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FAQ About Wilson Disease

FAQ About Wilson Disease

Dr. Bipin Vibhute in Pune
Dr. Bipin Vibhute

Gastroenterology-Hepatologist, Pune

22, Dec 2021
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Most Commonly Asked Questions 

 Which doctor should I see? 
You should first see your primary care physician, who will refer you to a gastroenterologist or hepatologist if necessary. 

 What are the ramifications of copper overload on the brain? 

Wilson’s disease causes copper to build up in the liver and brain. Although symptoms can be worse on one side of the body than the other, the brain is affected symmetrically. This could be due to asymmetric neurological development, such as being right- or left-handed. 

 What is the copper level in drinking water that is considered safe? 
While 0.1 ppm isn’t harmful, it does imply that significant copper is coming from somewhere, and the level might be higher at times or under specific situations. 

 Is it possible for a patient with Wilson’s disease to get vaccinated against Hepatitis A or B? 
Yes. Because Wilson’s disease frequently affects the liver, many patients cannot afford further liver damage. The hepatitis A or B vaccine is just as safe for Wilson’s patients as it is for everyone else. 

 What are the signs and symptoms of Wilson’s disease? 
Hepatic: Asymptomatic hepatomegaly; isolated splenomegaly; persistently increased AST, ALT; Fatty Liver; 
Acute hepatitis; autoimmune hepatitis-like cirrhosis; fulminant hepatic failure Drooling, dysarthria; rigid dystonia; pseudobulbar palsy; seizures; migraine headaches; 
 Neurological: Movement disorders (tremor, involuntary motions); drooling, dysarthria; rigid dystonia; pseudobulbar palsy; seizures; migraine headaches insomnia 
 Psychiatric Conditions: Depression, neuroses, personality abnormalities, and psychosis are all Other signs and symptoms include: Renal abnormalities include amino-aciduria and nephrolithiasis; skeletal abnormalities include early osteoporosis and arthritis; cardiomyopathy, dysrhythmias, pancreatitis, and hypoparathyroidism; and cardiomyopathy, dysrhythmias, pancreatitis, and hypoparathyroidism. Menstruation Irregularities: Infertility, miscarriages frequently 

 How does Wilson’s disease affects the liver?
 Wilson’s cirrhosis has a different trajectory than other types of cirrhosis for many patients. Wilson’s illness is caused by an excess of free copper in the liver. When excess copper is treated with zinc acetate maintenance medication, the liver condition usually stabilises or improves. 

 How many Wilson’s disease patients require a liver transplant? 
Only approximately 5% of Wilson’s disease patients require a transplant. Liver failure is observed in two-thirds of the patients. The remaining patients have severe liver disease that does not respond well to medical treatment, those who discontinue treatment and deteriorate, or those who have severe cirrhosis complications like frequent GI bleeding from varices due to portal hypertension or low oxygenation to hepatopulmonary syndrome. 

 How long do you think you’ll be able to live with Wilson’s disease? 
Patients with Wilson disease have a life expectancy of 40 years if they are not treated, and they can live a normal life if they are treated properly. Patients who are diagnosed early on have a better chance of living longer.
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