Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment Of Autoimmune Hepatitis

What is autoimmune hepatitis?

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Autoimmune means that the immune system attacks its own body. In auto immune hepatitis, the immune system attacks the cells in the liver. This allows the liver to become inflamed.

Some people do not even notice autoimmune hepatitis. They do have problems, these are mainly fatigue, loss of appetite, yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice), and pain in the right upper abdomen. The abdomen may be established by fluid accumulation.

It is still unclear which autoimmune hepatitis occurs. People with autoimmune disease may have a genetic predisposition to it. In auto-immune hepatitis, there is probably also a stimulus necessary to set in motion the disease. For example, a virus infection or certain medications. The disease is more common in women than in men. Also, sex hormones could play a role.

To determine whether you have autoimmune hepatitis, the doctor takes your blood. You also get an ultrasound to check the liver. The doctor probably takes away a piece of liver for examination under a microscope (biopsy).

Autoimmune hepatitis should always be treated. Without treatment, 80% of patients die within five years. If the treatment is successful, the life expectancy is approximately equal to that of a healthy person.

You get a combination of anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs. Sometimes the disease is detected and it is too late, there arise scar tissue in the liver. This is called cirrhosis. The liver then goes badly. In many of scar tissue is a liver transplant needed.

Autoimmune hepatitis symptoms

The symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis vary by person. There are even people who have no complaints at all. With them, the disease is discovered by accident.

If there are complaints, especially when it comes to fatigue, reduced appetite, yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice), and pain in the right upper abdomen. Later, you may suffer from red spider web-like spots on the skin and a lot of fluid in the abdomen.

 Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment Of Autoimmune Hepatitis

Complaints that mainly occur in women include: acne, not more menstruation, painful joints, nail abnormalities and anemia. Also, scar tissue in the lungs and kidney, and thyroid inflammation occur. These symptoms are quite rare.

Without treatment, the liver is failing badly. This can ensure that our brains become ill.

Autoimmune hepatitis diagnosis by doctor

If your doctor suspects you have autoimmune hepatitis, it makes some investigations.

First, they ask about your health. Then she does a physical examination. Sometimes the doctor may then feel that the liver is enlarged.

With blood test the doctor see if your liver is inflamed. With an ultrasound, the doctor may see your liver.

The simpulan diagnosis is made with a liver biopsy. The doctor takes a small piece of liver (biopsy) way for microscopic examination. This is usually done by a tube through a hollow needle through the skin into the liver. You will receive a local anesthetic. Doctors can also via blood vessels the needle insertion. The chance for damage than smaller.
A liver biopsy shows how bad the inflammation is and how far the disease is.

Autoimmune hepatitis treatment

The goal of treatment of autoimmune hepatitis is the liver inflammation as much and as long as possible.

The treatment consists of a combination of anti-inflammatory drugs, such as prednisone (corticosteroids), and medications that suppress your immune system, such as imuran. In nine out of ten people with autoimmune hepatitis can manage it this way to stop the inflammation at all. You need the medications usually long swallow. Therefore, the doctor will prescribe the lowest possible dose for.

Most people respond very well to treatment. The doctor look after about two years or you can stop with the drugs. Quitting can not always. Most people with autoimmune hepatitis have spent years or even life long medications needed to prevent the disease comes back.

Very sometimes skips the treatment. Then it hits the liver still further damaged. Also when the disease is discovered late and a lot of scarring in the liver, help medications no longer. In the long run than a liver transplant. The chance that the disease after a transplant comes back, is very small.

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