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Cholangiocarcinoma (Bile duct cancer), like any other cancer, leaves a person physically, mentally and emotionally drained. It has been mostly found to affect people above 60 years of age. The signs and symptoms associated are so common that very few people consult a physician. A delayed diagnosis implies delayed treatment. This goes on to aggravate and complicate the situation further. One needs to be a little alert. Any symptoms, no matter how common, should not be taken lightly. Look for the early signs and symptoms and bile duct cancer can be fully cured.
Signs and symptoms associated with Cholangiocarcinoma:
Bile duct cancer can be Extrahepatic (occurs in the duct outside the liver) or Intrahepatic (cancer develops within the smaller ducts inside the liver). It must be noted that Intrahepatic Bile duct cancer and Liver cancer are different.
- Bile duct cancer results in blocking the bile duct. This blockage severely effects the secretion of bilirubin and bile from the liver. Thus, the secretions (bile and bilirubin) which are supposed to flow into the intestine move back into the bloodstream. An elevated level of bilirubin in the blood gives rise to a condition, known as Jaundice (a condition resulting in yellowing of the eyes and the skin). The problem lies in the fact that many other factors can equally contribute to Jaundice. Consulting a physician at the earliest is the best resort.
- A sudden or drastic weight loss and loss of appetite is an alarming sign of Cholangiocarcinoma.
- Excessive itching can be an indication of something as big as bile duct cancer. Itching can be an outcome of the increased bilirubin (blood) reaching the skin.
- At an advanced stage of Cholangiocarcinoma, a patient may experience severe abdominal pain.
- At times, the tumour in the bile duct might exert immense pressure on the nearby organs. This can give rise to an enlarged abdominal mass. Bloated feeling is also very common amongst the patients.
- An unusual change in the colour of the stool and urine should not be neglected. The elevated bilirubin level from the intestine is usually eliminated out of the system through the urine. Thus the stool appears lighter and the urine a shade darker.
- A cholangiocarcinoma patient can, at times feel nauseated. Fever is also a common but an extremely important indication.
Bile duct cancer or cholangiocarcinoma can lead to many other complications. Click below to know every minute detail associated with Cholangiocarcinoma.
Celiac disease is a serious genetic autoimmune disease with over 300 symptoms, and most people manifest with a combination of them. It is caused by intolerance to gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and other cereals. Gluten is usually present in the small intestine, and in patients with celiac disease, the lining of the small intestine gets attacked. Consequently, a number of organs and/or body systems are affected, making it extremely difficult to pointedly say that a person has celiac disease.
These symptoms cover almost all systems of the body including reproductive to digestive, cardiovascular to endocrine, respiratory to neuromuscular, and even affect the bones, and the teeth. Another major variation also is the age at which celiac disease becomes symptomatic. While some show symptoms quite early in their childhood, some others show symptoms later in their life, and some may not manifest with any symptoms all through their life.
Talking of the oral/dental symptoms, there are two main causes for concern one involving the soft tissues and the other involving the teeth. Let us look at the two in a little more detail.
Similar to the canker sores or the usual mouth ulcers, celiac disease also cause whitish sores. Unlike the canker sores which appear on the lips, the celiac mouth sores are common on the insides of the cheek, gums, lips, palate, and sometimes even the tongue. The appearance is very similar to that of aphthous ulcers, which have a whitish or grayish margin. They appear at random with no specific reason. The soft tissue lining of the digestive system is present from the stomach or intestine all the way to the mouth, and therefore these ulcers are seen. These can be quite discomforting and interfere with nutrition. Topical creams and/or gels can be applied to treat them. If celiac disease is diagnosed by then, abstaining from a gluten-free diet will help relieve the symptoms. Else, they may continue to recur and symptomatic treatment would be required.
The second oral symptom of celiac disease is the presence of visible defects of discoloration in the enamel. There are usually white, brown or yellow spots, usually discolored on the incisors and molars (front and back teeth). The bad news with the tooth issue is that these do not go away once a gluten-free diet is adopted. Depending on the severity, these may require tooth whitening treatments ranging from bleaching to veneers to full crowns.
The next time you have a group of symptoms, with the above two oral symptoms, contact your doctor and have a detailed discussion. It does not take much effort to diagnose and treat celiac disease.