Good morning, Kim
To answer your question (as best I can), the progress from stage to stage in liver disease is really, really variable. There are 6 stages in cirrhosis, with stage 2 being more (to my mind) an early stage; but I don't know about AIH.
If a person does all the 'right things' - no alcohol, proper diet, exercise, etc. - it can help slow the progress of liver disease. Depending on the cause, medications are often (as you know) an important part of the 'right thing.'
Of course, anything that makes the liver work harder will make things worse. That's the most frustrating thing about liver diseases, they are just so unpredictable. Given half a chance, the liver will try to repair itself. So, we just have to help it do that as much as we can.
You definitely want to be vaccinated against HepA and HepB. If your liver is 'unhappy,' contracting hepatitis can make you very ill, very quickly. When Mark got sicker and started getting aggressive medical care in December 2003, the first thing the doctor did was vaccinate him against flu, pneumonia, HAV, and HBV. He already had ESLD at that point and the flu would have, literally, killed him.
As for alkaline phosphatase, that is an enzyme that is elevated when bones are growing, liver cells are damaged, or there is blockage in the bile ducts. That's probably why your doctor suggested URSO Forte (ursodiol).
I would definitely ask your doctor these questions, too. She'll have much more information and can help ease some of your fears. Corticosteroids aren't exactly the most 'fun' meds you'll ever take, but if they help, then that's what is good.
God Bless. Let us know how you're doing.
Fiance had HCV, cirrhosis, ESLD, ascites, and portal hypertension. Was transplanted June 2004. Now, on interferon and ribavirin. Hepatitis C is back.
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
Post Edited (DesertJules) : 9/15/2005 10:53:56 AM (GMT-6)