- Take the Liver Disease Quiz
- A Visual Guide to Hepatitis Slideshow
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- Patient Comments: Primary Biliary Cirrhosis - Experience
- Patient Comments: Primary Biliary Cirrhosis - Symptoms
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
- Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) definition
- What are the causes of primary biliary cirrhosis?
- What are the risk factors for primary biliary cirrhosis?
- What are the signs and symptoms for primary biliary cirrhosis?
- How is the diagnosis of primary biliary cirrhosis made?
- What is the treatment for primary biliary cirrhosis?
- What are the complications of primary biliary cirrhosis?
- Can primary biliary cirrhosis be prevented?
- What is the prognosis for someone with primary biliary cirrhosis?
What are the signs and symptoms for primary biliary cirrhosis?
Up to a quarter of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis are asymptomatic, meaning they do not have symptoms at the time of diagnosis and the disease is found incidentally because of abnormal liver blood tests.
The most common initial symptoms are fatigue or a sense of being abnormally tired and, skin that itches. Because of the intense itching and scratching, the skin may become darkened and discolored in some areas. The person may also complain of dry mouth and eyes.
Because there may be liver inflammation, some people may experience right upper quadrant abdominal pain, where the liver is located.
Should the liver damage progress, the symptoms of cirrhosis may develop. These include muscle wasting, ascites (swelling of the abdomen due to fluid accumulation), leg swelling, jaundice (yellow coloration of the skin), and confusion.