My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Ask Your Question

WebMD Answers

120 Characters remaining
120 Characters remaining
  • First, try and keep your question as short as possible.
  • Include specific words that will help us identify questions that may already have your answer.
  • If you don't find your answer, you can post your question to WebMD Experts and Contributors.

Close

Posted: | Report This Report Question |
 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

443 Answers
14,352 Helpful Votes
46 Followers
A.

Autoimmune hepatitis is a disease in which the body's immune system attacks liver cells. This immune response causes inflammation of the liver, also called hepatitis. Researchers think a genetic factor may make some people more susceptible to autoimmune diseases. About 70 percent of those with autoimmune hepatitis are female.

The disease is usually quite serious and, if not treated, gets worse over time. Autoimmune hepatitis is typically chronic, meaning it can last for years, and can lead to cirrhosis—scarring and hardening—of the liver. Eventually, liver failure can result.

Autoimmune hepatitis is classified as type 1 or type 2. Type 1 is the most common form in North America. It can occur at any age but most often starts in adolescence or young adulthood. About half of those with type 1 have other autoimmune disorders, such as

  • type 1 diabetes
  • proliferative glomerulonephritis, an inflammation of blood vessels in the kidneys
  • thyroiditis, an inflammation of the thyroid gland
  • Graves' disease, the leading cause of overactive thyroid
  • Sjögren's syndrome, a syndrome that causes dry eyes and mouth
  • autoimmune anemia
  • ulcerative colitis, an inflammation of the colon and rectum leading to ulcers

Type 2 autoimmune hepatitis is less common, typically affecting girls aged 2 to 14, although adults can have it too.

This answer should not be considered medical advice...down arrowThis answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

Posted:
| Report This Report Answer

Was this helpful?

YesNo

Thanks for your feedback.

42 of 50 found this helpful