Primary sclerosing cholangitis is a disease where the tubes that transfer bile between the liver, gallbladder, and small intestine or the bile ducts become scarred as a result of repeated inflammation. Progression of this condition is characterized by bile build up in the liver due to scar tissue obstructing the bile ducts. The bile build up causes the liver to incur damage over time, and as a result, the liver also becomes scarred. Primary sclerosing cholangitis can lead to cirrhosis and failure of the liver. The causes of this condition are not clear, but it is often linked to ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel disease. Symptoms that gradually appear as primary sclerosing cholangitis advances slowly include itchy skin, jaundice, and fatigue. Additionally, individuals with this condition may develop a bile duct infection that produces chills, abdominal pain, and a fever.
Treatment for primary sclerosing cholangitis focuses on the management of complications and problematic symptoms. Learn more now.
Part of treating primary sclerosing cholangitis includes the use of vitamin supplements for any deficiencies that may occur. Many essential nutrients and vitamins are water-soluble, while numerous others are fat-soluble. A healthy individual’s body is able to use digestive processes involving the liver, gallbladder, and small intestine to break down fat and absorb the vitamins dissolved in it. The body requires bile from the liver to break down fat properly. Primary sclerosing cholangitis patients often have a partial or full blockage in their bile ducts from scar tissue. The obstructed bile ducts prevent an adequate amount of bile from reaching the small intestine. This inadequacy causes a failure of the body to break down fats and stops the absorption of the vitamins and nutrients within them. The most common deficiencies in individuals with this condition include vitamins K, E, D, and A. Deficiencies of these vitamins each carry their own set of additional complications that may occur on top of primary sclerosing cholangitis if the deficiency goes unaddressed. Oral vitamin supplements are often prescribed for patients, and some severe cases necessitate intravenous vitamin infusions.
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