Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) in Tulsa, OK
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What is PSC (primary sclerosing cholangitis)?
Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) shares some similarities with PBC (primary biliary cholangitis), but PSC affects the bile ducts outside and inside the liver. PSC leads the bile ducts to become irritated, damaged, and constricted, which can ultimately lead to liver cirrhosis.
Bile is essential to how the body functions. It helps with digestion and the disposal of toxins, bad cholesterol, and worn-out blood cells. As a result, it is crucial for patients to undergo care for PSC as soon as possible. At an Adult Gastroenterology Associates in your community, our team proudly offers specialty treatment for primary sclerosing cholangitis. To learn more about the condition or to receive treatment for PSC in Tulsa, OK, request a consultation with one of our gastroenterologists today.
What causes PSC?
While the cause of primary sclerosing cholangitis has not been determined, it is believed to involve an immune response to an infection or a toxin. PSC can be hereditary, which means that if a family member has or had PSC liver disease, you have a higher risk of developing it as well. Factors that increase the risk of developing PSC include:
- Having inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Age (PSC is most common among individuals between ages 30 and 50)
- Ancestry (people of Northern European descent are at greater risk of having PSC)
- Being a man
The providers at your nearest Adult Gastroenterology Associates location are here to help. They can provide you with the possible causes of PSC and can help you better understand your chances of developing this condition.
What are the common symptoms of PSC?
In many cases, primary sclerosing cholangitis is diagnosed before any signs or symptoms develop during a routine test for other health issues. Treatment for primary sclerosing cholangitis is most effective when the condition is caught in the early stages. The beginning symptoms of PSC can involve itching and fatigue. Further general symptoms of PSC are:
- Upper right abdominal pain
- Pain in the joints
- Dark skin not related to being in the sun
- Tenderness in the muscles
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- Night sweats
- Dry eyes
- High levels of cholesterol
- Dry mouth
- Frail bones
- Unwanted weight loss
- Swollen ankles and feet
- Dark and oily bowel movements
It is important to request a consultation at an Adult Gastroenterology Associates location near you if you experience excessive itching throughout your body, or if you feel exhausted all the time. It is even more important to discuss these symptoms with your provider if you have an inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.
What treatments are available for PSC?
Healthcare providers have not yet found a treatment for PSC. Many of the treatment protocols involve addressing the narrowed bile ducts and symptoms and complications resulting from the condition. Our Tulsa, OK gastroenterology specialists could suggest one or more of the following options to treat PSC:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- A surgical procedure to temporarily open bile duct obstructions
- Balloon dilation to expand narrowed bile ducts
- Liver transplant procedure
- Antibiotics for infections
- Stents to address narrowed or blocked bile ducts
- Nutrition support therapy
- Alleviate itching with topical creams
- Avoid alcohol consumption
Get help managing PSC
As a chronic liver disease, PSC not only affects your health and wellness but could also result in additional health issues if left untreated. However, our digestive health team at your nearest Adult Gastroenterology Associates location is ready to help. Our team offers the individualized care needed to help increase your quality of life. To connect with a provider who offers treatment for primary sclerosing cholangitis in Tulsa, OK, please contact one of our locations near you.
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