Secondary Biliary Cirrhosis – Causes and Symptoms

Secondary biliary cirrhosis (SBC)

is a chronic condition where there is partial or total obstruction of the large bile ducts outside the liver. Common bile duct and its major branches are affected by the obstruction. They progressively get damaged when the bile starts building up in the ducts. All this eventually leads to damage of liver tissue or liver failure.

There is another form of biliary cirrhosis called primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). In PBC, small ducts with in the liver are obstructed. There is gulf of difference between primary and secondary biliary cirrhosis though both of them are cirrhosis. The major difference is seen in the conditions that cause SBC abd PBC. Some of the symptoms of PBC are same as those in SBC. In this article give causes and the symptoms of SBC.

Causes of SBC:

Secondary Biliary Cirrhosis is caused by conditions such as:

  • Gallstones
  • Strictures (or narrowing) of the bile duct following gallbladder surgery
  • Pericholangitis
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Idiopathic sclerosing cholangitis
  • Congenital biliary atresia
  • Cystic fibrosis

Symptoms of SBC:

In initial stages, secondary biliary cirrhosis may not show any symptoms at all. They appear when considerable amount of bile remains obstructed in the ducts. The most common initial symptoms are:

  • Itchy skin
  • Fatigue
  • Jaundice symptoms like yellowing of the eyes and skin

Other manifestations may include:

  • Darkening of exposed areas of the skin
  • Fever
  • Bone pain
  • Pale-colored, foul-smelling, bulky stools
  • Easy bruising
  • Night blindness
  • Abdominal or stomach pain on the right side
  • Bone thinning or osteoporosis
  • Fatty deposits around the eyes
  • Fluid retention
  • Thyroid problems
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry eyes
  • Arthritis

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