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Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease GI Interview

A very big thank you to Dr. Andrés Cárdenas for taking the time to talk over skype about his experience as a practicing physician with both IBD patients, many who deal with ulcerative colitis, and primary schlerosing cholangitis patients. And as we learned in the interview recording, there are many people who have both of these IBD + PSC at the same time.

Although there have been several stories written on the iHaveUC site over the years about PSC, I myself did not know how prevalent this disease can be within the UC community.

Big Ideas From Dr. Cárdenas:

  • ~80% of PSC Patients have Ulcerative Colitis
  • ~5% of Ulcerative Colitis patients have PSC
  • PSC is related to the bile ducts getting inflamed

What to Do?

As we are all in some way dealing with life before/during or after an ulcerative colitis diagnosis, I often resort to the thinking that knowledge can be a valuable tool towards a productive life. And as much as I don’t want anybody to be scared by this fact that a pretty reasonable percentage of UC’ers will someday also come down with a 2nd diagnosis of PSC…it appears to be the reality.

So, check out the video, Dr. Cardenas goes into details about signs and symptoms of PSC, and if you have any concerns, I would encourage you to bring this up with your gastroenterologist doctor or current treating physician. They should be able to help with a potential diagnosis or be able to rule out PSC from your concerns.

Below are a few links to previous stories submitted on the site which involved PSC:

Thanks for watching

I know the video quality was not perfect, but I think you can easily find the main points/takeaways from Dr. Cardenas sharing his experiences with UC’ers and PSC folks.

On a side note as it may not have been clear from the interview, I came across Dr. Cardenas from a family member who uses the website. This person has a child with UC who was heading off to study in Spain for a semester and they had reached out to me asking for a Gastroenterologist recommendation. The find a gastroenterologist list showed only one doctor for Barcelona at the time.

Anyways…a few months later I received some follow up from this particular family member that they had found a great doctor for their child. And…that doctor was Dr. Andres Cardenas. He now has a doctor review as well…and if you find yourself in need of a GI doctor and you are anywhere close to Barcelona, Spain (a highly recommended city/part of the world to visit BTW) you can check out his contact details here..

So, I simply emailed him asking if he’d like to talk about UC/PSC, he graciously agreed…and there you go.

Have a great rest of the week,


7 thoughts on “Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease GI Interview”

  1. Very interesting but also very sobering information. Thanks so much, Adam, for arranging this interview with a knowledgeable doctor. Often, you are my only source of good information on UC, and you have provided my only outlet to “meet ” other folks with UC. I appreciate it.

    1. Thank you Deidre for the comment. I absolutely agree about this type of information, but as I’m sure you can understand, there are probably quite a few people who use this site who are dealing with additional symptoms that seem a bit out of the oridinary compared to “typical” UC symptoms, and this might just get them on a better path, at least that is my hope.

  2. Hi Adam,
    Thank you for your PSC e-mail. I just wanted to share with you my son’s experience. My son is 25, was diagnosed with UC at age 20 and PSC at age 21. Multiple doctors had told him that he would likely have to have a liver transplant at some point. He started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet a year and a half ago, and immediately his liver enzyme numbers started dropping consistently. They are now at the high end of the “normal” range! (They were previously elevated by 7x at various times.
    Thank you for the information you send out.

    1. Yes, I’m sorry about the poor quality. But it does very much seem that liver transplant, which he explains is the ultimate solution has a very good path to better health( of course this is not easy to have, and there are of course potential complications as is the case with any transplant surgery..). Again, my apologies for the poor connection during parts of the call.

  3. I know humans don’t want to be programmed with more worrisome info like myself who’s been living & dealing with a mild UC since mid forties… I’m 67 now and grateful I’m still enjoying as much good living as I do. I seriously appreciate your website and all your effort. I’m looking forward to sharing this info at my next GI appointment in a week, after coming out of a month long flare up. I’m finishing tapering to no prednisone after a 10 day stretch up to 40 mg. Now I need to see how your diet info book can work for me. Thank you always, Debora

  4. Hi Adam, being diagnosed with UC was enough of a treat.
    I’ve had a total colectomy, and am wondering if without the UC, the PSC will be non existent?
    I sure hope so!

    Thanks for all your news and advice.


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