Dangers Of Alcoholic Liver Disease
Alcoholic liver disease occurs in people who are heavy drinkers that leads to fat deposition and scarring of the liver it is considered to be one of the the most dangerous disease that can be fatal if not attended timely.
Importance of liver in our body
- Liver is a largest organ that is situated on the right side of the belly. It performs some of the important functions like, to filter the blood supplied by digestive system, and pass on to the different parts of the body.
- The liver produces proteins that are important for blood to clot. Liver takes the responsibility to carry out metabolic process in the body. It breaks down the fats stored and converts it into energy.
- Liver performs many roles like controls the blood sugar levels, also stores minerals, vitamins and supplies to the body when needed. Liver helps in transporting the toxic substance to the kidneys to be eliminated from the body through the urine.
- It is very essential to take liver function test (LFT) to keep a check on the proper functioning of the liver.
- Liver disease occurs, when the liver is damaged, or infected, injured, or fatty changes of liver, inflammatory changes, exposure to toxic substance (alcohol, smoking).
About alcoholic liver disease
- Alcohol produces a toxic chemical called Acetaldehyde that damages the liver and leads to liver scarring, as in cirrhosis, an end stage of liver disease. Some people appear to be more susceptible than others.
- Alcoholic liver disease occurs only if you have been drinking heavily for years, gradually causing damage to your liver.
Liver disease due to alcohol consumption can be divided into 3 categories:
- Fatty liver- this condition occurs after acute alcohol ingestion, it is reversible if you stay away from alcohol or limit consumption. It does not lead to liver disease.
- Alcoholic hepatitis – this condition is an acute form of liver injury that is caused due to excess alcohol consumption over a prolonged period of time .It leads to liver failure and also death.
- Cirrhosis – it is a condition of chronic liver damage, occurring due to injury, rupture or liver failure. It is an advanced stage of scarring (fibrosis) of the liver caused by many liver diseases such as hepatitis and chronic alcoholism.
Symptoms of alcoholic liver disease
Liver get can affected by the over consumption of alcohol .There are certain symptoms of liver diseases caused by alcohol that includes:
- feeling sick
- weight loss
- vomiting blood
- black tarry stools
- swollen abdomen (due to a build-up of fluid called ascites)
- abdominal pain
- urine colour ( dark yellow due to increased bilirubin)
- increased sensitivity to alcohol
- loss of appetite
- dryness of mouth
- increased thirst
- itchy skin
- swelling in the legs and ankles
- confusion and memory problems
- trouble sleeping
Treatments for alcohol liver disease:
- Abstinence from alcohol can resolve alcoholic fatty liver disease
- alcoholic cirrhotic patients can improve survival chances by abstinence from alcohol
- rehabilitation programs have been effective in assisting patients to abstain from alcohol
- Sessions with an addiction specialist has proved to be helpful
- Patients with alcoholic hepatitis are at risk for malnutrition, the nutritionist will assist and recommend a balanced diet for malnourished alcoholic patients.
- medication like acamprosate, naltrexone, naltrexone to help you abstain from alcohol may be given by the doctor
- Liver transplant is commonly considered if there is liver failure.