Learn about our expanded patient care options for your health care needs. The liver is a large organ that sits up under your ribs on the right side of your belly abdomen. It helps filter waste from your body, makes bile to help digest food, and stores sugar that your body uses for energy. This causes swelling, inflammation and liver damage. The symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
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Other signs and symptoms that may develop as the disease progresses include:    . This table lists symptoms that people with this disease may have. For most diseases, symptoms will vary from person to person. People with the same disease may not have all the symptoms listed. The HPO collects information on symptoms that have been described in medical resources.
The HPO is updated regularly. If you need medical advice, you can look for doctors or other healthcare professionals who have experience with this disease.
You may find these specialists through advocacy organizations, clinical trials, or articles published in medical journals.
You may also want to contact a university or tertiary medical center in your area, because these centers tend to see more complex cases and have the latest technology and treatments.
They may be able to refer you to someone they know through conferences or research efforts. Some specialists may be willing to consult with you or your local doctors over the phone or by email if you can't travel to them for care. You can find more tips in our guide, How to Find a Disease Specialist. We also encourage you to explore the rest of this page to find resources that can help you find specialists. Research helps us better understand diseases and can lead to advances in diagnosis and treatment.
This section provides resources to help you learn about medical research and ways to get involved. Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services.
Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD. These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.
Questions sent to GARD may be posted here if the information could be helpful to others. We remove all identifying information when posting a question to protect your privacy. If you do not want your question posted, please let us know. National Institutes of Health. COVID is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. Menu Search Home Diseases Autoimmune hepatitis. You can help advance rare disease research!
Title Other Names:. Autoimmune chronic hepatitis; AIH. Summary Summary. Symptoms Symptoms. Signs and symptoms in people with autoimmune hepatitis range from mild to severe depending on the amount of liver damage present. Symptoms are generally due to scarring of liver tissue cirrhosis. Some people have no symptoms at first and are diagnosed after being evaluated for another health problem. Loss of appetite. Jaundice yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes. Other signs and symptoms that may develop as the disease progresses include:     Loss of brain function hepatic encephalopathy.
Fluid in the abdomen ascites. Swelling of the legs edema. Easy bruising and bleeding. An enlarged spleen splenomegaly. Itchy skin pruritis or skin rashes. Joint pain. Dark urine. Pale or gray-colored stools. Absence of menstrual periods in women amenorrhea. Some symptoms a person experiences may be due to other underlying heath conditions or autoimmune diseases that are associated with autoimmune hepatitis. Showing of 30 View All.
High liver enzymes. Pain in stomach. Stomach pain. Chronic extreme exhaustion. Acute liver inflammation. Excessive, persistent worry and fear. Joint inflammation. Accumulation of fluid in the abdomen. Scar tissue replaces healthy tissue in the liver. Gastrointestinal bleeding. High bili total. Yellow skin. Yellowing of the skin. Increased spleen size. Thyroid gland inflammation. Blotchy loss of skin color. Do you have more information about symptoms of this disease?
We want to hear from you. Do you have updated information on this disease? Cause Cause. The underlying cause of autoimmune hepatitis is not known. It is possible that any of several genetic or environmental factors such as medications or viral infections may trigger the disease.
In the case of autoimmune hepatitis, the body's immune system attacks healthy liver tissue, ultimately damaging the liver. Diagnosis Diagnosis. A liver biopsy can confirm the diagnosis and determine the extent of liver damage. Treatment Treatment. Treatment for autoimmune hepatitis should be managed by a hepatologist , which is a doctor who specializes in liver disease. In many cases, especially when the disease is diagnosed early, treatment can slow the progression of the disease and may reverse some of the liver damage that has already occurred.
People who have no symptoms or have a very mild form of the disease may not need treatment. Azathioprine often in combination with corticosteroids. Other immune system suppressants - particularly when treatment with corticosteroids and azathioprine is not effective or causes severe side effects. Examples include mycophenolate mofetil , cyclosporine , or tacrolimus. Most people go into remission with initial treatment within two to three years. This means that their symptoms improve, and laboratory tests show that liver function is improving.
In some cases, people who achieve remission can taper off medications for a period of time. Find a Specialist Find a Specialist. Healthcare Resources To find a medical professional who specializes in genetics, you can ask your doctor for a referral or you can search for one yourself.
Research Research. Clinical Research Resources ClinicalTrials. Click on the link to go to ClinicalTrials. We strongly recommend that you talk with a trusted healthcare provider before choosing to participate in any clinical study.
Although these projects may not conduct studies on humans, you may want to contact the investigators to learn more. To search for studies, enter the disease name in the "Text Search" box.
Then click "Submit Query". Patient Registry The Autoimmune Registry supports research for Autoimmune hepatitis by collecting information about patients with this and other autoimmune diseases. You can join the registry to share your information with researchers and receive updates about participating in new research studies.
Learn more about registries. Organizations Organizations.
Autoimmune hepatitis AIH is a chronic inflammatory condition of the liver of unknown etiology identified in the s and formerly called chronic active hepatitis. Autoimmune hepatitis is characterized by liver transaminase elevation in the presence of autoantibodies, elevated gamma globulin levels, interface hepatitis on histology, and a great response to corticosteroids. Autoimmune hepatitis occurs worldwide but the exact incidence and prevalence of the disease in the United States is unknown. The point prevalence and incidence of AIH in Northern Europeans is approximately 18 per , people per year and 1. Autoimmune hepatitis is subdivided in 2 types, according to the pattern of autoantibodies.
Autoimmune hepatitis is liver inflammation that occurs when your body's immune system turns against liver cells. The exact cause of autoimmune hepatitis is unclear, but genetic and enviromental factors appear to interact over time in triggering the disease. Untreated autoimmune hepatitis can lead to scarring of the liver cirrhosis and eventually to liver failure. When diagnosed and treated early, however, autoimmune hepatitis often can be controlled with drugs that suppress the immune system.