Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis

Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis

Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis Treatment in Colorado

Your Dedicated Ally in Long-Term Liver Health

Bile ducts in the liver are vital for producing and carrying digestive enzymes to the small intestine, but a rare liver disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis can cause many health complications that necessitate prompt medical intervention. When primary sclerosing cholangitis sets in, the liver’s bile ducts become chronically inflamed, leading to scarring and hardening of the tissue.

If you’re struggling with the discomfort associated with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology provides the precision treatment and exceptional support Colorado residents like you deserve. As the largest network of certified GI practitioners in the Rocky Mountain region, our healthcare providers have in-depth expertise in delivering heartfelt care to prioritize the long-term health of PSC patients. Learn more about how primary sclerosing cholangitis can impact your overall health and how our comprehensive treatment can help.

Understanding Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis & Its Impact

The exact triggers for primary sclerosing cholangitis remain unknown, but it is a progressive autoimmune disorder characterized by inflammation and scarring of the bile ducts. The body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the bile ducts, which can lead to narrowing and blockages, damage to liver tissue, and impairment of its vital functions. While PSC can occur at any age, it often emerges silently – particularly in males between the ages of 30-40 who also suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis or have a family history of inheriting the disease. Other risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing PSC include geographical location, as those with a Northern European background are more predisposed to primary sclerosing cholangitis.

Early medical intervention will help prevent more severe complications from developing, such as frequent infections, portal hypertension, thinning bones, liver failure, and cancer.

Recognizing the Symptoms of PSC & When to Seek Treatment

Mitigating the impact of PSC starts with identifying the early warning signs of this unique disease. Being aware of these health complications and seeking a medical evaluation cannot be overstressed. Changes in stool or urine color, chronic itchy skin, unexplained weight loss, or high fever may point to the presence of PSC. Since these symptoms can overlap with other conditions, getting a healthcare professional’s opinion is imperative when they arise. Patients who exhibit the known risk factors increase the urgency for an assessment to slow down the course of the disease and prevent the development of severe liver complications. Additional common symptoms of PSC include increased fatigue, yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), night sweats, and abdominal pain.

Don’t ignore these symptoms, especially if they begin to worsen. Contact our gastroenterologists, who have the knowledge and experience to properly address the debilitating effects of primary sclerosing cholangitis.

Advanced Diagnostic Techniques & PSC Treatments

Determining the presence of primary sclerosing cholangitis typically involves medical diagnostic techniques like blood testing to evaluate liver function, MRIs, endoscopic ultrasounds, and other imaging scans that produce real-time images of the bile ducts, and biopsy procedures aimed at removing a small portion of liver tissue for lab testing.

RMG offers many multi-faceted treatment strategies to manage both the symptoms and the underlying disease. Primary forms of treatment for PSC are medications called bile acid sequestrants, which adhere to the bile acids suspected of causing itchiness in liver disease patients. Antibiotics and antihistamines can also be used to reduce the sensation of itching and prevent bacterial infections, while procedures such as endoscopic balloon dilation and stent placements effectively treat bile duct blockages. The only known treatment to cure primary sclerosing cholangitis is a liver transplant, which is reserved for those with liver failure and other severe complications associated with the disease.

Partner With RMG for Comprehensive Care Today

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis, our healthcare providers will help manage your condition with empathy and specialized expertise. Take the first step toward improving your liver health and entrust your care to Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology. Contact us to schedule your next appointment and regain your quality of life today.

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