Autoimmune disease is a very serious matter. In case it affects the liver, it is fraught with its failure to work properly and is known as autoimmune hepatitis. Another name for the condition is autoimmune liver disease.
Immune system of a person is essential and it is important as it helps to prevent various strange things from getting into. This refers to viruses and bacteria and so on. It works by attacking alien stuff like viruses and the like and therefore an organism gets cured. However, there are cases when the immune system fails to work as it is supposed to and starts attacking the cells of the body, the healthy ones.
Autoimmune Liver Disease
Hepatitis, or autoimmune liver disease, happens when liver cells get attacked. This condition is frequent in women in more cases than men.
This disease is a very serious condition that requires treatment. In case of being neglected it can evoke different complications that are rather severe. Among them are liver failure and its scarring and hardening; cirrhosis is also possible. The condition does not appear suddenly; it develops gradually and frequently starts in childhood. However, this is not a rule; it can develop in an adult as well. Sometimes, autoimmune liver disease can start with some other disease such as ulcerative colitis, or type 1 diabetes, or Graves’s disease and some others.
The most frequent symptoms of autoimmune liver disease are joint or pain as well as a rash. Frequently the darkening of the urine can be noticed; changes or stool color is also characteristic. The condition can also be noted by loss of appetite and vomiting.
The more the disease develops, the more cirrhosis spreads as well. Then it starts to show its symptoms. They are usually more severe and eloquent. Hard lumps on the liver can be found on this stage of the illness when liver is examined.
In the stages when the condition caused cirrhosis to develop to the extreme, the symptoms worsen. Ascites, or the condition when fluid might accumulates in the area of abdomen, develops. A person can start experiencing mental problems. Menstruations can start unexpectedly in women.
In case you start noticing any of the symptoms, it is necessary to undergo a full medical check-up. It is very important to make a right diagnosis in order to start a proper treatment. Sometimes antibiotics can cause the similar symptoms to appear and therefore the treatment will be wrong. The most frequent tests that are carried out when autoimmune liver disease is suspected are blood tests and biopsy of liver.
The condition is treatable and a body can repair it successfully if detected on the early stages and with proper treatment. Such corticosteroids as prednisone and azathioprine are used in the therapy for autoimmune liver disease. These medications function in a way that they suppress the work of the immune system while the ways to improve the condition are sought. The treatment is successful, if the disease is recognized early. It is also reported that about three fourths of the cases of autoimmune liver disease end up with remission after a couple of years.