PBC and other autoimmune diseases

Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is a progressive and chronic autoimmune disease that affects the bile ducts in the liver.

  • The cause of PBC is unknown, but it may be inherited, or passed down within families
  • Genetics play a major role in having an autoimmune disorder, and many people diagnosed with one autoimmune condition may eventually be diagnosed with another
  • PBC can be confused with another condition called primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). While PSC is thought to have an autoimmune component, it is a different condition from PBC

PBC is commonly accompanied by at least 1 other autoimmune condition

Up to 55% of patients with PBC are diagnosed with at least 1 additional autoimmune disease.

PBC and additional autoimmune conditions

PBC and additional autoimmune conditions47%-Just PBC; 33%-1 additional autoimmune condition; 20%-2 or more additional autoimmune conditions

Autoimmune conditions that are commonly associated with PBC include:

  • Sjögren’s syndrome
  • CREST syndrome
  • Raynaud’s disease
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Celiac disease
  • Autoimmune hepatitis

If you have more than 1 autoimmune condition, you’re not alone. Working together with your healthcare team can help you see a clearer picture of your health and all of your conditions, including PBC.

Autoimmune conditions, including PBC, can have overlapping symptoms

  • Sometimes the most obvious link between autoimmune diseases is symptoms that look and feel like one another, which can cause confusion over treatment
  • Common symptoms of PBC, such as fatigue, can overlap with the symptoms of other conditions that sometimes appear with PBC
  • While experiencing symptoms is common in people with PBC, some don’t experience any symptoms for up to 5 years after diagnosis, despite disease progression

Select a symptom from the list below to see associated autoimmune conditions.

PBC
Sjögren's syndrome
CREST syndrome
Raynaud’s disease
Autoimmune thyroid disease
Rheumatoid arthritis
Celiac disease
Autoimmune hepatitis

Having multiple autoimmune diseases can make symptom management tricky, so it’s important to keep your healthcare team informed about how you’re feeling

Together, you can create a long-term treatment plan for your unique needs.

There is treatment available to help you manage your PBC

  • It’s important to address all of your autoimmune diseases, including PBC, because the conditions may progress even if you are not experiencing symptoms
  • Once you are diagnosed with PBC, there are treatments your healthcare provider can prescribe or suggest to help manage your symptoms so you can stick to your treatment plan
  • Long‑term management of your PBC can slow down disease progression, protecting your liver and your health

Managing multiple autoimmune diseases can be overwhelming, but expert help is available.

There are specialists who can help you manage each of your conditions, including PBC. Together with your healthcare team, you can create a treatment plan that works for you.

You can take action.

Find the latest information about PBC. Get news, tips, tools, and resources specially created for people living with PBC.

Sign up now

Close

Get news, tips, and tools specially created for people living with PBC.

Sign up now