Autoimmune Chronic Active Hepatitis


Autoimmune chronic active hepatitis is a chronic disease which results in inflammation of the liver. This disease majorly affects the middle aged women or young children and is related to HLA types A1, B8, DR3 and Dw3 and if the disease is not treated then it may cause liver cirrhosis. This disease affects one person out of 10,000 people where seven out of ten are usually women and women who are 45 years of age are affected by this disease. However it can affect all the age groups and children or elderly people as well.

Causes

The cause is still not clear of the condition but it is found that factors responsible for this condition are excess of alcohol, infections and viruses. It can be chronic which means that the condition will remain in for a long term. The chronic condition may result in destruction of liver causing serious issues. The autoimmune chronic active hepatitis occurs because the immune system triggers to attack the own tissues in the body.

Symptoms

The symptoms for Autoimmune chronic active hepatitis develops gradually and in the beginning no symptoms are observed at all. The most common symptoms which are seen are listed below :

Nausea Tiredness and fatigue

People feel unwell usually at the beginning

Pain in muscles and joints which is severe during the morning time.

In worse condition jaundice may be caused which is because of a chemical known as bilirubin and spreads in the blood in some extreme liver conditions. As jaundice is caused by hepatitis the urine appears to be dark and stool is pale in color as well. If the treatment is not given to suppress the condition it may worsen. When Autoimmune chronic active hepatitis occurs some symptoms develops fast as stated below :

Sudden onset of fever

Jaundice

Abdominal pain

Vomiting

If the condition becomes more severe, it may result in liver failure.

Diagnosis

As the beginning symptoms are vague in Autoimmune chronic active hepatitis diagnosis is made after conducting some tests. If symptoms are related to hepatitis, the tests are conducted which are stated below :

Ultrasound scans of the liver 

Liver function or blood test: it checks enzyme activity and activity of other substances which helps to discover the functioning of the liver and inflammation level. Other blood tests which help to measure auto-antibodies which are smooth muscle antibodies. A small biopsy to check inflammation of the liver and cirrhosis Other tests may be conducted to check the different liver disorders.

Treatment

To suppress the condition, steroids and medicines are given. The treatment is required in this condition and if treated early, the risk factors and symptoms can be controlled to a great level. The immunosuppressant medicines help in suppressing the immune system. Steroids are the first treatment for reducing inflammation and a higher dose in the first week is recommended. Azathioprine is also given to reduce the side effects of steroids. The dose and treatment is given at a lower level so the side effects are eliminated to a great extent and improves the condition of the patient.

There are many types of medicines that may be used in specific types of autoimmune diseases. While some treatments aim at relieving symptoms like pain and inflammation, others target the disease process. Unfortunately, adding to extreme hazards and medical anxiety, some autoimmune diseases like thyroiditis and diabetes make the manufacture of vital components in the form of hormones conducive to the human body difficult. Relaxingly enough, some agents introduced by the developed medical ventures, like, anti-TNF medications are used in autoimmune arthritis and psoriasis. Apart from medications, there are several lifestyle changes that may be adopted along with the treatment of autoimmune diseases. These include eating a healthy and balanced diet, getting regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy body weight, getting adequate rest, reducing stress, etc.