Autoimmune hepatitis is inflammation in your liver that occurs when your body's immune system attacks your liver, and causes it to become inflamed. The American Liver Foundation says the disease is chronic, meaning it lasts many years. According to the Mayo Clinic, while the cause of autoimmune hepatitis is unclear, some diseases, toxins and drugs may trigger autoimmune hepatitis in susceptible people, especially women. Untreated autoimmune hepatitis can lead to scarring of the liver, known as cirrhosis, and eventually to liver failure. When diagnosed and treated early, however, autoimmune hepatitis often can be controlled with drugs that suppress the immune system. The most common symptoms are fatigue, abdominal discomfort, aching joints, itching, jaundice enlarged liver, nausea and spider angiomas on the skin.
I represent a 54 year old teacher with autoimmune hepatitis, whose application for Social Security Disability benefits was approved today, four months after it was filed. The key was getting the treating hepatologist to provide a report that detailed the objective clinical and diagnostic test findings, along with the resulting functional limitations.