PBC Foundation
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Does URSO help the immune system from attacking the bile ducts

My mother was diagnosed this past December with PBC, she is 81 and was immediately put on URSO and diuretics. Since then, the inflammation has decreased and liver function is quite good except for fatigue which remains.

What I don't understand is that if this is an autoimmune disease, do the cells from the immune system continue attacking the bile ducts regardless of the URSO?

If anyone can make sense of this, it would truly be appreciated.



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Ursodiol (Actigall). Ursodiol is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis. Ursodiol assists the liver in moving bile through the ducts to the gallbladder and small intestine. Studies have shown that ursodiol prescribed early in the disease improves liver function, slowing the time it takes to progress to liver failure and the need for a liver transplant.

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Thank-you, for helping me to clearly understand the function of Ursodiol.

I guess, then, the immune system attacking the good cells of the bile ducts continues to happen, and, I would imagine this is what would cause the slow progression to liver failure?

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Unfortunately urso apparently doesn't stop us making antibodies and our bile ducts being under attack.

It is thought to slow down the progession of the disease as stated. By improving bile flow as I understand it, that in turn means that the breaking down of fats in particular is much easier and then likely to cause less damage to the liver.

On looking at an in-depth diagram once of the liver and surrounds, it seems we have a very lot of bile ducts which I think is why PBC is what is known as slow progressive.

Liver failure apparently comes much much later when one would hit the cirrhosis stage as by that time the liver isn't functioning as best as possible it can do. The liver can function very well in the early stages but eventually it struggles to continue to try to repair itself.

I'm pretty sure that when the later stages are hit there are other symptons and also the bloods would show other alterations.

I've decided some time ago that I am going to just wake up and get on day-to-day and go with how I feel. I'll also use the bloods as a gauge as well as attempting myself to help combat the effects of PBC via diet and hoepfully good living.

It also has to be remembered that PBC is said to not be the cause of the majority of people's deaths, it is something else. Myself, if I didn't itch at times (normally night) then I'd never have visited a GP in the first place and known as some people never do know they have PBC.

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Thanks, so much for taking the time to help me understand more about this disease, I've been consumed by it since my mother was diagnosed with PBC and cirrhosis this past December.

It caused me much anger as my mother religiously sees her GP twice per with bloodwork and was never detected. I'm trying to let this go as much as possible so I can deal with the present.

I remember asking the Liver Specialist what my mother's survival years would be with this disease. His reply was, "Listen, if George Burns can live to be 100, anything is possible!"

I've come to the conclusion that no matter what happens to us, when our time is up, there

is no doctor on earth that can save us, so, basically, it's in God's hands.

You're right about just waking up and go with how your feel, it will be tremendous therapy for a better life.

Thanks, for your insight, I so much appreciate it and I wish you great health and happiness.


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