Primary biliary cirrhosis treatment

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How it works

Consult with our health coaches who will learn about your symptoms, habits, and goals.


Take personalized home health tests to discover potential root causes of any symptoms or conditions you may have.


Review your results in just days with our functional medicine doctors, nurses, and dietitians who will help you achieve optimal health.

Learn about Primary biliary cirrhosis

Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), recently renamed to primary biliary cholangitis, is a chronic disease that affects the liver. The condition gradually destroys the bile ducts in the liver, leading to harmful substances building up and causing liver damage. PBC is considered relatively rare but significant due to its impact on life quality and longevity. Its prevalence has been noted to be higher in women than in men and usually surfaces in middle age.


The exact cause of PBC is not fully understood, but it's believed to be an autoimmune condition. This means the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues – in this case, the bile ducts. Genetic and environmental factors may also play a role in the development of PBC, suggesting a complex interplay of triggers that initiate the disease process.


Signs and symptoms

- Fatigue, often severe - Itchy skin - Dry eyes and mouth - Pain in the upper right abdomen - Darkening of the skin not related to sun exposure - Fluid build-up in the abdomen (ascites) - Hyperpigmentation - Swollen feet and ankles due to fluid retention - Elevated cholesterol levels

Diagnosing Primary biliary cirrhosis

Diagnosing PBC typically involves a combination of blood tests, imaging studies, and possibly a liver biopsy. Blood tests check for specific antibodies characteristic of PBC, while imaging tests, like ultrasound or MRI, assess liver and bile duct condition. A liver biopsy, although less commonly performed now due to advancements in blood testing, can provide definitive confirmation by examining a small liver tissue sample under a microscope.


Prevention and natural treatment

Preventing PBC is challenging due to its unclear causes. However, early detection and intervention can slow disease progression and alleviate symptoms. In terms of treatment, functional medicine looks beyond conventional pharmacological therapies, focusing on a more holistic approach to patient care. Natural treatment strategies might include: - Nutritional support: A balanced diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can support liver health. Essential nutrients like vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants are particularly beneficial. - Herbal supplements: Certain herbs, like milk thistle and turmeric, have been suggested to support liver health through their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. - Gut health: There's growing evidence of a gut-liver axis in health and disease. Probiotics and a diet high in fiber can support gut health and potentially beneficially impact PBC. - Exercise: Regular, moderate exercise can improve overall well-being and help manage symptoms like fatigue. It's vital that individuals with PBC work closely with their healthcare provider when considering natural therapies to ensure they complement conventional treatments and do not interfere with any medications. Open dialogue between patients and healthcare teams is essential for personalized care plans in managing primary biliary cirrhosis.

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