Can Liver Disease Lead to Joint Pain?

joint pain due to liver diseaseThe human liver plays a vital role in the body’s proper functioning. And if something happens to it the whole body bears the effect with it.

It is the largest glandular organ in the body and is responsible for detoxification and metabolism along with the secretion of bile and synthesis of some essential proteins.

Given its crucial role in the body’s functioning, liver disease obviously affects other areas and joints are one of them.

Today we’re going to discuss the link between liver disease and joint pain in some detail along with any possible treatments and solutions.

Hepatitis C/Autoimmune Hepatitis as a liver disease

Hepatitis C is a severe condition that endangers your liver. It also affects other parts of the body during the process.

These parts are mostly bones, joints and muscles. This type of Hepatitis comes from a virus that has been transferred into the patients blood stream.

When a person comes in contact with blood containing this virus, there are high chances of infection, which is why patients are cautioned about the use of medical equipment, especially syringes.

Hepatitis C can in a lot of cases trigger autoimmune hepatitis where the liver comes under attack from the body’s own immune system.

The observable symptoms of this disease appear at a stage so late that not much can be done to cure the patient.

The video below explains auto-immune hepatitis in great detail.

Relation to Joint pain:

When a person suffers from Hepatitis C, there’s a strong chance he might have inflammatory joint issues as well. These inflammations may be produced by wearing out of joints or due to a certain type of arthritis called autoimmune arthritis.

Hepatitis C can lead to autoimmune hepatitis which can trigger the condition where the body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joints, causing them to become inflamed and consequently hurt. This is the main reason behind joint pain due to liver disease.


Symptoms of this autoimmune disease are rated from moderate to dangerous. When a person gets the virus, apparently there isn’t any disease. The symptoms appear to be more clear as time passes:

  • Changed urine color.
  • Constant swelling of joints.
  • Change in stool color.


Like any autoimmune disease, autoimmune hepatitis is not easily cured. In fact, most of the time the disease, when identified, is at a stage where curing it is not possible.

There are drug treatments however, usually starting with prednisone, which is later replaced by azathioprine. The drugs help control the disease and prevent the body from damaging its own organs severely.

As for Hepatitis C, there are several treatment paths and mostly patients go on antiviral meds like Ribavirin and protease inhibitors, which have proven to work really well for viral diseases.

For the inflammation in joints and pain, anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen are administered. However, we strongly advise all patients to consult their doctors at the earliest signs of symptoms mentioned here because medication depends on a lot of patient-specific factors and what may work for others may not work for you.

If you’ve suffered from liver disease leading to joint pain, please feel free to share your thoughts, feedback and suggestions via the comments below.


Jeremy Clark has written 12 articles

Jeremy loves traveling around the world and has spent a couple of years in Africa, which he believes were transformative for him. He studied medicine for a few years before switching to law but still loves writing about medical issues and research.

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