Today’s post is a part of the Insider’s Program on Bloggy Moms. All opinions are my own.
Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), formerly known as primary biliary cirrhosis, is a rare liver disease that primarily results from autoimmune destruction of the bile ducts that transport bile acids out of the liver, resulting in cholestasis.
Did you get that? Well, unless you have had someone in your life or yourself impacted by PBC, you have likely never heard of it. Here is the thing, there are a lot of illnesses out there and most of the time when things start to change in our health we need to be an advocate for ourselves. When you go to the doctor, the doctor does not automatically say he knows what is wrong. You have to let him know your symptoms. Be an advocate for yourself!
Take a look at a few of the personal patient stories on LivingWithPBC.com. If you read Wendy’s story, she spent 5 years searching for why she could sleep for up to 10 hours, yet still felt extremely tired. Fatigue is just one symptom. Itching, dry eyes and mouth, and trouble remembering and concentrating are other symptoms.
Yet, most people who have PBC do not have symptoms at the time they are diagnosed. In fact, many people who have PBC get diagnosed because their liver shows signs of damage during routine liver testing.
So, what should you know about PBC. Here are a few facts to get you started.
- It is more commonly a disease of women, afflicting approximately 1 in 1,000 women over the age of 40.
- Nearly 90% of people with PBC are women.
- PBC can appear in people younger than 25 years of age, but most people are diagnosed between 35 and 60 years of age.
- Since 1988, PBC has been the second-leading overall cause of liver transplant in women in the United States, behind hepatitis C.
Getting an early diagnosis is an important first step in disease management. PBC is a progressive autoimmune disease that affects the bile ducts in the liver. It is important to manage the disease and symptoms in order to prevent serious health issues and the possible need for liver transplant. Learn your facts, get more information on the condition and hear from those living with the condition at LivingwithPBC.com.