What is Alcoholic Liver Disease?

Excessive alcohol intake over a long period causes alcoholic liver damage. It is a serious and often fatal side effect of alcohol consumption. Over time, alcohol consumption causes good liver tissue to be replaced by scar tissue. Alcohol is not only life-threatening, but it can also induce liver failure. It is one of the most common causes of acute liver injury. Excessive alcohol use can cause liver scarring, which can lead to ALD (Alcoholic Liver Disease).


There are three stages of Alcoholic Liver Disease (ALD)

  • Fatty Liver - Fatty Liver is the first stage of ALD. It is also called steatosis. Fatty liver is a common liver illness marked by an abnormal accumulation of fat within the cells of the liver. It obstructs the liver's normal function. In the early stages of alcohol abuse, heavy drinkers often develop fatty liver. If you stop drinking, you can reverse this.
  • Alcoholic Hepatitis - Alcoholic Hepatitis, the second stage of ALD, is characterized by liver inflammation that leads to the rapid destruction of liver cells. This stage may endure for years, but if the patient continues to drink, he or she will eventually develop complete liver damage. It can cause life-threatening complications such as liver cirrhosis and complete liver destruction in severe cases. The most prevalent symptom in this stage is jaundice and yellowing of the skin, which is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, low-grade fever, abdominal tenderness, loss of appetite, and fatigue and weakness.
  • Cirrhosis - Cirrhosis is the last and most advanced stage of alcoholic liver disease, in which healthy liver tissue is permanently scarred. It is a serious and irreversible condition. A patient with liver cirrhosis will experience liver failure as well as alcoholic hepatitis symptoms which include fluid accumulation in the abdomen, bleeding or bruising, swelling in the legs, feet, or ankles, confusion, drowsiness, weight loss, itchy skin, spleen enlargement, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, jaundice, and fatigue,


Treatment of Alcoholic Liver Disease:

  • Abstinence - The most significant therapeutic intervention for persons with Alcoholic Liver Disease is complete abstinence from alcohol. Abstinence from alcohol not only minimizes the risk of further liver injury but also gives it a chance to heal. Patients with ALD should abstain from drinking totally to improve the prognosis and histological aspects of liver problems.

Those who routinely consume more alcohol than the daily advised limit should seek medical advice before quitting. The effects of alcohol withdrawal might be fatal. To manage alcohol withdrawal safely, individuals should seek medical assistance.

  • Diet and Nutrition Support Therapy - You may be malnourished if you have ALD. You may have been unable to consume adequate nutrition due to a lack of appetite and nausea. It's essential to get enough calories and take nutritional supplements to help you recover and mend from your liver inflammation. Protein-calorie malnutrition is very common in people with ALD. Patients with alcoholic liver damage at any stage should see a hepatologist and begin nutritional therapy as soon as possible. It can aid in the relief of symptoms and the improvement of the liver's current stage.
  • Medication- After carefully assessing the signs and phases of ALD, a hepatologist is likely to give a variety of medicines.
  • Liver Transplant - If the Alcoholic Liver Disease is in an advanced stage, where the liver has ceased working and there is no improvement even after the patient quits drinking, a liver transplant may be the only therapy option. A liver transplant is considered when the patient has acquired cirrhosis issues or the body has failed to respond to conventional therapies, including drugs. ALD, on the other hand, is one of the most common reasons for a liver transplant.

If a person with ALD wants to improve his or her chances of survival, he or she must fully abstain from alcohol. A lifestyle change is required for a person with alcoholic liver disease to enjoy a healthy life. Only a liver transplant can save a person whose liver has failed owing to advanced stages of ALD.

Make an appointment with us today to understand the non-alcoholic liver disease and alcoholic liver disease and also get proper guidance about Liver Transplant Surgery by some of the best liver transplant surgeons in India.

Also, Read: Is Fatty Liver Dangerous? 6 Myths About Fatty Liver

with Dr. Ajitabh Srivastava


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