Primary biliary cirrhosis
Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is a long term condition that slowly damages the tubes that carry bile to your intestines. Instead of flowing freely, bile builds up in your liver causing cell damage, scarring and inflammation.
Bile is a bitter, yellow fluid produced by your liver. Bile is released by your gallbladder into the small intestine when you eat and helps to break down fats.
Many patients do not experience any symptoms until the later stages of the disease. Others see a number of symptoms such as:
- Extreme fatigue
- Dry, itchy skin
- Dry eyes and mouth
- Yellowing of the skin (jaundice)
- Abdominal pain
The causes of PBC are unknown but the disease is considered an autoimmune disease meaning you body’s normal defence system triggers an attack on its own cells.
If your GP suspects you have primary biliary cirrhosis, you may be referred to a specialist consultant for further tests and diagnosis. Our experienced consultants can diagnose and treat primary biliary cirrhosis in a hospital near you.
Related tests and scans
Waiting for blood tests and results can be an anxious time. If you’ve been referred by a GP for a test and don’t want to worry or wait, Nuffield Health can help. Our national network of fully accredited laboratories delivers fast, reliable results at a competitive price – wherever you are in the UK.