Informations for patients and physicians
Welcome to the medical information pages of the Yael Foundation!
Here you can find comprehensive information on autoimmune liver dieases. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are able to save the lives of patients with these conditions and are likely to improve their quality of life.
- Elevated liver function tests can hint towards an autoimmune liver disease.
- Untreated autoimmune liver diseases can be deadly, but the majority of treated patients have an excellent prognosis.
- Medical care for autoimmune liver diseases is complex and should be performed by specialized physicians.
If you are well-informed about your disease, possibly are in touch with other affected patients, and are under competent medical care, you will be able to live well with these chronic conditions. The aim of the Yael Foundation and of these information pages is to help you live a good life despite suffering from an autoimmune liver disease.
Autoimmune liver disesase – what does that mean?
The immune system has developed to defend the body against attack from outside. If the immune system turns against the own body, this can result in inflammation and functional impairment of the tissues and organs affected. This so-called autoimmunity can also affect the liver. Autoimmune liver diseases are inflammatory conditions of the liver resulting from a misguided immune response. In many cases, elevated liver function tests in a routine blood sample might be a first sign, elevated in a similar fashion as in the case of liver damage due to alcohol or viral hepatitis infections. If the disease is untreated, severe functional impairment of the liver and organ failure can result. In this situation, only liver transplantation is able to save the patient. However, a timely diagnosis of an autoimmune liver disease usually allows successful treatment. In this case, autoimmune liver diseases are usually conditions with which you can live a normal or almost normal life. Both the life expectancy and the quality of life are usually good.