What is it?

hepatitis is a term describing inflammation in the liver; hence chronic hepatitis describes a chronic unresolved liver inflammation. The common cause of chronic hepatitis is a viral infection. Other causes include different drugs, medications, alcohol, and autoimmune hepatitis. In autoimmune hepatitis, the immune system "attacks" the liver, causing inflammation and damage. Viral hepatitis is classified as hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, depending on the specific virus causing the disease. Hepatitis can present as acute, short diseases, or as ongoing chronic diseases. The types of viral hepatitis leading to chronic hepatitis are hepatitis B, C, and D. Untreated liver hepatitis can lead to severe complications such as liver failure and liver cancer. Hepatitis A, B, and D can be prevented with vaccinations.

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Chronic Hepatitis.

Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Chronic active hepatitis
- Chronic lobular hepatitis
- Lupus hepatitis
- Recurrent hepatitis
- Toxic liver disease

Signs & symptoms

Chronic hepatitis develops slowly, so the sign and symptoms may not be noticeable at the beginning. Symptoms may include:
- Weakness and fatigue.
- Loss of appetite and weight loss.
- Yellow discoloration of the skin and the white part of the eye (called jaundice).
- Abdominal pain.
- Flu-like symptoms.
- Dark urine.
- Pale stool.


Diagnosis is made by questioning and investigating the medical history and physical examination to provide additional information and exclude other diseases. Further tests include:
- Blood testing – including liver function tests.
- Abdominal ultrasound, CT, or MRI scans.
- Liver biopsy – the optimal way of diagnosing the severity of liver diseases. Liver biopsy includes the insertion of a needle to the liver through the skin, and extraction of a small sample for microscopic inspection.


Treatment of chronic hepatitis differs based on the cause of the disease. Viral hepatitis treatment usually includes anti-viral medications, depending on the virus subtype. Autoimmune hepatitis can be treated with corticosteroids and other immune-suppressing drugs. In all cases, some life changes may be advisable, including cessation of alcohol drinking, diet modifications, and avoiding certain medications. Severe diseases that reach liver failure may indicate a liver transplant – a surgical procedure where the diseased liver is removed, and a healthy liver from a donor is transplanted instead.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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