Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) in Arizona

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Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a type of liver disease similar to primary biliary cholangitis (PBC). However, unlike PBC, primary sclerosing cholangitis affects the bile ducts both outside and inside the liver, causing them to become irritated, scarred, and constricted, which may ultimately result in cirrhosis of the liver as time goes on.

Bile is critical to the way the body functions. It aids in digestion and helps with the elimination of bad cholesterol, worn-out blood cells, and toxins. Because of this, it is imperative that you obtain treatment for PSC as soon as possible. Arizona Digestive Health proudly provides personalized services for primary sclerosing cholangitis. To learn more information about this liver concern or to find help for PSC in Phoenix, AZ, request a consultation with a member of our gastroenterology team today.

While the underlying cause of PSC remains unclear, it is generally thought to be associated with an immune reaction to an infection or toxin in the body. PSC has a genetic predisposition, meaning if a close relative has, or had, this liver condition you have a higher chance of having it as well. Risk factors of PSC are:

  • Age (PSC is most common among those between 30 – 50 years old)
  • Ancestry (people of Northern European descent are at greater risk of developing PSC)
  • Being male
  • Having IBD

The specialists at Arizona Digestive Health can explain additional information surrounding the possible causes of primary sclerosing cholangitis and help you better understand your odds of having this chronic disorder.

Primary sclerosing cholangitis is frequently identified during routine testing for other health concerns, often before any of its symptoms have developed. Treating PSC is more effective when identified in the early stages. The initial symptoms of primary sclerosing cholangitis can involve tiredness and itching. Further common symptoms of primary sclerosing cholangitis are:

  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Chills
  • Dark skin not associated with being in the sun
  • Swelling in the ankles and feet
  • Dry mouth
  • Tenderness in the muscles
  • Excessive sweating during sleep
  • Dry eyes
  • Pain in the upper right abdominal area
  • Fragile bones
  • Dark and greasy stools
  • Pain in the joints
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin)

We urge you to request a consultation with a local Arizona Digestive Health specialist in the event you have excessive itching on much of your body or if you feel fatigued more than normal. It is particularly crucial to mention these symptoms to your doctor if you have a type of inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.

Currently, there is no known cure for primary sclerosing cholangitis. Most of the treatments involve treating the biliary strictures (narrowed bile ducts) and the symptoms and complications associated with the disorder. Our Phoenix, AZ gastroenterology specialists may advise one, or more, of the options listed below to treat primary sclerosing cholangitis:

  • Liver transplant
  • Exercise
  • Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight
  • Avoid consuming alcohol
  • Surgical procedure to temporarily open blocked bile ducts
  • Antibiotics to treat infections
  • Balloon dilation to treat narrowed bile ducts
  • Alleviate itching with topical creams
  • Stent placement for narrowed or obstructed bile ducts
  • Nutrition support
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A chronic liver disease, PSC can negatively affect your health in a variety of ways, and it may lead to greater problems if left alone. However, our digestive health team at Arizona Digestive Health is ready to provide the care you require to help enhance your quality of life. To visit a provider who offers treatment for primary sclerosing cholangitis in Phoenix, AZ please contact one of our locations in your area.

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