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Alcoholic Liver Disease- How Is It Diagnosed and How You Can Save Your Liver From Irreparable Damage

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Be it fatty liver or alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis, the pattern of alcohol intake and the amount immensely affect the liver pathology of any person. Immense and chronic drinking begins by affecting the liver cells, causing inflammation first and then scarring.


Ultimately, the number of scarred liver cells reaches a point where it covers a large part of your liver. Unable to carry out its detoxification and filtering job properly, your liver falls into turmoil, and that is when you find yourself looking for a new organ.

Alcoholic Liver Diseases- Stages

An alcoholic liver disease’s pathophysiology could be defined in three to four steps. Namely, these are fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis. Often, fibrosis and cirrhosis are considered the early and later phase of the third stage of ALDs.

Too much drinking in a short period (say, a week) can cause fatty acids to accumulate in the liver cells. Fatty liver is a reversible event and will require you to abstain from alcohol for a minimum of two weeks before your liver can get back to normal.

The hepatocytes aka the liver cells get inflamed, and hepatitis characterises this condition. You can fall prey to alcoholic hepatitis after drinking for an extended period or binge drinking in a short time.

Among the heavy chronic drinkers, about 10% to 35% develop alcoholic hepatitis. This condition of inflamed liver cells leads to liver fibrosis.

Collagen deposition in the liver cells causes them to harden. This scarring of the liver, in the beginning, is called as liver fibrosis.

When the scar tissue covers a large part of the liver, the condition is called cirrhosis. The liver can’t regenerate the scar cells, and they can’t perform the function of healthy hepatocytes either.

Fatigue, abdominal fluid buildup, intestinal bleeding, poor blood clotting, and cognitive hesitation are among the syndromes.

Alcoholic Liver Disease- Diagnosis

Maddrey Index helps to measure the severity of alcohol-born liver conditions. A low score indicates a harmless fatty disease that is treatable. A slightly higher score indicates alcoholic hepatitis. The scale capacity symbolises cirrhosis.

Any physical or otherwise medical exam might conclude the presence of any of the following incidences.

  • Enlarged liver.
  • Portal hypertension.
  • Development of fluid in the abdomen.
  • A High level of blood sugar.
  • A Modest elevation in the liver enzyme.

Alcoholic Liver Disease- Treatment

Abstaining from drinking is a part of ALD treatment. It could be for a smaller period or forever, depending on how severe is the condition of the liver. Treatment involves malnutrition remedies to deal with vitamin deficiencies which enhance the worsening the effect on the liver.

Medication is helpful in case of alcoholic hepatitis. However, in an extended case of alcoholic hepatitis or cirrhosis, where the scar tissue renders the liver mostly useless, a transplant is the only treatment available.

Preventing ALDs

Alcohol guidelines elaborate on the proper intake of alcohol for men and women (as per differing body fat treatment in different genders.) they also define high-risk drinking and its effects.

  • Two drinks a day for men and one for women is advisable.
  • Drinking after 21 years is both legal and safe for health.
  • Over eight drinks a week for women could be dangerous.
  • Over fifteen drinks a week for men could be dangerous.
  • Avoid binge drinking (drinking too much alcohol too quickly.)
  • You should understand your tolerance levels as alcohol effects, both long-term and short-term, effect different people in different manners.

Treating alcohol very carefully is one way to prevent alcoholic liver diseases. However, it isn’t the only factor that affects your liver or lends a hand to destroying it. It is better if you analyse how you drink, what you drink, and how many times you drink.

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