Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) and other autoimmune diseases

PBC is a progressive autoimmune disease that affects the bile ducts in the liver.

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  • 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 1 autoimmune condition may eventually be diagnosed with another

PBC is commonly accompanied by at least 1 other autoimmune condition

Approximately 50% of patients with PBC are diagnosed with at least 1 additional autoimmune disease.

PBC and 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

If you have more than one 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.

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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.

Fatigue
Pruritus
Dry eyes and mouth
Joint pain/swelling
Cold sensitivity
Trouble remembering/ concentrating
Diarrhea
Weight loss
Weight gain
Skin hardening/ thickening
Skin discoloration
Heartburn
PBC
Sjögren’s syndrome
CREST syndrome
Raynaud's disease
Autoimmune thyroid disease
Rheumatoid arthritis
Celiac disease

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 treatment plan for your unique needs.

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There is treatment available to help you manage your PBC

No symptoms

It’s important to address all of your autoimmune diseases, including PBC, because the conditions may progress even if you are not experiencing symptoms

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Once you are diagnosed with PBC, there are treatments your healthcare provider can prescribe or suggest to help manage your symptoms

Liver

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.

Sign up to receive emails about the latest updates to your treatment options and to learn more about available support.

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