It affects 70% of the women and occurs most commonly during adolescence
and early adulthood. Is autoimmune hepatitis, liver inflammation that
occurs when the immune system confuses the body cells with invaders and
While there are several factors associated with liver inflammation,
including infection by viruses, fat and administration of certain drugs,
there is a cause belonging to autoimmune diseases, which are due to
uncontrolled activation of the immune system (defense) that fails to
recognize as their own organs and tissues, resulting in damage.
The cause of this type of hepatitis is unknown; however, know the
existence of genetic predisposition to develop, as occurs with other
autoimmune diseases. Sometimes it is possible to identify a trigger
factor for infectious type, which initiates an inflammatory process that
persists even after removing the infection, as occasionally occurs with
It is important to know that hepatitis is classified as:
* Type 1. It is the most common and can occur at any age.
* Type 2. It occurs in children and adolescents.
Because the disease course is hesitant (fluctuating), its manifestations
are variable, there are even people who are diagnosed without having
any discomfort. Among the symptoms most commonly cited are fatigue,
nausea, abdominal and joint pain, purities or itching, jaundice
(yellowing of skin and eyes) and spider veins (blood spills in the
When autoimmune hepatitis is in advanced stage, patients may experience
symptoms of cirrhosis (healthy normal tissue and the liver is replaced
by a scar that blocks the flow of blood through the organ and preventing
it from working) and dark urine (dark-colored urine), fluid in the
abdominal cavity and encephalopathy (mental confusion).
Diagnosis and management
Detection of autoimmune hepatitis is only possible by combining medical
criteria, which include review of patient medical history, blood tests
to detect antibodies that attack the liver and different structures of
the study sample of liver tissue.
The biopsy (removal of liver cells) is one of the main elements to
establish the diagnosis and prognosis. This is because it can show
changes that reveal if there is damage to the organ, changes that
indicate disease progression and if you have already developed liver
Note that untreated autoimmune hepatitis can progress and lead to the
development of liver cirrhosis, so do not forget to practice routine
screening because the disease does not always symptoms. Also detected in
early stage can prevent irreversible damage to the liver.