Alcoholic liver disease is damage to the liver and its function due to alcohol abuse.
Alcoholic liver disease occurs after years of heavy drinking. Alcohol can cause inflammation in the liver. Over time, scarring and cirrhosis can occur. Cirrhosis is the final phase of alcoholic liver disease.
Alcoholic liver disease does not occur in all heavy drinkers. The chances of getting liver disease go up, the longer one drinks and the more alcohol one consumes. You do not have to get drunk for the disease to happen.
The disease seems to be more common in some families. Women may be more likely to have this problem than men.
Symptoms vary based on how bad the disease is. You may not have symptoms in the early stages. Symptoms tend to be worse after a period of heavy drinking.
Trouble for the digestive symptoms include:
Pain and swelling in the abdomen
Decreased appetite and weight loss
Nausea and vomiting
Dry mouth and increased thirst
Bleeding from enlarged veins in the walls of the lower part of the esophagus (tube that connects your throat to your stomach).
Skin problems such as:
Yellow color in the skin, mucus membranes, or eyes (jaundice)
Small, red spider-like veins on the skin
Very dark or pale skin
Redness on the feet or hands
Brain and nervous system symptoms include:
Problems with thinking, memory, and mood
Fainting and lightheadedness
Numbness in legs and feet
EXAMS AND TESTS:
Complete blood count (CBC)
Liver function tests
Tests to rule out other diseases include:
Abdominal CT scan
Blood tests for other causes of liver disease
Ultrasound of the abdomen
The most important part of treatment is to stop using alcohol completely. If liver cirrhosis has not yet occurred, the liver can heal if you stop drinking alcohol.
An alcohol rehabilitation program or counselling may be necessary to break the alcohol addiction. Vitamins, especially B-complex and folic acid, can help reverse malnutrition.
If cirrhosis develops, you may need to manage the complications of cirrhosis. You may need a liver transplant if there has been a lot of liver damage.
Continued excessive drinking can shorten your lifespan. Your risk for complications such as bleeding, brain changes and severe liver damage go up. The outcome will likely be poor if you keep drinking.
Stop drinking alcohol.