Autoimmune Hepatitis

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Autoimmune Hepatitis?

Signs and symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis can range from minor to severe and may come on suddenly or develop over time. The most common symptom of autoimmune hepatitis is fatigue. Initially, symptoms can mimic a mild case of the flu. For some people, few, if any problems exist in the early stages of the disease, whereas others experience various signs and symptoms.

Symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • An enlarged liver
  • Jaundice  (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Dark urine
  • Pale stools
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Itching
  • Skin rashes
  • Spider angiomas (abnormal blood vessels on the skin)
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of menstrual period in women

More serious complications can include ascites (fluid in the abdomen), and mental confusion.

Mayo Clinic “Autoimmune Hepatitis” http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/autoimmune-hepatitis/DS00676/ Retrieved on February 17, 2011

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases “Autoimmune Hepatitis” http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/autoimmunehep/ Retrieved on February 17, 2011

Palmer, M.D., Melissa. Dr. Melissa Palmer’s Guide to Hepatitis & Liver Disease. New York: Avery Trade, 2004.

Worman, MD Howard J. The Liver Disorders and Hepatitis Sourcebook. McGraw-Hill, 2006

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