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Your liver produces a fluid known as bile, which aids in digestion. Bile also helps your body get rid of toxins, cholesterol, and worn-out red blood cells. Primary biliary cirrhosis is a disease that affects your liver. It occurs progressively over time as bile ducts are slowly destroyed. After the liver tissue is scared, the damage is irreversible. Early detection of primary biliary cirrhosis is key to treating the symptoms and slowing down the process. If you experience these symptoms of primary biliary cirrhosis, contact your doctor.

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Fatigue

It is okay if you feel sleepy now and then. However, if you feel extremely tired, especially after getting a good night’s rest, then you might have an underlying condition. Fatigue will not only have an impact on your work or school performance, but it can impact your daily activities and social life, too. Instead of loading up on unhealthy and addictive caffeine, visit your doctor and explain your sleeping schedule. You might have to undergo blood tests to determine the reasoning.

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Itchy Skin

This unique symptom of primary biliary cirrhosis varies from person to person. For example, some may experience wide-spread itching whereas others are affected in just one spot. The uncomfortable sensation might get worse at night when you touch certain fabrics if you get too warm, or during pregnancy.

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Dry Eyes and Mouth

If you have dry eyes and mouth, you should visit your family physician. This type of health condition is signaling an underlying problem. In fact, it is the last of the three symptoms of primary biliary cirrhosis that is considered an early symptom. All of the others come in later stages of the progressive disease.

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Stomach Pain

A sign of primary biliary cirrhosis is stomach pain that is exclusive to the upper right portion of your abdomen, which is where the liver is located underneath your ribcage. Depending on your tolerance for pain, you may experience varying levels of soreness. Musculoskeletal pain is also a symptom that develops later. This type of aching can be felt in the bones, muscles, or joints.

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Dizziness

Have you ever stood up too fast and felt dizzy? You might have low blood pressure or hypotension. When blood pressure in your arteries is lower than normal, you may feel unsteady when you stand. If you faint, you need to visit your doctor immediately. Most of the time, low blood pressure is nothing to worry about, but you should have your blood pressure checked out multiple times a year to monitor to ensure enough blood is flowing to your organs. After visiting the doctor, you will have a better understanding of your symptoms.

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Jaundice

This condition is characterized by the yellowing of the skin and eyes. It happens when the levels of bilirubin in the blood become too high. Itchiness is often associated with jaundice as well. Babies might be born with jaundice, but the causes vary, and the severity is usually non-life threatening. Primary biliary cirrhosis can also cause hyperpigmentation, which is the darkening of the skin not related to sun exposure.

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Edema

Even if you have never heard of edema, you probably understand the concept of swollen feet and ankles. When an abnormal amount of fluid accumulates in the skin and cavities of your body, it can lead to swelling and severe pain. Known as edema, this condition can occur for different reasons and in a variety of areas in the body. However, it is also a progressive symptom of primary biliary cirrhosis.

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Ascites

Since this autoimmune disease affects the liver, fluid also builds up in that location of the body. This particular condition is known as ascites. It occurs after the accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity (between the abdominal wall and internal organs) exceeds 25 milliliters. Although some types of liver disease or cancer can cause this painful symptom, it is a common sign of cirrhosis.

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Xanthomas

This symptom of primary biliary cirrhosis is a buildup of cholesterol-rich materials. The fatty deposits are yellowish and can appear on different parts of the body from the knees to the eyelids. However, the placement of xanthomas is associated with specific diseases. For example, primary biliary cirrhosis causes tendon xanthomas, which is characterized by the nodules found in the hands, feet, and heels.

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Steatorrhea

When you have excessive fat in your body, it will lead to an overwhelming amount in your feces, too. After a bowel movement, you might experience oily or greasy diarrhea. Stools might also be paler than usual and especially foul-smelling. Although not related to steatorrhea, your urine may also be darker as an additional symptom of primary biliary cirrhosis.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.