What Causes Biliary Disease?

Introduction To The Biliary Disease

Primary biliary cirrhosis categorizes as a chronic disease, where bile ducts present in the liver destroys slowly. Bile consists of fluid present in the liver and it helps in digestive procedure as well as to remove toxins and cholesterol from the body, while worn out red blood cells. On the other side, in case of PBC, bile ducts damage and thereby, cause backup of bile in the liver and in some cases, it leads to irreversible liver tissue scarring, commonly referred as cirrhosis.

Even a few doctors call primary biliary cirrhosis as primary biliary cholangitis i.e. an autoimmune disease, as the immune system of one’s body attacks healthy tissues and cells mistakenly. Medical researchers and doctors perceive the problem as a combination of environmental and genetic factors triggering the problem. The disease often develops at a slow pace and medicines help in reducing the liver damage, particularly, if treatment starts early and patients follow healthy lifestyle.

What Causes Biliary Disease?

What Causes Biliary Disease?

The primary cause of primary biliary cirrhosis is until now unclear in front of doctors and researchers. However, a large number of experts perceive it as a type of autoimmune problem, where the human body turns against the own cells.

Liver Inflammation- Prime Cause of the Problem

Inflammation of liver observed in PBC disease begins whenever specific types of white blood corpuscles in humans referred as T lymphocytes or T cells begin to accumulate in one’s liver. These immune cells normally detect as well as fight against bacteria and other germs. However, in case of primary biliary cirrhosis, they destroy healthy cells present in the body of a person mistakenly resulting in the lining of small bile ducts within the liver.

Smallest Bile Ducts Inflammation

Inflammations caused in smallest bile ducts may spread and damage other cells belong to the liver eventually. Since liver cells die, fibrosis or scar tissue replaces them leading to cirrhosis and thereby, your liver no longer be able to perform its functions properly.

Other Causes of Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Disease

Primary biliary cirrhosis disease in individuals may take place because of other causes, which include-

  • After effects of liver injury or liver surgery
  • Surgery or injury of gall bladder
  • Pancreatitis problem
  • Biliary stricture, known commonly as the abnormal narrowing of the bile duct
  • Physical and/or mental trauma dealt by a person


With the liver damage becomes worse, primary biliary cirrhosis causes severe health issues, which include-

Cirrhosis or Liver Scarring

Cirrhosis or liver scarring creates difficulty in the liver function and results in liver failure. This is the later stage of primary biliary cirrhosis, while the patients often have relatively poor prognosis and bear huge risk related to related complications.

Portal Hypertension or Increased Portal Vein Pressure

Blood from pancreas, spleen and intestine enters the liver via a huge blood vessel i.e. portal vein. Whenever scar tissues block the regular blood flow into liver, blood will backup, which increases pressure within the vein. As blood loses its normal flow from your liver, drugs and related toxins fail to filter properly from the bloodstream.

Splenomegaly or Enlarged Spleen

Primary biliary cirrhosis causes swelling of spleen with platelets and WBCs, as the body no longer be able to filter toxins out from the bloodstream.

Bile Duct and Gall Stones

In case bile fails to flow from bile ducts, it causes hardening of stones, causing infection as well as pain.

Varices or Enlarged Veins

Whenever the flow of blood via portal veins blocks or slows down, backup of blood takes place often in esophagus and stomach. Increase in pressure causes breaking up delicate veins and bleeding problems.

Liver Cancer

Scarring of liver or cirrhosis results in increasing risk related to liver cancer in patients.


Doctors and medical research professionals until now be able to identify the exact cause, however, based on patients’ conditions, they can conclude the aforementioned factors are key reasons behind primary biliary cirrhosis disease.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 13, 2019

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