Biliary cirrhosis, primary is a chronic liver condition wherein the bile ducts are gradually damaged. This condition is classified as an autoimmune illness, which means that your immune system targets your healthy tissues and cells by mistake.

Moreover, biliary cirrhosis, primary, is a condition that affects both sexes but is more prevalent among women. Researchers believe that certain hereditary and environmental factors cause this condition. It usually takes time to develop, and no cure has been discovered yet. Nevertheless, early diagnosis and some medications may help decrease the progression of liver damage.


The following are the early signs and symptoms of biliary cirrhosis, primary:

  • Fatigue
  • Skin irritation

Then, the following signs and symptoms may appear later:

  • Dry mouth and eyes
  • Splenomegaly
  • Discomfort along the upper right side of the abdomen
  • Edema
  • Pain in the bones, muscles, or joints
  • An accumulation of fluid in the abdomen caused by liver failure
  • Loss of weight
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Accumulation of fat deposits around the eyes, eyelids, and the creases of the soles, palms, knees, and elbows
  • Jaundice
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Osteoporosis that may lead to fractures
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Diarrhea with oily stools


A doctor will first inquire about your medical and family history, do a physical exam, and then conduct blood tests and othe rmedical tests to diagnose biliary cirrhosis, primary. 

For instance, your doctor may request for the following tests:

  • Blood tests, such as antibody testing to see any signs of autoimmune diseases, cholesterol tests, or liver tests
  • Imaging tests, such as FibroScan, ultrasounds, MREs, or MRCPs (magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography) to examine your bile ducts, as well as your other organs.
  • Liver biopsy in order to confirm your diagnosis or see the extent of your condition


Unfortunately, a cure for biliary cirrhosis, primary hasn’t been discovered yet. Hence, treatment mainly focuses on aleviating symptoms, as well as slowing down the disease’s progression rate.

Some of the medications prescribed for this condition may include:

  • Ursodeoxycholic acid, which is often prescribed first because of its properties in reducing scarring in the liver and improving its function
  • Fibrates, which has shown effects in reducing inflammation in the liver when taken with UDCA
  • Obeticholic acid, which aids in improving the liver’s function

If none of these medications work, liver transplant may be considered by your healthcare provider.

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