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Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis

Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis or PSC for short is a chronic or a long-term disease that affects the bile ducts. The medical condition will slowly damage the bile ducts. Bile duct plays an important role in food digestion in human beings. Bile is a digestive liquid that is made in the liver that travels through the bile ducts to the gallbladder and the small intestine, to help digest fats and fatty vitamins.

Individuals diagnosed with PSC have bile ducts that are blocked because of scarring or an inflammation. When bile ducts are blocked, the bile will accumulate in the liver which will affect the liver cells causing damage and eventually cirrhosis or fibrosis of the liver. The functions of the liver are affected by scarring and if left untreated will lead to liver failure. The scar tissue will also block drainage of the bile ducts which will lead to infection of the bile.

Primary sclerosing cholangitis may progress slowly. Diagnosed individuals may have the disease for years before symptoms start to occur. Furthermore, symptoms, will either come or go, may remain stable or may progress slowly. It may also take 15 to 20 years for liver failure to develop after the diagnosis and much longer for some individuals. PSC may also lead to bile duct cancer.

Most diagnosed individuals may not show any symptoms, but if they do occur, the most common symptoms are:

  • Jaundice of skin discoloration and the white part of the eyes
  • Pruritis or skin itching
  • Fatigue

As the disease progresses, infections may affect the bile ducts, which will cause fever, chills and abdominal pain.

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If you think you are suffering from Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis 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).