Autoimmune Hepatitis: What To Do If Your Immune System Attacks Your Liver

When most people think of hepatitis, they think of the viral infections hepatitis A, B or C.  These liver infections are extremely common, however hepatitis can be caused by a variety of other factors.  Sometimes the immune system can attack and destroy liver cells and this may result in autoimmune hepatitis.

Autoimmune hepatitis is more common in women than men and can cause symptoms including fatigue, aches and pains, insomnia, abdominal discomfort and itchy skin.  This condition is more likely to occur in people with other autoimmune diseases, particularly thyroid conditions, celiac disease, vitiligo, ulcerative colitis and Sjogren’s syndrome. There is a lot of information about my recommended treatment of autoimmune disease in my book Healing Autoimmune Disease: A plan to help your immune system and reduce inflammation.

Your liver does an enormous number of important jobs in your body, and is the second largest organ in your body (your skin is your largest organ).  Therefore autoimmune hepatitis can have a profound negative impact on your health and quality of life.

Autoimmune hepatitis can cause raised liver enzymes and eventual scarring to the liver.  People with this condition also produce auto-antibodies against liver cells and high gammaglobulin levels, which can both be checked via a blood test.  Autoimmune hepatitis most commonly develops during adolescence or early adulthood.  The most common conventional medical treatment involves use of oral steroids (prednisone) and immunosuppressant drugs.  These drugs can be very effective for reducing inflammation in the liver, but they can have terrible side effects.

My recommendations for autoimmune hepatitis

  • Gluten and dairy products should be eliminated from the diet.  These foods raise inflammation in the body and promote auto-antibody production.  Other foods that promote inflammation and should be minimised include sugar and alcohol.  The diet should be based on vegetables, protein and good fats.  Suitable sources of protein include fish, poultry, eggs, meat, nuts and seeds.  Good fats are found in foods such as avocados, extra virgin olive oil, macadamia nut oil and organic coconut oil, along with the fat from pastured animals and wild caught fish.
  • Drink raw vegetable juices regularly.  Juices are an extremely concentrated and easy to digest source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  There are specific juices for liver health and the immune system in my book Raw Juices Can Save Your Life.
  • Take a good quality liver tonic like Livatone Plus powder.  This can be added to your vegetable juice or smoothie or stirred into a little water.  The herb St Mary’s thistle (milk thistle) helps to protect liver cells from harm and also helps to repair liver cells.
  • Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common among people with autoimmune disease and people with liver disease.  If you do not get regular exposure to sunshine, ask your doctor for a vitamin D blood test.  Your level should be between 40 and 60 ng/mL.
  • Selenium is very effective for reducing inflammation and auto-antibody production.  It is also helpful for increasing energy and reducing fatigue, which is a common problem among people with liver disease.  I recommend 1 capsule daily of Selenomune Designer Energy capsules.
  • Fish oil capsules are high in omega 3 fats, which reduce inflammation and assist tissue repair.  Your liver cell membranes are composed of omega 3 fats and a good fish oil supplement can help to repair damaged liver cells.

These recommendations are natural ways for helping the liver and immune system.  Please do not discontinue taking any prescription medication without discussing the matter with your doctor.

The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.