How do you know what stage you are at with... - PBC Foundation

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How do you know what stage you are at with PBC


My consultant has never mentioned what stage I was at with PBC.

I was really intrigued by a post I read regarding tanning because I went on holiday in april and I still hold the tan which I thought was very unusual and people approaching me saying how well I look could this be the start of jaundice do u think.

Thank you for reading x

15 Replies

Hello Yvonnetrownman56.

Apparently darker skin as in looking tanned can be part of having a liver issue. I too have the tan but for the first time in the last few yrs (I was diagnosed with PBC December 2010) I have started to fade a bit more than I have done previously. The tan isn't the same as being yellow as in jaundice.

I've never bothered with whatever stage I am supposed to be in PBC. All I know is that after I was diagnosed, the consultant just said he reckoned I'd had the PBC 'a few years'. My scan I had during 2010 showed my liver and surrounding organs to look pretty much normal as I was informed and also the consultant said my bile ducts looked clear just prior to diagnosis.

It's said staging of PBC can be done via a biopsy but given liver a large organ and the biopsy site a small part, might not be wholly accurate it is said. PBC can apparently be diagnosed via a biopsy though as the liver cells are the same throughout. I've never been asked to have a biopsy and I have no interest. I'll deal with things as and when, good enough for me.

in reply to Hidden

Hi peridot.

Since being diagnosed with PBC in feb I have also been diagnosed with sjogrens syndrome and sicca syndrome I also have a under active thyroid which apparently all related.

The itching and the dry eyes and mouth is what I cant get used too.

I have a few patches of dark blotches on my arm which I can live with.

Hi yvonnetrowman56

Think it might have been my post. I have no other real symptoms of pbc for now but have the 'tan'. Do you have tan lines? If you have I wouldn't think it could be jaundice, which would appear much later down the line of pbc I think. You would also have an overall yellowish appearance.

Hi emerich.

No I dont have any tan lines I just look really tanned and ppl say how well I look x

What is the Bilirubin level in your Liver Function Test (blood work)?

A 'tanned' appearance could be due to a high Bilirubin level - see link below:

Thank you thats really helpful diannes

I have like spider marks on my hands, and I bruise very easily , I have the liver specialist on thursday i will be asking a lot of questions x

I think you would see a much more yellowy look if it was jaundice ,also maybe a yellow tinge to your eyes. As long as you're being monitored by your consultant I wouldn't worry too much about it. I was found to have pbc by accident,while having tests after a heart attack 2 years ago. Going by earlier tests 5 years before after a gallbladder issue, he thinks that's when it started,so I've probably had it for about 7 years, but probably stage 1 going by present blood test results. I think this' tanning' seems to be a general feature of pbc but going by others on here not a serious symptom, and seen in early stages.

Hi emerich

Thank you for your reply . I was also diagnosed whilst haveing regular blood tests done for under active throid. I also had gallbladder problems was awaiting to have it removed .first visit to liver consultant in feb I was also told that the pain I was suffering wasnt from gallbladder was from liver and that they wouldnt even think now about removing by gallbladder so they reckon I have had pbc about 8 years


I was recently diagnosed about 2 months ago with PBC and am still undergoing additional testing to try to determine if their are other autoimmune issues. When I saw the hepatologist recently, he advised that I get tested for adrenal insufficiency/Addisons disease. I know one of the hallmark signs of this disease is tanned skin. I definitely don't want to scare you, but it might be worth looking into. Keep us posted on how you are doing...hopefully you get to the bottom of things soon. Best wishes!

There seems to be some confusion here. Jaundice is usually noticed as yellowing of the whites of your eyes. I'm sure I've read somewhere that hyper pigmentation of the skin is a different issue and not jaundice. I'd seek medical advice if your unsure 😊

in reply to spoul

Meant to add that your bilirubin will be raised if your jaundiced. I'm stage 4 cirrhosis detected by fibroscan but my liver is well compensated which means I have no jaundice ascities or varices

in reply to spoul

Hi spoul, you are probably correct about jaundice being different to hyperpigmentation, here is a link to information about it:

I too tan much easier now and look tanned most of the time I have found some information in Living with PBC booklet sent to me from our wonderful foundation Page 11 under early PBC section states that slight pigmentation of the skin is often present making the person look like they have come back from the Bahamas I look at the whites of my eyes now and again they still look white so hopefully not jaundice hope this helps x

i have skin that tans really easy and am always asking my partner if i look yellow, i think the easy way to tell is by the whites of your eyes if they are yellow or white will be a better marker.

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