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Author Topic: what is autoimmune hepatitis?  (Read 10690 times)

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Offline curiousinsanjose

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  • Posts: 8
what is autoimmune hepatitis?
« on: July 07, 2011, 03:46:02 pm »
I came across an article in my local paper talking abot autoimmunue hepatitis. it doesn't say it is Hep C or anything but autoimmune hepatitis. So what is it?

Here's the story link:

Offline Tim Horn

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  • Posts: 51
Re: what is autoimmune hepatitis?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2011, 10:07:59 am »

I think the article does a pretty good job summarizing the key points of autoimmune hepatitis.

Hepatitis is a disease that can have a number of different causes, not just the best-known culprits: The hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses. Hepatitis basically means inflammation of the liver. Just as the aforementioned viruses can cause this, so can things like chemicals (such as certain medications, illicit drugs and alcohol) and, in some cases, the body's own immune system.

When the body's immune system attacks healthy tissues in the body, this is known as an autoimmunity. There's no one reason why someone's immune system can sometimes go haywire -- scientists are still studying this phenomenon -- but sometimes its genetics, sometimes its in response to something in our environments and sometimes its a response to harmless germs in our bodies.

There are two types of autoimmune hepatitis: Type 1 and type 2, with type 1 being the most common form in the U.S. Generally speaking, it starts when people are in their late teens or early 20s and is typically associated with another underlying medical problem, such as type 1 diabetes, as well as kidney, thyroid, anemia and/or colitis.

Like chronic hep B and hep C, autoimmune hepatitis can lead to serious liver damage, liver failure... and death. The treatment, however, is very different -- whereas the primary goal of hep B and hep C treatment is to attack the viruses and prevent them from replicating (sometimes boosting the immune system to do some of the heavy lifting), the goal of autoimmune hepatitis treatment is to calm the immune system to prevent it from causing further damage to the liver. As the Mercury article points out, the two most common drugs used to achieve this are prednisone and azathioprine -- though these drugs can have side effects, the relentless nature of autoimmune hepatitis means that many need to use the drugs, on and off, for the rest of their lives.


Offline curiousinsanjose

  • Member
  • Posts: 8
Re: what is autoimmune hepatitis?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2011, 09:22:51 pm »
Thanks Tim.

I'd never heard of this before. How many people have it? How do you get it or more importantly not get it?

Offline farmgirl

  • Member
  • Posts: 20
Re: what is autoimmune hepatitis?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2011, 11:10:17 am »
Just wanted to share...

Make- A- Wish... Granted!

A little girl suffering from Chronic Auto Immune Hepatitis got her wish to visit Disney World.


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