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Alcoholic Liver Disease (Hepatitis/Cirrhosis)

Overview

An acute or chronic inflammation of the liver induced by alcohol abuse.


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Causes

Alcoholic hepatitis usually occurs after years of excessive drinking. The longer the duration of alcohol use and the larger theconsumption of alcohol, the greater the probability of developing liver disease . Malnutrition develops as a result of emptycalories from alcohol, reduced appetite, and malabsorption (inadequate absorption of nutrients from the intestinal tract).Malnutrition contributes to liver disease. The toxicity of ethanol to the liver, individual susceptibility to alcohol-induced liverdisease, and genetic factors also contribute to the development of alcoholic liver disease.Alcoholic liver disease does not affect all heavy drinkers, and women may be more susceptible than men. Drunkenness is notessential for the development of the disease. In some drinkers, the rate of alcohol metabolism can be high enough to allow forthe consumption of large quantities of alcohol without raising the blood alcohol level to detectable concentrations byconventional breath analyzer. Changes start within the liver as inflammation (hepatitis), and progress to fatty liver, andcirrhosis . Cirrhosis is the final phase of the disease. Symptoms may not be present until the disease is relatively advanced.Serious complications are associated with advanced disease such as alcoholic encephalopathy (damage to brain tissue) andportal hypertension (high blood pressure within the liver). The disease usually affects those older than 30. The incidence is 3out of 10,000 people.


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Signs & Symptoms

- loss of appetite- nausea- swollen abdomen or increased abdominal circumference (from enlarged liver)- jaundice- abdominal pain and tenderness- fever- ascites (fluid collection in the abdomen)- unintentional weight gain (because of the fluid collection)- mental confusion- excessive thirst- dry mouth- fatigueAdditional symptoms that may be associated with this disease:- vomiting blood- vomiting containing coffee ground material- bloody or dark black or tarry bowel movements (melena)- abnormally dark or light skin- redness on feet or hands- paleness- lightheadedness or fainting, especially with upright posture- rapid heart rate (tachycardia) when rising to standing position- slow, sluggish, lethargic movement- breast development in males- impaired ability to concentrate- agitation- fluctuating mood- difficulty paying attention (attention deficit)- impaired judgment

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Prevention

Limit alcohol consumption to moderate levels.


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Treatments
Rehabilitation Psychotherapy

The most important is to stop consuming alcohol completely.Rehabilitation program or counseling may br reauired to withdraw from alcohol addiction. dietary suppliments are given for nutritional deficiency.

Surgery Modern Medicine

In advance cases sugery is perfomed. liver transplant is done in cases of complete cirrhosis.

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