Autoimmune Hepatitis is a chronic inflammatory liver disease
Autoimmune Hepatitis can occur in people of all ages.
Women are affected three to four times more often than men
The immune cells treat the liver cells as foreign and start to destroy them
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Autoimmune Hepatitis is just one of the causes of chronic active hepatitis
When hepatitis becomes chronic, the liver may develop cirrhosis
The most common symptom of autoimmune hepatitis is fatigue and tiredness
Spider angiomas are typical of autoimmune hepatitis together with skin rashes
Many people with autoimmune hepatitis do not feel well.
The body's immune system attacks its own liver cells.
Liver biopsy is the best diagnostic test for Autoimmune hepatitis
Liver biopsy also provides information on cirrhosis and prognosis
Treatment of Autoimmune Hepatitis is with immunosuppressant medication
Immediate treatment with high-dose corticosteroids may reduce progression
When the inflammation is brought under control, the dose can be reduced
Otherwise other drugs such as azathioprine or cyclosporine may be included
-An original poem by Kenneth Kee
Interesting Tips about the Autoimmune Hepatitis
A Healthy Lifestyle
1. Take a well Balanced Diet
2. Once the diagnosis of autoimmune hepatitis has been made, treatment is almost always required.
Immediate treatment with high-dose corticosteroids may reduce the risk of progression to fulminant hepatic failure or even cirrhosis
Fulminant hepatitis requires immediate attention; prompt treatment with corticosteroids is lifesaving.
This therapy uses a type of steroids known as corticosteroids to reduce (suppress) the ability of the immune system to fight infection.
It is usual to start treatment with a relatively high dose of steroids, usually prednisone or prednisolone.
When the inflammation is brought under control, the dose can be reduced.
Usually other drugs are added to allow for a lower dose of steroids.
Another immunosuppressant, azathioprine is most commonly used in combination with steroids.
3. Keep bones and body strong
Bone marrow produces our blood
Eat foods rich in calcium like yogurt, cheese, milk, and dark green vegetables.
Eat foods rich in Vitamin D, like eggs, fatty fish, cereal, and fortified milk.
Eat food rich in Vitamins B and C such as green vegetables and fruits
Zinc and other minerals are important to the body
4. Get enough rest and Sleep
Avoid stress and tension
5. Exercise and stay active.
It is best to do weight-bearing exercise such as walking, jogging, stair climbing, dancing, or lifting weights for 2½ hours a week.
One way to do this is to be active 30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week.
Begin slowly especially if a person has not been active.
6. Do not drink more than 2 alcohol drinks a day for a man or 1 alcohol drink a day for a woman.
Alcohol use also increases the chance of falling and breaking a bone.
Alcohol can affect the neurons and brain cells.
7. Stop or do not begin smoking.
It also interferes with blood supply and healing.
Autoimmune hepatitis is a long-term disease of the liver in which the body's immune system attacks liver cells.
Autoimmune hepatitis was previously known as chronic active hepatitis.
This immune response causes inflammation of the liver which is also called hepatitis.
Last week I was surprised by a woman patient of 56 years who suddenly appeared at my consultation room with an infection diagnosis of Autoimmune Hepatitis and Hepatitis C.
I have never seen a Autoimmune Hepatitis much less a Hepatitis C case in all my family practice. Hepatitis B and A patients were seen once in a while but not Autoimmune Hepatitis.
She apparently had a blood transfusion in Malaysia when she was a child and did not realize the presence of Autoimmune Hepatitis and Hepatitis C infection until recently when the liver function test was found to be abnormal.