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Alcohol-Induced Liver Disease


What is alcohol-induced liver disease?

Alcohol-induced liver diseaseis damage caused to the liver due to excessive consumption of alcohol and is a common but preventable disease. There are three primary types of alcohol-induced liver disease:

  • Fatty liver – Fatty liver is excessive accumulation of fat inside the liver cells. The liver is enlarged, causing upper abdominal discomfort on the right side.
  • Alcoholic hepatitis- Alcoholic hepatitis is an acute inflammation of the liver, accompanied by the destruction of individual liver cells and frequently followed by permanent scarring. The liver is enlarged and tender.
  • Alcoholic cirrhosis – Alcoholic cirrhosis is the destruction of normal liver tissue, leaving non-functioning scar tissue.
How are symptoms of alcohol-induced liver disease?

Some early symptoms experienced by the patient include:

  • Fatigue & tiredness
  • Loss of appetite and loss of weight
  • Nausea
  • Pain in abdomen
  • Spider like veins in the skin

As liver disease worsens, the symptoms that appear may include:

  • Jaundice
  • Redness on the palms
  • Altered behaviour Sensorium
  • Easy bruising and abnormal bleeding
  • Ascites
  • Thinking problem
  • Pale coloured stool
Treatment for alcohol-induced liver disease:

The goal of treatment is to restore some or all normal functioning to the liver. Treatment usually begins with abstinence from alcohol. The liver has great restorative power and is often able to repair some of the damage caused by alcohol. The scarring from cirrhosis is not reversible, and when liver tissue loss is severe enough to cause liver failure, most of the damage may be irreversible.  In some cases, liver transplant may be considered.