A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Autoimmune Hepatitis
I had a question the other day about autoimmune hepatitis.
Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a disease in which your body’s immune system attacks the normal cells of your liver and causes inflammation and liver damage.
AIH triggers your body to attack its liver cells as if your liver cells were harmful foreign substances.
Autoimmune hepatitis is similar to other autoimmune illnesses, including thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid), diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis (inflammation of the joints), and ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the large intestine).
AIH is usually characterized by elevated liver blood tests, jaundice, severe itching, right upper abdominal pain, and fatigue.
This occurs in up to 25% of people.
Other people fall somewhere in between, having vague symptoms, like a general sense of lethargy, muscle and joint aches, or mild abdominal discomfort.
Fatigue is the most common and often the only symptom, occurring in approximately 85% of symptomatic people.
The severity of fatigue doesn’t always correlate with the degree of liver inflammation and damage.
People with AIH typically have a long-lasting fluctuating course.
AIH is characterized by worsening and remission of disease.
Autoimmune hepatitis is a serious condition that may worsen over time if not treated.
Autoimmune hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure.
Cirrhosis occurs when scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue and blocks the normal flow of blood through the liver.
Liver failure occurs when the liver stops working properly.
A combination of autoimmunity, environmental triggers, and a genetic predisposition can lead to autoimmune hepatitis.
To deal with autoimmune hepatitis it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily hydrates body and brain cells and flushes toxins (whether thirsty or not!).
*Fresh squeezed lemon juice added to water (warm or room temp) in morning is ideal, but anytime is helpful.
*Consider a liver, gallbladder and/or colon cleanse.
*Increase fresh, raw foods (organic when possible).
*Consider fresh juicing.
*Decrease toxic exposures of all kinds (food and environment).
*Decrease overeating at a meal (eat until almost full, then stop).
*Maintain an optimal weight.
*Decrease any and all hydrogenated, trans fat, deep-fried foods, etc.
*Decrease products that contain refined sugar.
*Decrease caffeine, soda pop, processed foods, and alcohol.
*Avoid MSG and all artificial sweeteners.