Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Introduction to PBC i.e. Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

PBC is the acronym of Primary Biliary Cirrhosis, which refers to a disease caused primarily because of bile ducts liver caused in the liver. Bile ducts refer to a few small channels responsible for carrying digestive fluid referred as bile from the human liver towards the small intestine.

Bile in the intestine is helpful in breaking down fat components and help in easy absorption of fat-soluble type of vitamins named Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K, along with other essential minerals. However, in case of PBC patients, bile ducts suffer damages, because of which bile starts forming within the liver. With the passage of time, accumulated bile in the liver damages it and thereby, causes permanent cirrhosis and scaring problems.

Primary biliary cirrhosis patients initially do not develop any symptom for 10 years approximately. In contrast, once the symptom starts, life expectancy of the patient limits to about 10 years. However, exact numbers of years a person may live depend on his/her individual condition and regular habits.

Symptoms of Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

Primary biliary cirrhosis problem progresses at a slow pace. Even you undergo with diagnosis, you may not experience any symptom for some years. After that, you will experience following symptoms-

Initial Symptoms of the Problem are-

Later Symptoms of the Problem are-

  • Pain in the belly area
  • Skin darkening
  • Appetite loss
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth and dry eyes
  • White bumps or small and yellow bumps below the eyes or skin
  • Pain in the muscles, bones and joint areas
  • Jaundice or yellowing of the eyes and the skin
  • Swelling in the belly area because of fluid buildup
  • Edema i.e. swelling in the ankles and legs
  • Fractures because of weak bones
  • Diarrhea

What Is The Life Expectancy Of Someone With Primary Biliary Cirrhosis?

According to doctors, primary biliary cirrhosis is a type of progressive disease and although, you can control the progression of the problem, but cannot cure it completely. Life expectancy of primary biliary cirrhosis depends on different factors, which include fatigue and other symptoms of a patient, abnormalities in the liver function test and similar others. Especially, prognosis depends on whether the person has taken with only medication treatment or undergone with liver transplantation procedure.

Advancements in the treatment procedure, including the liver transplantation have increased the life expectancy of Primary Biliary Cirrhosis patients during the last few years. On an average, survival from asymptomatic type of primary biliary cirrhosis patient is about 16 years, while with patients experiencing symptoms may live about 7 or 8 years. However, even the advancements fail to cure the problem completely. With the aim to get improved life expectancy, it is essential for you to follow a healthy lifestyle, which includes healthy diet plan, physical exercise and avoiding drinking or smoking strictly.

Conclusion

Based on key aspects about primary biliary cirrhosis, we should say that PBC is a progressive and a chronic problem. It is incurable and with time, results in permanent liver damage. However, as the problem progresses at a relatively slow pace, patients get adequate time in their hands to lead a normal life for few years without experiencing any symptom.

Once the symptoms develop, medications help in managing them. In addition, in case you undergo with surgical procedure (liver transplantation) and follow other better treatment options, you will expect to improve the life expectancy for more numbers of years. Finally, if you want to achieve the best outlook, you should strictly follow your doctors’ prescriptions and valuable recommendations.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: July 28, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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