Alcoholic Liver Disease - Basic Facts

Dr. Jinesh B. Shah M.D.
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Alcoholic Liver Disease - Basic Facts
Alcoholic Liver Disease
alcohol consumption

Alcohol-related liver disease is caused by excessive consumption of alcohol.

• Excessive alcohol consumption contributes to three types of liver disease:

(a) fatty liver, where excess fat deposits in the liver;

(b) Alcohol-related hepatitis, in which the liver cells get damaged (inflamed) and

(c) Alcohol-related cirrhosis, in which normal liver tissue is replaced by nonliving (or fibrous) scar tissue. Cirrhosis of liver is irreversible medical condition

· Obesity or poor nutritional status (malnutrition), certain genetic factors and underlying liver disease (like viral hepatitis) can contribute or exacerbate alcoholic liver disease.

· Women are more likely to suffer liver damage from alcohol than men.

• Abstinence is the most effective way to prevent alcohol-related liver disease! In the early stages of the disease, liver damage may be reversed if the person stops drinking.

• Majority of heavy drinkers develop fatty liver. Up to 30 to 35 percent develop alcohol related hepatitis and between 10 to 20 percent can develop cirrhosis.

• Alcohol-related cirrhosis is the most serious form of alcohol-related liver disease. Unlike fatty liver and alcohol related hepatitis, the damage from alcohol-related cirrhosis is not reversible and can cause fatal liver failure with high mortality (death). Liver Transplant is only treatment option in such advance disease.