of life. Our digestive physicians will help you explore the treatment options accessible to you.

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If you or a member of your family could be suffering from the symptoms or signs of primary biliary cholangitis, please know that personalized help is within reach. The gastrointestinal doctors at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology are happy to render therapy options to allow you to deal with your liver problem and acquire improved health and well-being. To speak with a doctor with expertise in therapy for primary biliary cholangitis in Indianapolis, IN, we encourage you to reach out to our team now.

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