Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) in Kansas City, MO
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What is PSC (primary sclerosing cholangitis)?
Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is similar to primary biliary cholangitis (PBC); however, PSC impacts the bile ducts located inside and outside the liver. PSC causes the bile ducts to become irritated, damaged, and constricted, which could eventually develop into liver cirrhosis.
Bile is vital to the way the body functions. It helps with digestion and rids your body of bad cholesterol, worn-out blood cells, and toxins. Because of this, it is important for individuals to get care for primary sclerosing cholangitis without delay. The team at Digestive Health Specialists is pleased to provide skilled services for primary sclerosing cholangitis. To hear more about this concern or to find care for PSC in Kansas City, MO, request an appointment with a member of our GI team today.
What is the cause of primary sclerosing cholangitis?
The cause of PSC remains unclear, but it is thought to be due to an immune reaction to a toxin or infection. PSC can be genetic, which means 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 are:
- Ancestry (individuals with Northern European heritage are at greater risk of getting PSC)
- Age (PSC is most commonly diagnosed in patients between the ages of 30 and 50)
- Being male
- Having inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
The practitioners at Digestive Health Specialists can discuss additional information surrounding the possible factors leading to primary sclerosing cholangitis and help you learn more about the risks of having this condition.
What are common signs of PSC?
PSC is most commonly detected before any signs or symptoms develop via routine testing for other issues. Treating PSC is more successful when detected early. The early symptoms of primary sclerosing cholangitis might involve fatigue and itching. Other signs and symptoms of PSC are:
- Tenderness in the muscles
- Dark skin not associated with sun exposure
- Unwanted weight loss
- Upper right abdominal pain
- Dry eyes
- Swollen ankles and feet
- Dark-colored and greasy bowel movements
- Significant sweating during sleep
- Brittle bones
- Pain in the joints
- High levels of cholesterol
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- Dry mouth
We urge you to request a consultation with your nearest Digestive Health Specialists' provider in the event you notice intense itching on a good portion of your body, or if you feel very tired more often than not. It is very important to mention these symptoms to your provider if you have an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
What are the treatments for PSC?
Medical providers have not identified a cure for PSC. Most of the treatments involve addressing the narrowed bile ducts along with the complications and symptoms that result from the disorder. Our Kansas City, MO gastroenterologists may advise having one or more of the following options to treat PSC:
- Stent placement to address narrowed or obstructed bile ducts
- Routine exercise
- Remaining at a healthy weight
- Avoiding alcohol
- Antibiotics for infections
- Liver transplant surgery
- Nutrition support
- Balloon dilation to treat constricted bile ducts
- Alleviating itching with topical creams
- Surgery to temporarily open blocked bile ducts
Expert care for chronic liver disease
PSC is a chronic liver disease that may affect your health and life in various ways, and it might result in additional health issues without treatment. Our gastroenterology team at Digestive Health Specialists is here to provide the personalized services needed to help boost your quality of life. To consult a provider who offers primary sclerosing cholangitis treatment in Kansas City, MO, please contact one of our locations in your community.
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