Cirrhosis in the Liver Signs and Symptoms
Some of the more common symptoms and signs of cirrhosis include:
- Yellowing of the skin (jaundice) due to the accumulation of bilirubin in the blood
- Loss of appetite
- Easy bruising from decreased production of blood clotting factors by the diseased liver.
Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) definition
Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is a progressive disease of the liver caused
by a buildup of bile within the liver (cholestasis) that results in damage to
the small bile ducts that drain bile from the liver. Over time, this pressure
build-up destroys the bile ducts leading to liver cell damage. As the disease
progresses and enough liver cells die,
cirrhosis and liver failure occur.
Bile is manufactured in the liver and then transported through the bile ducts
to the gallbladder and intestine where it helps digest fats and fat soluble
vitamins (A,D,E,K). When bile cannot be drained from the liver, it causes
inflammation that leads to cell death. Scar tissue gradually replaces the areas
of damaged liver and then the body cannot perform necessary functions.
What are the causes of primary biliary cirrhosis?
The cause of PBC is unknown. It is most likely an autoimmune disease, where
the body's immune system attacks its own cells. In this disease, the bile ducts
are under attack and are destroyed.
What are the risk factors for primary biliary cirrhosis?
- There may be a
genetic component to the development of PBC since a
with the disease is likely to have a family member also afflicted.
- Women are nine times more likely than men to develop PBC. It most often
develops in the middle age between the ages of 40 to 60.
- The disease is seen more often in white, northern Europeans, compared
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/23/2015