Autoimmune Hepatitis Symptoms
More Serious SymptomsFor some people with autoimmune hepatitis, damage within the liver can get bad and can begin to interfere with the flow of blood through the liver. In some cases, it can even prevent blood from flowing freely through the liver. This makes it harder for the liver to do its job. As the hepatitis continues, scars form and can begin to join together. When many of these scars form together, it is called cirrhosis.
Cirrhosis means that large areas of the liver have become very badly scarred -- usually permanently. This causes the liver to shrink and harden.
Cirrhosis symptoms as a result of autoimmune hepatitis can include:
- A loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain (or stomach pain)
- Spider-like blood vessels (spider angiomas) that develop on the skin.
For a lot of people, one or several of these symptoms may be the first sign that something is wrong.
Late SymptomsAs the liver continues to be damaged and scarred, it may stop performing one or more of its normal functions. For example, it may stop cleaning harmful wastes, toxins, and drugs from the blood. It may also stop making enough of the proteins your body needs to function properly. This is called liver failure.
As the liver becomes badly damaged with cirrhosis and liver failure occurs, several late autoimmune hepatitis symptoms can begin to appear, including:
- Fluid build-up in the stomach area (ascites) and legs
- Bleeding in the intestines
- Slowing of mental function
- Bruising or bleeding very easily
- Itchy skin
- Personality changes
- Coma or death.
When liver failure occurs in a person with autoimmune hepatitis, he or she may also develop: