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Biliary disease is a disease that involves the gallbladder, bile ducts, and other organs in the formation and movement of bile. Bile is a fluid secreted from the liver, which facilitates digestion. The duodenum, the segment of the small intestine, receives bile that eventually returns to the liver and bile ducts from the liver. Biliary disease causes inflammation and gradual bile duct destruction. Is biliary disease curable? Let’s find out!

Can We Cure Biliary Disease?

Biliary is a persistent and progressive disease that may worsen with time, moving slowly through a number of phases. You might not notice it in the beginning, but ultimately, it may result in liver failure (not every patients get to this point). Unfortunately, there is no direct cure for biliary disease but medicine can help delay the disease’s progression.

How Does Biliary Affect Your Body?

Over time, chronic inflammation deteriorates the tissues in your body. While brief inflammation can occur naturally throughout the healing process, persistent inflammation leads to overheated healing, which manifests as scarring. The constricted and twisted bile ducts that result from scarring obstruct bile flow. When bile backs up into the liver, it can lead to inflammation and, eventually, cirrhosis or scarring.

Symptoms of Biliary Disease

Many patients do not exhibit symptoms of biliary disease. It is usually identified when you take a blood test for other purposes or regular testing. Early symptoms of the disease include:

  • Fatigue
  • Itchy skin

Later symptoms include:

  • Swollen feet and ankle
  • High cholesterol
  • Diarrhea or steatorrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Bone, muscle, or joint pain
  • Upper right abdomen pain
  • Dry mouth and eyes
  • Jaundice
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hyperpigmentation

Treatment for Biliary Disease

Since biliary disease is not curable, medications can slow down the disease

  • Medicine, especially ursodeoxycholic acid (Ursofalk) and obeticholic acid can help.
  • Fat-soluble vitamin supplements.
  • Low-salt diet.
  • To lower the risk of osteoporosis, engage in regular weight-bearing activity, such as walking or weight training, and take supplements of calcium or vitamin D.
  • Diet high in vitamins, minerals, and trace elements.
  • Low alcohol intake and unnecessary medications.

Surgery

If medications do not help and your liver function keeps getting worse, you might need a liver transplant. Since biliary is not curable, it may reoccur even after a liver transplant, much like other autoimmune illnesses, although it usually progresses far more slowly the second time.

Prevention

You can avoid biliary disease caused by gallstones by surgically removing the gallbladder. Eating a balanced diet, keeping a healthy weight, and engaging in regular exercise can also help prevent the development of gallstones.

Bottom Line!

Biliary is incurable, however, the progression of the disease can be slowed down with the right treatment. If you’re diagnosed with biliary and are anxious about the treatment, visit us at Gastroentology. Book your appointment by calling us at (281) 357-1977 and get your biliary treated as soon as possible.

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