Autoimmune hepatitis is a chronic liver condition where the body’s immune system attacks the liver cells causing inflammation that can eventually lead to cirrhosis and liver failure if not treated.
The Two Types of Autoimmune Hepatitis
There are two forms of this condition: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is the more common form that mostly affects young women and is often associated with other autoimmune diseases. Type 2 generally affects girls between the ages of 2 and 14. The causes of the condition are unknown, although heredity and prior infections may be related.
The most common symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis can include but are not limited to:
- Enlarged liver
- Itching or pruritus
- Skin rashes
- Joint pain
- Abdominal discomfort
- Abnormal blood vessels on the skin
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Dark urine
- Pale stool
If diagnosed early and with proper treatment, autoimmune hepatitis can be controlled with prescription drugs such as prednisone.