“Autoimmune” is a term used to define a disease that uses the body’s own natural defenses; its antibodies and lymphocytes against itself. Like many autoimmune diseases, the underlying cause of Autoimmune Hepatitis isn’t very clear. There are some factors that may cause some victims to be more vulnerable than others though, and there are some known triggers that can be easily avoided. Autoimmune Hepatitis is a serious disease that can lead to liver failure and ultimately become fatal because of this.
Autoimmune Hepatitis has some visible symptoms. While there are some that immediately occur, others develop over a long period of time, which can make Autoimmune Hepatitis difficult to recognize in the early stages of development.
Some of the symptoms are:
- Abdominal discomfort
- Abnormally visible blood vessels on the skin
- An enlarged liver, possibly swelling in the lower ribs
- Constant Itchiness
- Dark-colored urine, possible dark red or brown
- Fatigue throughout the day
- Joint pain
- Loss of menstruation for women
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Skin rashes
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes
While some of these symptoms may seem normal for some, a combination of them coupled with prolonged symptoms and unexplainable severity may point to Autoimmune Hepatitis. It is important to be able to recognize these symptoms as early as possible to prevent further damage and potentially life-threatening circumstances.
Autoimmune Hepatitis comes in two different classifications.
- Type 1, AI Hepatitis – This is the most common and can occur at any age, to anybody although this is a disease, which commonly affects people with other autoimmune disorders.
- Type 2, AI Hepatitis – Different from Type 1 in the sense that young girls develop it far more than older women or even men. Adults can develop this type too, though it is more commonly found in younger-aged girls with pre-existing autoimmune problems.
There are a number of factors that increase certain individuals’ chances of having AI Hepatitis, but the two main factors are gender and age. Another significant factor is having a pre-existing autoimmune disease. While certain medications don’t necessarily increase the risk of having AI Hepatitis, there are some that may trigger it.
If you feel like you may have symptoms that require attention, call Arlington Gastroenterology Services and mention that you feel symptoms that may point to Autoimmune Hepatitis.
Our doctors are medical professionals and specialists whose sole purpose is to diagnose and treat Gastroenterology issues with our patients and we pride ourselves on quick and accurate diagnostics and treatments. If you have any questions about our practice or need assistance, contact us today.