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Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) in Illinois

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Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is similar to primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), with small differences. PSC affects the bile ducts both inside and outside the liver, causing the bile ducts to become inflamed, as well as scar and narrow. This can, in time, lead to liver cirrhosis.

Bile is an important factor in helping the body function properly — it helps with digestion and gets rid of bad cholesterol, toxins, and worn-out red blood cells. This is why it is so important to be treated for PSC as soon as you are diagnosed or experiencing symptoms.

To learn more about primary sclerosing cholangitis and how it can impact your life, contact GI Alliance of Illinois to request a consultation at Chicago, IL locations to Peoria, IL, and Bloomington, IL.

It's not clear what causes PSC, but it's generally thought to be an immune response to a toxin or an injection. It is known that PSC is genetic, so if you have a family member that has or has had PSC, you may be at a greater risk of developing this condition. Additional risk factors include:

  • You are aged 30 – 50
  • Gender (men are more likely to develop PSC)
  • An IBD diagnosis
  • Heritage (Northern Europeans are at greater risk)

To learn more about the different causes of PSC, the skilled GI specialists at GI Alliance of Illinois can provide you with more information.

IllinoisPSC is often diagnosed before symptoms even appear. It's usually diagnosed during a routine exam or a test for another condition. The earlier PSC is discovered the easier it is to treat. Early symptoms include fatigue and itching. Other symptoms include:

  • Joint pain
  • Swollen feet and ankles
  • Dry eyes
  • Muscle soreness
  • Dry mouth
  • High cholesterol
  • Pain in the upper right abdomen
  • Chills
  • Dark and greasy stools
  • Brittle bones
  • Night Sweats
  • Unwanted weight loss
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Dark skin not related to sun exposure

If you experience intense itching on most of your body or if you feel tired all the time, it's important to request a consultation for PSC at one of our Illinois locations. If you have an IBD (such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis), it's important to reach out right away if you're experiencing these symptoms.

No cure for PSC has been found at this point. Most treatment options are for addressing the narrowing of the bile ducts and symptoms associated with the disease. Some treatment options include:

  • Antibiotics for infections
  • Relieving itching symptoms with topical creams
  • Stents for narrowed or blocked bile ducts
  • Nutrition support
  • Avoid Alcohol
  • Exercise
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Balloon dilation for narrowed bile ducts
  • Liver transplant
  • Surgery to temporarily open blocked bile ducts
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Primary sclerosing cholangitis is a chronic liver condition that can largely impact your health and overall wellness. Without care, it can lead to further, more serious health concerns. At GI Alliance of Illinois, our skilled providers pride themselves on offering personalized care to ensure you get the help you need to improve your quality of life. For more information about PSC in Illinois, contact your nearest location to request a consultation.

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