Autoimmune Hepatitis : Symptoms and Treatment
Various organs and systems present in the human body ensure healthy life. Respiratory system, circulatory system, nervous system and digestive system are some of the important system of a human body. Owing to various causes these systems gets affected and that result in malfunctioning of these systems. Body immune system provides us protection against diseases.
Each system comprises of number of body organs. Dysfunction or malfunction of any one organ of the system can lead to occurrence of various diseases. Liver is an important organ on the digestive system. Malfunctioning of liver can lead to development of many sicknesses. This malfunction of the liver may be caused due to external factors or even as a result of attack of body’s own immune system. The following paragraphs will help you to understand how our own body immune system leads to development of liver disorders.
Description about Autoimmune Hepatitis
When our body’s immune system attacks the liver, such attack results in chronic liver inflammation. Such a condition is termed as Autoimmune Hepatitis in the medical terminology.
Though rare, autoimmune hepatitis can cause serious disorder. Women are more vulnerable to development of autoimmune hepatitis. At times occurrence of autoimmune hepatitis is related with the other autoimmune diseases like thyroid gland inflammation.
Fortunately, autoimmune hepatitis is not an infectious condition. It can not spread from one individual to another.
Autoimmune Hepatitis – Symptoms The symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis may defer from one person to another. Following are some of the most common symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Skin rashes or itchy skin
- Joint pain
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Appearance of abnormal blood vessels on skin
- Enlargement of liver
- Dark yellow urine
- Loss of appetite
- Gray or pale colored stool
- Mental confusion
Treatment of Autoimmune Hepatitis
There are some remedies available for treatment of autoimmune hepatitis. Early diagnosis of the condition helps in achieving better result from treatment and provides faster relief. Use of immunosuppressant drugs for longer periods is widely used treatment for treating autoimmune hepatitis. The overactive immune system is regulated (slowed down) by these immunosuppressant drugs.
If an individual stops the treatment half-way through, he is on risk of developing recurrence of autoimmune hepatitis. If not treated properly, this condition can lead to health complications like liver failure and liver scarring. These complications are serious in nature and difficult to treat.
Various Forms of Autoimmune Hepatitis
Autoimmune hepatitis is primarily classified in two categories, namely Type-1 Autoimmune Hepatitis and Type-2 Autoimmune Hepatitis.
- Type-1 Autoimmune Hepatitis: This form of the autoimmune hepatitis is most common in North American region. Women are more prone to this form of autoimmune hepatitis when compared to men. This form of autoimmune hepatitis can attack people of any age. More than 50% people suffering from Type-1 autoimmune hepatitis have other immune associated abnormalities like thyroiditis, type-1 diabetes, ulcerative colitis, proliferative glomerulonephritis, autoimmune anemia, Sjogren’s syndrome or Grave’s disease.
- Type-2 Autoimmune Hepatitis: This form of autoimmune hepatitis is not usual. Girls between age group of 2 years and 14 years are found to be more vulnerable to development of this form of autoimmune hepatitis.