Karen Hoyt is a blogger who has a story about hepatitis C, cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease, liver cancer, and liver transplantation. This excerpt first appeared on Karen’s I Help C blog.

I hear a lot from people seeking help for autoimmune liver disease. Trying to figure it out is hard, but most symptoms are the same as any type of liver disease. I know, we can’t lump them all into one specific area, but they are in the same region.

All liver disease begins at a cellular level when our liver gets inflamed. No matter what is getting your liver jacked up, a sick liver gets increased damage for all types of cirrhosis. It’s a matter of cause, genetics, lifestyle, and behaviors.

Help for Autoimmune Liver Disease: 5 T’s
Trigger– The cause of any immune disease is because our immune system is designed to protect us from “bad” guys that invade our body. These bad guys seem to have super powers that can come from anywhere and irritate the heck out of our liver….. and that’s if the immune response is localized.

What if the bad guys are outside of our liver? In that case, autoimmune hepatitis causes drama and overlaps in other organs, bones (arthritis), skin (dermatitis and psoriasis), hair (alopecia), Graves, multiple sclerosis, lupus, celiac, Budd-Chiari, inflammatory bowel, amyloidosis, ankylosing spondylitits, diabetes, vasculitis and on and on…

Even when it starts somewhere else, it can eventually damage the liver. Autoimmune illness can be a vicious cycle

Types– Primary Biliary Cirrhosis, Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, and Autoimmune Hepatitis are the top 3.

Testing– There are blood tests to see if you have autoimmune hepatitis. If you have overlap autoimmune liver damage, it’s not as easy to pin down, especially if they are part of a systemic inflammation that hypes up your liver. Look for liver tests such as a antibodies, metabolic panel lab, liver biopsy, Cat scan, endoscopy, MRI, or Dopplar Ultrasound.

This link will take you to the rest of Karen’s blog, which includes information about treatment and managing autoimmune liver disease.