Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) in Indianapolis, IN
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What is PSC (primary sclerosing cholangitis)?
Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a liver disease that shares some similarities with primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), but it impacts the bile ducts located within and outside of the liver. Primary sclerosing cholangitis leads the bile ducts to become irritated, damaged, and narrowed, which can ultimately cause cirrhosis of the liver.
Bile is vital to the way the body functions. It aids in digestion and helps your body get rid of bad cholesterol, toxins, and worn-out red blood cells. That is why it is essential for individuals to receive care for PSC as early as possible. Our team at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology proudly provides experienced care for primary sclerosing cholangitis. To learn further details about this condition or to find help for PSC in Indianapolis, IN, please request a visit with one of our gastroenterologists today.
What is the cause of primary sclerosing cholangitis?
While the cause of PSC has not been determined, it is believed to be due to an immune reaction to a toxin or infection. Primary sclerosing cholangitis can be hereditary, which indicates that if a close relative has or had the disease, you have a higher risk of having it as well. Risk factors of primary sclerosing cholangitis include:
- Age (PSC is most commonly diagnosed in those between 30 – 50 years old)
- Being male
- Heritage (those of Northern European descent are at an increased risk for PSC)
- Having IBD (inflammatory bowel disease
The practitioners at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology can explain further details regarding the possible reasons behind primary sclerosing cholangitis and help you gain an understanding of your chance of developing this chronic disease.
What are the common signs of PSC?
In many cases, primary sclerosing cholangitis is diagnosed before signs or symptoms develop through routine testing for other conditions. Treating PSC is more effective when the condition is diagnosed early. The initial symptoms of PSC could involved itching and fatigue. Further symptoms of primary sclerosing cholangitis involve:
- Pain in the upper right abdominal area
- Fragile bones
- Pain in the joints
- Dry eyes
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- Unwanted weight loss
- Dryness of the mouth
- Muscle tenderness
- Dark skin not associated with sun exposure
- Dark and greasy bowel movements
- Night sweats
- High levels of cholesterol
- Swelling in the feet and ankles
You are encouraged to request a consultation with an Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology specialist if you notice intense itching on much of your body, or if you feel very tired more than normal. It is particularly essential to mention these symptoms to your doctor if you have an inflammatory bowel disease IBD, like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
What are the treatments for PSC?
The healthcare community has not discovered a remedy for primary sclerosing cholangitis. The majority of the treatments involve addressing the biliary strictures (narrowed bile ducts) along with the complications and symptoms resulting from the condition. Our Indianapolis, IN gastroenterology providers may suggest one or more of the options listed here to treat PSC:
- Surgery to temporarily open obstructed bile ducts
- Remain at a healthy weight
- Regular exercise
- Avoid consuming alcohol
- Relieve itching symptoms with topical creams
- Stent placement to treat narrowed or blocked bile ducts
- Balloon dilation procedure for narrowed bile ducts
- Nutrition support therapy
- Liver transplant
- Antibiotics for infections
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Expert care for chronic liver disease
As a chronic liver disease, PSC could affect your health and wellness in a number of ways, and it might result in other health problems in the absence of care. However, our gastroenterology team at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology is here to provide the specialized care required to help improve your quality of life. To meet with a provider who offers treatment for PSC in Indianapolis, IN, please contact one of our locations near you.
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