Autoimmune hepatitis is a disease characterized by an individual’s own immune system attacking the liver. It causes the liver to become inflamed and if it is not treated, it can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure. Autoimmune hepatitis is more common in females (about 70 percent of cases are in women), but affects all ages and ethnicities equally. Symptoms range from mild to severe and may include: fatigue, joint pain, nausea, loss of appetite, skin rash and pain or discomfort over the liver. Treatment typically includes medication to suppress the immune system (to stop the body from attacking itself) and may even include a liver transplant.
Autoimmune disease organizations exist to provide support and resources to people affected by autoimmune conditions. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases conduct and support research efforts into conditions such as autoimmune hepatitis.