The PBC Foundation is the only organisation based in the UK that deals specifically with PBC .
What is PBC
PBC (Primary Biliary Cholangitis) is a long-term, auto-immune condition which affects the liver. In simple terms, the body thinks that the bile ducts within the liver are foreign objects and tries to destroy the lining to these ducts. These bile ducts are designed to allow the flow of bile from the liver, so damage of these ducts leads to poor drainage of bile acids. The bile acids then leak from the bile ducts, damaging surrounding liver cells, which then causes inflammation and scarring in the liver.
Whilst we know there is a genetic element to PBC and it is thought to be within the auto-immune family of conditions, we do not know what causes PBC or what can cure PBC. The diagnostic tool for PBC is the AMA blood test (antimitochondrial antibody) and it is 95% accurate.
Ursodeoxycholic Acid (Urso) is currently the only approved first-line medical treatment for PBC. This is a bile salt which enables bile to be drained from the liver, slowing down the progress of the condition in terms of cell change, and often results in lower Liver Function Tests (LFTs). There are other medications available to alleviate many of the symptoms of PBC.
Obeticholic Acid is also approved and licensed for PBC, as a second-line therapy to be used when a patient does not fully respond to (or is intolerant of) Urso. It is available in a number of countries including USA, Canada, UK, and parts of Europe.
Some key PBC facts:
Many people with PBC never develop cirrhosis.
PBC affects nine women to every one man.
The oldest member of the PBC Foundation was 103 when she died. She died *with* her PBC and not *from* her PBC.
Patients with PBC who respond to ursodeoxycholic acid are thought to rejoin the general populace in terms of life expectancy.
For more information, please contact the Foundation or join us today for your members’ information pack. It’s free!