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Symptoms of Cholangitis

Bile is a liquid which helps in digestion. It is produced in the liver and moves to the gallbladder and intestine through a tube like structure known as bile duct. Symptoms of cholangitis arise in this tube structure primarily due to infection. Diagnosis of this condition is possible only by identifying these symptoms. This article tries to gain further insight on this topic.

Symptoms of Cholangitis:

  • Upper right-side abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Biliary colic – spasmodic upper abdominal pain
  • Jaundice
  • Biliary colic after a fatty meal
  • Crampy and sharp pain in the abdomen
  • Vomiting
  • Pain under right shoulder blade
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Nausea
  • Flatulence
  • Itching skin
  • Pale stool
  • Dark urine
  • Chills

There are four types of this disease. They are:

Ascending Cholangitis: It is basically caused by bacterial infection with signs like jaundice, fever and pain.

Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis: This is the autoimmune varient of the disease, where the body’s own protection system cells fail to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy cells causing this disease.

Secondary Sclerosing Cholangitis: Here, the swelling of the bile duct is caused as a seconadry condition of a pre existing ailment.

Recurrent Pyogenic Cholangitis: If the disease recurs then it is placed under this category.

Diagnosis of the Symptoms of Cholangitis:

Fortunately, if the signs of the disease are known in the initial stage, the outlook of the disease is good. Ultrasound, Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP), Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography(ERCP) and Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram (PTCA) are some of the diagnostic techniques of this disease.

Some blood tests like liver enzyme levels, white blood cells count, liver function tests and Bilirubin level are carried out along with examination of the abdomen using the above mentioned tools.

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