Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) in Lubbock, TX

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Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), formerly known as primary biliary cirrhosis, is a rare chronic liver condition. Primary biliary cholangitis is a progressive immune system disorder that gradually destroys the bile ducts in the liver. Bile aids in the digestive process and eliminates fat, waste, and damaged red blood cells. This disorder may also result in severe issues within your liver. If the bile ducts are injured or destroyed, then bile can accumulate in your liver and create scarring. When the liver becomes too damaged, it can result in cirrhosis of the liver.

To learn more about this condition or to find treatment for primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) in Lubbock, TX, we encourage you to request a consultation with us. Our Lubbock Digestive Disease Associates specialists are here to provide individualized treatments for patients throughout the area.

Primary biliary cholangitis is an autoimmune disorder. This means that the immune system incorrectly destroys healthy tissues and cells. Liver inflammation is present when white blood cells, called T cells, begin to accumulate and harm healthy cells in the liver. Swelling in the bile ducts progresses to other areas of the liver, killing those cells and creating scars. As the liver scars more and more, it starts to function improperly, resulting in liver cirrhosis. It is not known what leads these T cells to destroy healthy cells, but it could be inherited.

Factors of increased risk

There are several variables associated with having primary biliary cholangitis. They include:

  • Being 30 to 60 years old
  • Tobacco and similar harmful substances
  • Being a female
  • Location (Primary biliary cholangitis is most common in North America and Northern Europe)
  • Family history (individuals are more likely to get this disorder if a member of the family has had it)
  • Specific infections


Typically, symptoms of PBC do not appear until five to 20 years after detection. The diagnosis of PBC normally occurs while testing for other disorders. The initial signs of PBC are fatigue, dry mouth and eyes, and itchy skin.

Other frequent signs of PBC include:

  • High levels of cholesterol
  • Dark and greasy bowel movements
  • Brittle bones
  • Swollen feet and ankles
  • Muscle pain
  • Pain in the joints
  • Discomfort in the upper right abdomen
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
  • Darkened skin not related to sun exposure

It is necessary to diagnose primary biliary cholangitis as soon as possible. If you suspect you might be at risk of having PBC related to genetic history or are experiencing one or more of the symptoms, our Lubbock, TX GI providers can help you find the treatment that is right for you.

There is currently no way to reverse primary biliary cholangitis. Treatment helps with slowing the development of the condition and treating the complications. Some of the common treatment options involve:

  • Cholesterol-lowering medicines (reduce itching and liver inflammation)
  • Physical fitness
  • Liver transplant surgery
  • Obeticholic acid (promotes liver health)
  • Vitamin supplements
  • Ursodeoxycholic acid (helps move bile through your liver)

The approximate life expectancy for a person with PBC after they begin showing symptoms is ten years, unless they receive a liver transplant. While there is no cure, patients will be able to receive the treatment necessary to live a more vibrant life. Our Lubbock Digestive Disease Associates GI providers will partner with you to help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

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If you or a family member are dealing with the signs or symptoms of primary biliary cholangitis, we want you to know that individualized care is available. The GI specialists at your nearest Lubbock Digestive Disease Associates location are proud to provide treatment options to help you manage this liver disease and alleviate your uncomfortable symptoms. If you'd like to consult with a provider who helps manage primary biliary cholangitis in Lubbock, TX, contact one of our locations to request a consultation.

Dr. Kensing is great. He is very informative, is willing to answer and and all question. He is highly recommended.

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Excellent doctor and staff. Highly recommend Dr. Rakvit and her staff.

J.E. Google

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I had been looking for a Dr. In this field because I didn't know one. He was recommended to me by my niece and was not disappointed. He answered all my questions and was not in a hurry to get to the next patient. I appreciated that. I can honestly say I have found my permanent Dr. Thanks Dr. Hughston.

J.S. Google


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