Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC)
Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) is a rare chronic disease in which the liver’s bile ducts are slowly destroyed. This is an issue because bile is a fluid produced by the liver that is important for digestion. It also helps to rid the body of cholesterol, toxins, and worn- out red blood cells. When the bile ducts are damaged it can back up the liver and sometimes lead to irreversible scarring of liver tissue, or cirrhosis. It can eventually lead to liver failure as well. PBC is a disease that primarily affects women, with 1 in every 1,000 women over the age of 40 being impacted. People with PBC may not experience symptoms, but the most common symptoms include itching and fatigue.
Although there are treatment options within Hepatology like Ursodiol and Ocaliva that help people manage the progression of the disease, there is currently no cure for PBC. Further research is being done to improve upon treatment for the disease.