Biliary atresia is a condition in infants in which the bile ducts—tubes inside and outside the liver—are scarred and blocked. Bile ducts carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder for storage, and to the first part of the small intestine, also called the duodenum, for use in digestion. In infants with biliary atresia, bile can’t flow into the intestine, so bile builds up in the liver and damages it. The damage leads to scarring, loss of liver tissue and function, and cirrhosis. Biliary atresia is life-threatening, but with treatment, most infants with biliary atresia survive to adulthood.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF BILIARY ATRESIA: -
Doctors have identified different types of biliary atresia.
BILIARY ATRESIA WITHOUT BIRTH DEFECTS
In the most common type of biliary atresia, infants have no other major birth defects. Doctors may call this type of biliary atresia perinatal or isolated biliary atresia. A recent North American study found that 84 percent of infants with biliary atresia have this type.
BILIARY ATRESIA WITH BIRTH DEFECTS
Some infants have major birth defects—including problems with the heart, spleen, or intestines—along with biliary atresia. Doctors may call this fetal or embryonic biliary atresia. A recent North American study found that 16 percent of infants with biliary atresia have major birth defects.
SYMPTOMS & CAUSES OF BILIARY ATRESIA: -
Typically, the first sign of biliary atresia is yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, called jaundice, which results from the buildup of bile in the body. Bile contains a reddish-yellow substance called bilirubin.
Infants often have jaundice in the first 2 weeks of life, so it is not easy to identify biliary atresia in newborn infants. Jaundice that lasts beyond 3 weeks of age may be the first sign of biliary atresia. Infants with biliary atresia typically develop jaundice by 3 to 6 weeks of age.
Infants with biliary atresia may also have pale yellow, gray, or white stools. Stools change color because bilirubin is not reaching the intestines and passing out of the body in the stool.
CAUSES OF BILIARY ATRESIA: -
Experts don’t know what causes biliary atresia. Research suggests that infants develop biliary atresia in the womb or shortly after birth. Experts are trying to find out if one or more of the following factors could play a role in causing biliary atresia:
infections with certain viruses
coming into contact with harmful chemicals
problems with the immune system a problem during liver and bile duct development in the womb certain genes or changes in genes—called mutations—that may increase the chances of developing biliary atresia
Biliary atresia is not an inherited disease, meaning it does not pass from parent to child.
COMPLICATIONS OF BILIARY ATRESIA: -
Complications of biliary atresia include failure to thrive and malnutrition, cirrhosis and related complications, and liver failure.
Without treatment, infants with biliary atresia would develop cirrhosis within 6 months and liver failure within 1 year. By age 2, untreated infants would need a liver transplant to survive.
Even after treatment, children with biliary atresia may have reduced bile flow to the small intestine and liver damage, leading to malnutrition and related problems with growth, such as failure to thrive.
CIRRHOSIS AND RELATED COMPLICATIONS
Cirrhosis is a condition in which the liver breaks down and is unable to work normally. Scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue, partly blocking the flow of blood through the liver. In the early stages of cirrhosis, the liver continues to work. As cirrhosis gets worse, the liver begins to fail.
In children with biliary atresia, cirrhosis may cause complications, including portal hypertension. Portal hypertension is high blood pressure in the portal vein, a blood vessel that carries blood from the intestines to the liver.
Portal hypertension may lead to specific complications, including: a buildup of fluid in the abdomen, called ascites. Infection of this fluid can be very dangerous. enlarged blood vessels, called varices, which can develop in the esophagus, stomach, or both. Varices can break open and cause life-threatening bleeding in the digestive tract.
Liver failure with liver failure, also called end-stage liver disease, the liver can no longer perform important functions or replace damaged cells.
HOMOEOPATHIC MANAGEMENT OF BILIARY ATRESIA: -
Homoeopathy treats the person as a whole. It means Homoeopathic treatment focusses on the patient as a person, as well as his pathological condition. A miasmatic tendency is also often taken in account for the treatment of chronic conditions.
Some used Homoeopathic remedies are: -
- Ammon mur
- Merc dulcis
- Nat phos