What is sclerosing cholangitis? What symptoms does it cause and how is it treated?

Sclerosing cholangitis is one of the bile duct diseases that can cause serious complications. If you have the symptoms of this disease or the doctor has diagnosed it, stay with us in this article. Next, we will explain what is sclerosing cholangitis? What are the symptoms? What causes this disease? How can it be recognized? Is there a way to cure it? What complications threaten a person if not treated? Which factors increase the risk of contracting this disease? If you have the symptoms of this disease or the risk of contracting it is high, be sure to see a gastroenterologist or an internal medicine doctor. To connect with the best specialists, you can apply through the doctor’s website. In addition to the face-to-face appointment system, Doktorto also offers online and telephone consultations. What is sclerosing cholangitis? Primary sclerosing cholangitis or PSC is a rare biliary tract disease. Bile ducts carry bile produced by the liver to the intestine. Bile is effective in breaking down food fat. Despite this disease, the bile ducts become inflamed. As a result, a wound is formed and scar tissue appears in this organ. This scar tissue narrows and hardens the ducts and restricts the path of bile. As a result, bile accumulates in the liver and damages the cells of this organ. If left untreated, scar tissue will also appear in the liver. Over time, scar tissue interferes with liver function and causes liver cirrhosis and eventually liver failure. This disease can occur at any age. But it is more common in adults than in children. Also, PSC is more common in men than women. 70% of patients with this disease are men. Primary sclerosing cholangitis causes inflammation and ulceration of the bile ducts. As a result, scar tissue is created in these ducts and causes blockage of the bile duct. Bile accumulates in the liver and damages liver cells. This disease can eventually cause liver cirrhosis and liver failure. Primary sclerosing cholangitis causes inflammation and formation of scar tissue in the bile ducts. Symptoms of sclerosing cholangitis Usually primary sclerosing cholangitis has no symptoms in the early stages. You may have this disease for many years, but not realize it. Over time, the following symptoms appear. Fatigue, itching of the skin and whiteness of the eyes, abdominal pain, if the disease progresses, in addition to the above symptoms, the following symptoms may also occur. Fever and chills, night sweats, enlarged liver, enlarged spleen, weight loss, if you have experienced the above symptoms and these symptoms have not resolved after a few days, be sure to visit a gastroenterologist and liver specialist or an internal medicine doctor for a detailed examination. You can contact the best doctors through your doctor’s website. In addition to the face-to-face appointment system, Doktorto also offers online and telephone consultations. Fatigue and heartache are common symptoms of PSC. The cause of sclerosing cholangitis Doctors do not know the exact cause of PSC. But probably the reaction of the immune system to the infection in people who are genetically predisposed to this disease causes the occurrence of sclerosing cholangitis. This disease is related to inflammatory bowel diseases. Many patients with sclerosing cholangitis have inflammatory bowel diseases, especially ulcerative colitis, followed by Crohn’s disease. According to the obtained statistics, about 75% of people with PSC also have ulcerative colitis. Of course, these two diseases do not occur at the same time. You may have sclerosing cholangitis years ago and then get inflammatory bowel disease. Risk factors for sclerosing cholangitis Some factors may increase the likelihood of developing primary sclerosing cholangitis. Among them: Age: This disease is usually diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 40. Gender: The incidence of this disease is higher in men than in women. Inflammatory bowel diseases: A large number of people with sclerosing cholangitis also have inflammatory bowel disease. Inflammatory bowel disease is related to sclerosing cholangitis. Complications of PSC sclerosing cholangitis may cause serious complications if left untreated. Some of its most important complications are: liver diseases and liver failure: inflammation of the bile ducts can cause scar tissue in the liver, liver cirrhosis, the death of liver cells and finally the loss of this organ. Repeated infection: the ulcer of the bile ducts slows down the flow of bile. will be As a result, frequent infections occur in the bile ducts. Portal blood pressure: blood flow from the digestive system to the liver is carried out through the portal vein. Blood pressure in this vein causes fluid to leak from the liver into the abdominal cavity. There is also a possibility of swelling of the veins (varicose veins), which is life-threatening. Osteoporosis: the possibility of this complication is high in patients with sclerosing cholangitis. Bile duct cancer: in these patients, the risk of developing bile duct or gallbladder cancer is high. Intestinal cancer Large: due to the connection of this disease with inflammatory bowel diseases, there is a possibility of colon cancer. Quoted from mayoclinic regarding the possibility of colon cancer in patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis: Primary sclerosing cholangitis associated with inflammatory bowel disease increases the risk of colon cancer. If you have been diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis, your doctor may recommend testing for inflammatory bowel disease; Even if you have no symptoms. Because if you have both diseases, the risk of colon cancer increases. Diagnosis of sclerosing cholangitis To diagnose this disease, your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and medical history. Since sclerosing cholangitis often has no specific symptoms, it is necessary to perform diagnostic tests. First, a blood test should be prescribed. In the liver function test, the amount of liver enzymes in the blood is checked. An abnormal level of these enzymes is a sign of liver dysfunction. After the blood test, a cholangiographic imaging test should be performed for accurate diagnosis. There are different types of this test, including: Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP): accurate images are created in the MRI of the bile ducts with radio waves. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP): the narrow and flexible tube of the endoscope enters the digestive tract. A dye is injected into the bile ducts so that the image can be seen more accurately. Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC): A thin needle is inserted through the skin and the liver duct is clearly seen on radiographs using dye. A liver biopsy should be performed to determine the extent of liver damage. In this method, some of the liver tissue is removed and examined in the laboratory. If you suspect primary sclerosing cholangitis, you should see a gastroenterologist or an internist for timely diagnosis and treatment. You can contact the best doctors through your doctor’s website. In addition to the face-to-face appointment system, Doktorto also offers online and telephone consultations. Treatment of sclerosing cholangitis Unfortunately, there is no medicine to treat primary sclerosing cholangitis. Doctors are researching some treatment methods. But this research has not been completed yet. Medicines are prescribed to reduce the symptoms and complications of this disease. These drugs include the following. Treatment of itching: Bile acid relievers, antibiotics, and antihistamines can help relieve itching. Treatment of infection: To treat a bacterial infection in the bile ducts, you must take repeated courses of antibiotics. Nutritional support: This disease causes a lack of nutrients in the body. For this reason, the doctor prescribes vitamin supplements. Treatment of bile duct obstruction: The doctor uses the balloon dilatation method for treatment. A narrow tube with a balloon at the end should be inserted into the blocked bile duct with an endoscope. Once the balloon is in the right place, it will pop. Another method is stenting. In this method, a plastic tube is inserted with an endoscope and keeps the duct open. The only way to definitively cure this disease is liver transplantation. This method is used in very advanced cases of liver failure. In rare cases, the disease may recur after liver transplantation. There is no medicine to treat sclerosing cholangitis. The doctor can prescribe the necessary drugs to reduce symptoms such as itching, infection, blockage of the bile ducts and abdominal pain. Antibiotics are prescribed to treat the infection and itching caused by PSC. Home remedies for sclerosing cholangitis. Home remedies do not help to treat this disease. But to reduce the symptoms and complications of primary sclerosing cholangitis, you must change your lifestyle and take measures. Avoid alcohol. Get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B. Try to stay away from chemicals. Keep your weight within a healthy range. Have a diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein. Frequently Asked Questions If you are suffering from sclerosing cholangitis disease or have its symptoms, you have probably faced questions in this regard. For this reason, we have raised some of your frequently asked questions and provided their answers. Is sclerosing cholangitis a biliary tract disease? PSC is one of the rare diseases of the bile ducts. This disease causes ulcers and scars in the bile ducts and blocks the passage of bile. Is itchy skin a symptom of sclerosing cholangitis? Sclerosing cholangitis can damage the liver due to blocking the flow of bile. Skin itching is one of the signs of damage to liver cells and dysfunction of this organ. Is abdominal pain a sign of sclerosing cholangitis? Sclerosing cholangitis causes inflammation and ulcers in the bile ducts and liver. These wounds and dysfunction of these organs can cause abdominal pain, especially on the right side. Can night sweats be a symptom of sclerosing cholangitis? If the PSC disease progresses, in the serious stages, the person will experience night sweats and even fever and chills. You should take these symptoms seriously and see a doctor immediately. Do inflammatory bowel diseases cause sclerosing cholangitis? Inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease do not cause sclerosing cholangitis. But for unknown reasons, these two diseases are related and usually the patient has both diseases. If you have inflammatory bowel disease or primary sclerosing cholangitis, you should see a doctor to diagnose the second disease. Does sclerosing cholangitis cause liver cirrhosis? PSC disease reduces or stops the flow of bile due to inflammation and scar tissue in the bile ducts. As a result, bile accumulates in the liver. This liquid can cause liver cell damage and liver cirrhosis over time. Is osteoporosis a complication of sclerosing cholangitis? Over time, this disease affects the bones and makes them weak and narrow. As a result, the person has osteoporosis and must take medical measures to control it. Does sclerosing cholangitis cause bile duct cancer? PSC disease causes the bile duct to become stiff and narrow due to the formation of scars and scar tissue. As a result, over time, there is a possibility of the wounds becoming cancerous and developing bile duct cancer. Does sclerosing cholangitis cause colon cancer? This disease does not contribute to colon cancer. But since a large number of patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases, including ulcerative colitis, they should be careful of colon cancer. The incidence of this cancer is high in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Which doctor should we see to diagnose and treat sclerosing cholangitis? Sclerosing cholangitis or PSC is one of the rare diseases of the bile ducts. This disease causes inflammation and ulcers in the bile ducts. As a result, due to the presence of scar tissue, the flow of bile slows down or stops. Accumulation of bile in the liver causes damage to this organ, liver cirrhosis and finally liver failure. Primary sclerosing cholangitis usually does not cause symptoms. But as the disease progresses, symptoms such as itching, abdominal pain, jaundice and night sweats appear. The exact cause of this disease is still unknown. In most people, PSC appears along with inflammatory bowel disease. There is no cure for PSC. Medicines can only be prescribed to reduce its symptoms and complications. To diagnose the disease and prescribe the necessary drugs, you should see a gastroenterologist and a liver specialist or an internist. In addition to the face-to-face appointment system, there is the possibility of online and telephone consultations with these specialists. Your doctor takes care of your health!

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