Autoimmune hepatitis is a chronic disease that causes liver inflammation. The liver helps store fuel for the body, process fat and proteins, process alcohol and toxins and produce bile. Because the liver is such an integral part of body function, it’s important that it gets tended to as soon as possible.
WHAT IS IT?
Autoimmune hepatitis occurs when the immune system attacks healthy liver cells. This causes liver cirrhosis (scarring) and may lead to liver failure. However, treatment for autoimmune hepatitis is generally favorable if tended to right away.
AUTOIMMUNE HEPATITIS CAUSES
The cause of autoimmune hepatitis is unknown, but it is believed that the following factors may trigger it, such as:
- Viral infection
- Certain medication
AUTOIMMUNE HEPATITIS SYMPTOMS
Autoimmune hepatitis symptoms can be mild or severe. Early on, symptoms may not be obvious, but later on, sudden symptoms may arise, such as:
- Dark urine
- Pale-colored stool
- Abdominal swelling
- Abnormal blood vessels appearing on the skin
AUTOIMMUNE HEPATITIS RISKS
If autoimmune hepatitis goes untreated, the risk for the following increases:
- Live failure
- Liver cancer
- Esophageal varices (enlarged veins in your stomach and esophagus)
- Ascites (fluid buildup in the abdomen)