Autoimmune hepatitis is a condition that affects the liver and is not contagious. It can cause inflammation and occurs when the body believes that the livers cells are harmful to the body, leading the immune system to attack them. When left untreated, autoimmune hepatitis can cause cirrhosis and lead to liver failure.

Genetics and Medication

Doctors are still trying to pinpoint the exact cause of autoimmune hepatitis. They believe that it could be related to genes that affect the immune system in the body. If you have another autoimmune disease, there is a higher risk of developing autoimmune hepatitis. The reason why the immune system attacks the liver cells is unknown. Physicians believe that in some cases, certain medications may also cause autoimmune hepatitis.


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When you are fatigued, you may feel tired despite a lack of exertion. This can happen at any time of the day, even after you’ve had a full night of sleep. You may feel extremely tired immediately upon waking. Fatigue in relation to autoimmune hepatitis can happen because your body thinks you are ill; it is trying to fight off an infection that isn’t there.


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Jaundice is the yellowing of skin or white part of the eyes. It is caused by a buildup of waste materials in the blood, as well as problems with the liver. If you notice that you have a yellow tint to your eyes or skin, contact your doctor, who will likely call for tests to determine the cause.


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Lack of Menstruation

If you have normal cycles and they suddenly stop, contact your doctor. Menstruation is an important part of women’s health, and if the cycles stop, there is likely something wrong. There are many conditions that can cause menstruation to stop and your doctor will be able to help you find the cause.


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Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain from inflammation is one of the most common symptoms associated with autoimmune hepatitis. In some cases, people believe the symptoms that they are experiencing are caused by something minor like a stomach ache. If you are experiencing abdominal pain or feel as though you aren’t hungry when you should be, contact your doctor.


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Joint Pain

Millions of people experience joint pain every year and often believe they are just sore after strenuous work, but in some cases, it may be more serious than that. Joint pain can occur in the hands, feet, shoulders, knees, hips, neck, and back and cause soreness and swelling. If you notice joint pain that cannot be linked to an obvious cause, contact your physician.


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Skin Rashes

Many illnesses cause skin rashes, red, itchy, bumpy spots that spread out from the point of origin. Skin rashes will go away on their own, but if you notice a rash along with other symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis, contact your doctor. Avoid scratching itchy skin to prevent the rash from spreading further. Over-the-counter medications can help stop itching.


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Certain smells, food, or even bright lights can bring on nausea when a person is already unwell, as can regular motions such as walking around or driving. If you notice this symptom along with others associated with autoimmune hepatitis, schedule an appointment with your doctor to find the cause. Be sure to tell your medical provider about all of the symptoms that you are experiencing.


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Spider Angiomas

A spider angioma is an abnormal looking blood vessel you can visibly see on your skin. The blood vessel becomes swollen and spreads out like a spider web. It may look similar to a spider web, with a red dot in the center and blood vessels expanding from that point. Autoimmune hepatitis may cause numerous spider angiomas as the body attacks the liver. The visible vessels can go away on their own, but it can take years for them to disappear completely.


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Enlarged Liver

Liver damage and inflammation associated with autoimmune hepatitis may cause pain just under the ribs. The immune system attacks the cells in the liver, believing that they represent an infection; this can lead to cirrhosis in some cases. If you notice severe pain under your ribs, contact your doctor.


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