People on low doses of azathioprine for long periods of time are at slight risk of developing cancer. The woman, who came in complaining of increasing fatigue and lethargy over the past two weeks, had recently stopped hormone replacement therapy at the advice of her primary physician.
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Hepahitis on this site by a party does not imply endorsement of any other party's content, products, or services. Content should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. AdChoices Cookies Privacy Terms Sitemap. Once the condition has completely settled, your doctor may advise a trial without treatment.
A liver biopsy is usually done at the end of the course of treatment, to ensure that the liver inflammation has fully resolved. However, only around one in five people can remain off treatment for long periods of time.
What are the symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis?
This is because the hepatitis usually returns relapseswhich means you will have to then take medication again. In many cases, long-term maintenance treatment is needed. This means that the majority of people with autoimmune hepatitis will need to take low doses of immunosuppressant treatment for long periods of time, or even indefinitely.
It is recommended that you are vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B. You should also receive the annual influenza vaccination. Most people with autoimmune hepatitis will be advised to eat a normal healthy diet. Ideally, anybody with inflammation of the liver should not drink alcohol, or only in very small amounts.
If you already have liver inflammation, alcohol may increase the risk and speed of developing cirrhosis. With treatment, most people with autoimmune hepatitis have a
the symptom life expectancy and feel well most of the time. The treatment used for autoimmune hepatitis has improved the outlook tremendously.
It is very important that you do not stop your treatment too early without your doctor's knowledge, as your hepatitis may return. There is a very small increased risk of hepatitis liver cancer, especially if you also have scarring of the liver cirrhosis due to your autoimmune hepatitis.
Some doctors recommend a blood test and an ultrasound scan of your liver every so often to screen for this.
The treatment of autoimmune hepatitis is a developing area of medicine. New treatments continue to be developed and researched and the information above is very general. The specialist who knows your case can give more accurate information about the outlook for your particular situation.
Now read about Autoimmune Hepatitis. This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy.
Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions. Type 2 autoimmune hepatitis is less common and occurs more often in children than adults.
Symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis range from mild to severe. Some people may feel as if they have a mild case of the flu.
Others may have no symptoms when a health care provider diagnoses the disease; however, they can develop symptoms later. A health care provider will make a diagnosis of autoimmune hepatitis based on symptoms, a physical exam, blood tests, and a liver biopsy. A health care provider performs a physical exam and reviews the person's health history, including the use of alcohol and medications that can harm the liver.
A person usually needs blood tests for an exact diagnosis because a person with autoimmune hepatitis can have the same symptoms as those of other liver diseases or metabolic disorders. A blood test involves drawing blood at a health care provider's office or a commercial facility and sending the sample to a lab for analysis.
A person will need blood tests for autoantibodies to autoimmune hepatitis distinguish autoimmune hepatitis from other liver diseases that have similar symptoms, such as viral hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis, steatohepatitis, or Wilson disease.
A liver biopsy is a procedure that involves taking a autoimmune hepatitis of liver tissue for examination with a microscope for signs of damage or disease.
The health care provider may ask the patient to temporarily stop taking certain medications before the liver biopsy. He or she may also ask the patient to fast for 8 hours before the procedure.
During the procedure, the patient lies on a table, right hand resting above the head. A health care provider will apply a local anesthetic to the area where he or she will insert the biopsy needle. If needed, he or she will give sedatives and pain medication. Then, he or she will use a needle to take a small piece of liver tissue, and may use ultrasound, computerized tomography scans, or other imaging techniques to guide the needle.
After the biopsy, the patient must lie on the right side for up to 2 hours and is monitored an additional 2 to 4 hours before being sent home. A health care provider performs a liver biopsy at a hospital or an outpatient center. The liver sample is sent to a pathology lab where the pathologist—a doctor who specializes in diagnosing disease—looks at the tissue with a microscope and sends a report to the patient's health care provider.
A health care provider can use liver biopsy to diagnose autoimmune hepatitis and determine if cirrhosis is present. People often have cirrhosis at the time they are diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis. A health care provider can also use liver biopsy to look for changes in the severity of liver damage prior to autoimmune hepatitis treatment for autoimmune hepatitis.
Treatment for autoimmune hepatitis includes medication to suppress, or slow down, an overactive immune system.
Treatment may also include a liver transplant. These symptoms can include absence of a menstrual period, bloody diarrhea due to ulcerative colitisabdominal painarthritisrashesanemiakidney diseasedry eyesand dry mouth. People with AIH typically have a chronic fluctuating course. AIH is characterized by exacerbations worsening and remissions of disease, which occur at varying intervals. When the immune system becomes activated, as in the case of an autoimmune diseasethere is increased production of inflammatory cells T-cellsantibodies, and other inflammatory chemicals.
The overactivated immune system can lead to systemic symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis and low-grade fever. Some other symptoms, such as glomerulonephritis and arthritisare due to deposits of antibodies that accumulate in the kidney or joints, leading to damage in those tissues. Although the mechanism is still poorly understood, it is theorized that proteins appear on the surface of infected liver cells.
This leads to an autoimmune response, in which cells of the immune system including T and B cells recognize these new proteins as foreign bodies. These cells then attack the liver, causing inflammation of the liver cells and eventual destruction of liver tissue. Autoimmune hepatitis requires laboratory tests to distinguish it from uncomplicated hepatitis C infections.
When AIH is triggered, the immune system produces protective antibodies that actually attack the enemy organ. These antibodies are known as autoantibodies.
Hypergammaglobulinemia, an excess of antibodies in the bloodis a common finding in autoimmune hepatitis. Blood tests for certain autoantibodies may also provide diagnostic clues. The diagnosis may, however, require a liver biopsy.
Interferon is the only approved treatment for HCV, but its use in what are the with autoimmune hepatitis has been shown to exacerbate the disease. In general, steroids are used for people with autoimmune hepatitis due to non-viral causes.