Hepatitis is a general term that means inflammation of the liver. In autoimmune hepatitis, the body's immune system attacks the cells of the liver, which causes the liver to become inflamed.
Most patients with autoimmune hepatitis have no symptoms. The disorder is often first detected by abnormal liver function found in blood tests (such as for a life insurance examination).
For the more severe disease, the most common symptom is fatigue. Some people also have symptoms of hepatitis such as fever and jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes and/or dark urine). Other symptoms include itching, skin rashes, joint pain, abdominal discomfort, abnormal blood vessels in the skin, nausea and vomiting and loss of appetite.
In its most advanced form, autoimmune hepatitis can progress to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver).
Autoimmune hepatitis is diagnosed through blood tests and a liver biopsy. During a liver biopsy, a small sample of liver tissue is removed with a needle and examined under a microscope.
If you display any of the above symptoms, please consult a liver doctor( Hepatologist) to confirm the diagnosis and to manage the condition.