Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) in San Antonio, TX

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Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) shares some similarities with PBC (primary biliary cholangitis); however, PSC affects the bile ducts outside and within the liver. It causes the bile ducts to become inflamed, scarred, and narrowed, which might ultimately develop into cirrhosis of the liver.

Bile is a key component in normal bodily function. It aids in digestion and helps with the elimination of worn-out blood cells, toxins, and bad cholesterol. As such, it is vital for patients to obtain help for PSC as early as possible. Our team at San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates is pleased to offer personalized services for primary sclerosing cholangitis. To hear more about this disease or to get help for PSC in San Antonio, TX, please request a consultation with a member of our gastroenterology team today.

While the root cause of PSC has not been identified, it is thought to be due to an immune reaction to a toxin or infection. Primary sclerosing cholangitis carries a genetic predisposition, meaning if a close relative has or had the disease, you are more likely to have it as well. Factors that increase the risk of primary sclerosing cholangitis are:

  • Ancestry (people of Northern European descent are at higher risk of having PSC)
  • Age (PSC is most common among individuals between the ages of 30 and 50)
  • Being a man
  • Having IBD (inflammatory bowel disease

The team at San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates can offer further information about the possible factors leading to PSC and help you gain an understanding of your chance of developing this condition.

In many cases, primary sclerosing cholangitis is diagnosed before any signs or symptoms arise, during the course of routine testing for other health concerns. Treating PSC is more successful when the condition is caught early. The initial symptoms of primary sclerosing cholangitis may involve tiredness and itching. Other general symptoms of primary sclerosing cholangitis include:

  • High cholesterol
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Dark-colored and oily bowel movements
  • Pain in the upper right side of the abdomen
  • Dark skin not associated with sun exposure
  • Dryness of the mouth
  • Muscle soreness
  • Dry eyes
  • Chills
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin)
  • Swelling in the ankles and feet
  • Fragile bones
  • Night sweats

We urge you to request a consultation with a San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates provider should you have intense itching on much of your body, or if you feel exhausted more than normal. It is especially important to discuss these symptoms with your physician if you have been diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), like Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.

The healthcare community has not uncovered a cure for PSC. Many of the treatment methods involve treating the narrowed bile ducts and the complications and symptoms resulting from the disorder. Our San Antonio, TX gastroenterology specialists may recommend one or more of the options listed below to treat PSC:

  • Surgery to temporarily open bile duct obstructions
  • Balloon dilation procedure to widen narrowed bile ducts
  • Antibiotics to treat infections
  • Stents for narrowed or obstructed bile ducts
  • Manage itching symptoms with topical creams
  • Exercise
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Nutrition support therapy
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Liver transplant surgery
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As a chronic liver condition, primary sclerosing cholangitis could affect your health and life in a number of aspects, and it might cause additional health problems without treatment. Our digestive health team at San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates is here to offer the individualized care needed to help enhance your quality of life. To meet with a provider who offers PSC treatment in San Antonio, TX, please contact one of our practice locations near you.

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