Autoimmune hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the liver. The symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis may include nausea, mild fatigue, joint pain and abdominal pain. Anyone can develop autoimmune hepatitis at any age, but the disease is more common in women.
In order to diagnose autoimmune hepatitis, a blood test will be performed. This can be used to distinguish autoimmune hepatitis from viral hepatitis, which has similar symptoms. A liver biopsy, which involves removing a small amount of liver tissue for analysis, helps determine the severity of damage to the liver. Autoimmune hepatitis is treated with medication that helps prevent the body’s immune system from attacking the liver. If autoimmune hepatitis has already progressed to the point at which cirrhosis has developed, a liver transplant may be required.