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Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

Primary biliary cirrhosis or PBC is a type of liver disease and usually caused by the damage done to the bile ducts in the liver. The condition is also known as primary biliary cholangitis. The same as the other liver conditions, the damage to the tissues are permanent and will be replaced with scar tissue, also called fibrosis. As fibrosis continues to affect the organ, its function, as well as its structure, will slowly deteriorate.


There is no known cause of primary biliary cholangitis, but many experts believe that it can be caused by a problem caused by the immune system. The immune system is the body’s natural defense system.


Although generally, individual diagnosed with PBC don’t usually experience symptoms, some people may experience some signs, which are:

  • Pruritus or excessive itching
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Jaundice or yellow discoloration in the skin and the white part of the eyes
  • A feeling of discomfort in the upper right side of the abdomen
  • The mouth and the eyes are noticeable dry
  • Dryness in the vagina for women

In some instances especially in cases where there is advanced liver damage, some people may have complications from cholangitis such as:

  • Ascites or fluid buildup in the abdominal cavity
  • Variceal bleeding or bleeding caused by enlarged veins in the esophagus, stomach, and rectum
  • Osteoporosis or weakening and thinning of the bones

Treatment can be a bit difficult because it is mostly an immune system problem. Therefore treatment is mostly managing or reducing symptoms, prevention or treatment for the complications of the disease and prevents other conditions that will cause additional liver damage.

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If you think you are suffering from Primary Biliary Cirrhosis you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Primary Biliary Cirrhosis as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).