Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) in Florida
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What is primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC)?
Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) shares some similarities with primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), but PSC affects the bile ducts situated within and outside of the liver. Primary sclerosing cholangitis makes the bile ducts inflamed, scarred, and constricted, which can ultimately result in liver cirrhosis as time goes on.
Bile is a digestive fluid that is essential to normal bodily function. It helps your body get rid of bad cholesterol, toxins, and worn-out red blood cells. As such, it is essential for you to receive treatment for primary sclerosing cholangitis as early as possible. Gastroenterology Associates of Florida is pleased to provide individualized treatment for primary sclerosing cholangitis. To learn more information about this liver condition or to receive help for PSC in Florida, please request a consultation with a member of our GI team today.
What causes primary sclerosing cholangitis?
The cause of PSC remains unclear, but it is believed to involve an immune response to an infection or a toxin. Primary sclerosing cholangitis has a genetic predisposition, meaning if a close relative has or had the liver condition, you have a greater chance of having it as well. Factors that raise the risk of primary sclerosing cholangitis are:
- Being a man
- Having inflammatory bowel disease
- Heritage (people having Northern European heritage are at higher risk of having PSC)
- Age (PSC is most common among people between the ages of 30 and 50)
The providers at Gastroenterology Associates of Florida can offer additional details about the possible causes of PSC and help you learn more about your chance of developing this chronic disease.
What are the symptoms of PSC?
PSC is most commonly diagnosed before symptoms develop via routine testing for other health issues. PSC treatment is more successful when caught early. The first symptoms of primary sclerosing cholangitis may involve itching and tiredness. Some other common signs and symptoms of PSC include:
- Dryness of the mouth
- Pain in the upper right side of the abdomen
- Joint pain
- Night sweats
- Unplanned weight loss
- Frail bones
- Muscle soreness
- High cholesterol levels
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- Dark skin unrelated to being in the sun
- Dark-colored and greasy stools
- Dry eyes
- Swollen feet and ankles
We urge you to request a consultation with a Gastroenterology Associates of Florida provider should you notice excessive itching on a significant portion of your body, or if you feel very tired more often than not. It is especially critical to mention these symptoms to your physician if you have been diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
What are the treatment options for PSC?
Healthcare practitioners have not determined a cure for primary sclerosing cholangitis. Most of the treatment strategies involve treating the biliary strictures (narrowed bile ducts) and the symptoms and complications associated with the disease. Our Florida gastroenterology specialists may recommend one or more of the options listed here to treat PSC:
- Stents to address narrowed or obstructed bile ducts
- A surgical procedure to temporarily open bile duct obstructions
- Remaining at a healthy weight
- Balloon dilation procedure to treat constricted bile ducts
- Nutrition support therapy
- Antibiotics for infections
- Alleviating itching with topical creams
- Liver transplant surgery
- Avoiding consuming alcohol
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Expert care for chronic liver disease
As a chronic liver condition, PSC may impact your life in various ways, and it might be a catalyst for additional health issues in the absence of care. However, our digestive health team at Gastroenterology Associates of Florida can offer the individualized care you need to help elevate your quality of life. To connect with a provider who offers primary sclerosing cholangitis treatment in Florida, contact one of our office locations near you.
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Dr. Sherman is interested in your health and concerns. Always follow up and keep routine exams and test up to date. Listens to concerns you may have and always exam while in office. Hands on Dr.
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