PBC Foundation
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Is there a relationship between PBC and osteoarthritis?

hi there, this is my first posted thread but have joined a couple of other conversations. my PBC dx has recently been confirmed but I've had OA of the spine for many years, which has required strong daily pain medication.

Recently (18months ago) l started cycling in addition to Pilates as an enjoyable form of exercise. however, l also succeeded in developing OA of a knee with subsequent torn meniscus, which l had removed yesterday. (currently sitting with elevated painful Leg!)

A couple of posts have inferred that there may be a causal relationship between OA and PBC, and l wonder if this is true, or have i misunderstood something?

I've experienced the migratory arthritis associated with PBC on a number of occasions BEFORE being diagnosed, and would appreciate any input from fellow pbc-ers.

Cheers, Dorothy

4 Replies

Hi I think the OA is associated with PBC. As PBC affects your metabolism it can result in bone thinning but i dont think it effects everyone.

I have inflammatory Osteoarthritis throughout my body which is proving hard to treat. Off to see another specialist soon to see if he can nail the cause....


hello yes I think you're right. I have OA in my finger joints and have alot of shoulder pain also. my finger joints are swollen and very painfull at times and my shoulders seem to click painfully. My special said the fingers are OA but my shoulders could be Sjogens X


I too have quite severe osteoarthritis at a young age. My rheumatologist has told me however that this form of arthiritis is as a result of 'wear and tear'. Mine seems to be as a result of hypermobility syndrome. Apparantly we will all at some stage get this form of arthiritis


I don't think PBC can actually cause osteoarthritis but before anyone disagrees, what I mean is that with PBC the system can struggle to take in certain vitamins and minerals (Vit D for one) which are needed for good bone health.

With the compromised system due to PBC then it is fair to say that one could start to have bone problems. It's always been said that post-menopausal women can suffer problems with their bones due to the hormone reduction so it is important to try to get an adequate intake of certain vitamins and minerals that can become a problem to one with PBC.

I suppose thinking more if one has asymptomatic PBC for quite some years (that is without any symptons so you'd be unaware) then it would be so easy to just crack on with life without even thinking about healthy eating constantly and that lack of certain elements could start other deteriorations in health like the skeleton.

I have cracking bones myself, my knees when I bend, my ankles when I move certain ways at times and most certainly fingers. The only place I seem to have a bit of stiffness which I have only noticed over the last 2yrs is the thumb joint at the wrist of my left hand. The fleshy part on my hand does feel sore at times if I am grabbing something and I can feel slight pain when I do move my thumb at a certain angle in normal use.

One thing I have done in the last couple years has to try to utilise the sun as much as possible. Walking in the sun when out as opposed to the shade during the colder months and having at least a half hour during the summer. Never been a sun-lover but in 2011 I was informed that my 'Vit D was a bit low, but not too bad'. I couldn't understand the quote so got the result in print-out and I was just on the lowest figure on the normal range to not require any mention of calcium and vit D tablets. Within a few months I had a perfectly normal reading due to summer appearing and getting out and about more than I used to. Think this all helps.


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