Autoimmune hepatitis is liver inflammation that happens when your body's system turns against liver cells. The exact explanation for autoimmune hepatitis is unclear, but genetic and enviromental factors appear to interact over time in triggering the disease.
Untreated autoimmune hepatitis can cause scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) and eventually to liver failure. When diagnosed and treated early, however, autoimmune hepatitis often can be controlled with drugs that suppress the immune system.
A liver transplant could also be an option when autoimmune hepatitis doesn't answer drug treatments or in cases of advanced disease.
Signs and symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis vary from person to person and should come on suddenly. Some people have few, if any, recognized problems within the early stages of the disease, whereas others experience signs and symptoms which will include:
· Abdominal discomfort
· Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
· An enlarged liver
· Abnormal blood vessels on the skin (spider angiomas)
· Skin rashes
· Joint pains
· Loss of menstrual periods
Autoimmune hepatitis occurs when the body's system , which ordinarily attacks viruses, bacteria and other pathogens, instead targets the liver. This attack on your liver can cause chronic inflammation and high damage to liver cells. Just why the body turns against itself is unclear, but researchers think autoimmune hepatitis might be caused by the interaction of genes controlling system function and exposure to particular viruses or drugs.
Types of autoimmune hepatitis
Doctors have identified two main sorts of autoimmune hepatitis.
· Type 1 autoimmune hepatitis. This is the foremost common sort of the disease. It can occur at any age. About half the people with type 1 autoimmune hepatitis produce other autoimmune disorders, like disorder , atrophic arthritis or colitis.
· Type 2 autoimmune hepatitis. Although adults can develop type 2 autoimmune hepatitis, it's most common in children and young people. Other autoimmune diseases may accompany this sort of autoimmune hepatitis.
Factors which will increase your risk of autoimmune hepatitis include:
· Being female. Although both males and females can develop autoimmune hepatitis, the disease is more common in females.
· A history of certain infections. Autoimmune hepatitis may develop after you're infected with the measles, herpes simplex or Epstein-Barr virus . The disease is additionally linked to hepatitis A , B or C infection.
· Heredity. Evidence suggests that a predisposition to autoimmune hepatitis may run in families.
· Having an autoimmune disease. People who have already got an autoimmune disorder , like disorder , atrophic arthritis or hyperthyroidism (Graves' disease or Hashimoto's thyroiditis), could also be more likely to develop autoimmune hepatitis.
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