What Is Alcoholic Liver Disease? | Liver Talk By Dr. A.S. Soin - Medanta Hospital
Alcoholic liver disease is caused by the intake of alcohol more than the body can take onboard. This disease can be contracted by anybody who abuses alcohol. However, there are certain categories of people that get more infected when compared to the others. These include people with genetic disadvantages as their bodies cannot process alcohol proficiently.
According to the studies, women are also seen to get alcoholic disease more than men. Apart from women, children in the age group of fifteen years to twenty-five years are also prone to getting this disorder. People who have prior medical conditions such as hepatitis c, fatty liver disease, or diabetes are also more likely to become infected with this disorder.
To prevent the alcoholic liver condition, one must consume alcohol under the safe limit of consumption. The safe limit for males can be anything less than 10 units a week. One unit can be treated equally to the size of any regular glass or 30 ml. Whereas in women, the safe limit is less than 8 units a week. Anything above reliable limits can be severely dangerous to health.
This disease does not arise in every alcohol drinker but comes to those who are excessively drinking for a long period of time. This disorder can be extremely serious and life-threatening if not properly taken care of. Now let us discuss the symptoms and stages of liver diseases caused by alcohol.
There is no proven study that shows all sufferers tend to get symptoms. While some get none, some can get slow and steady symptoms of this disease. All these factors depend on the working of the patient’s liver. Some of the most common and early indications of this ailment include loss of energy, no appetite, or a gradual loss in appetite along with fast weight loss, nausea, marks of blood vessels all over the skin, and pain in the stomach at times.
If the initial symptoms persist and worsen, then the patient may also experience signs like pale-coloured stools, easy ability to get bruised, fluid build-up, and even jaundice at times. All these symptoms show the worsening condition of the liver over the time period.
There are primarily three stages of liver diseases. The first one is fatty liver; this level is totally reversible and can be treated by proper diagnosis, lifestyle modifications, and treatment. Along with the remedy, the patient must stop the intake of alcohol in order to heal well. If the consumption is not stopped or limited, then the disease gets into the second phase.
The second phase is called alcoholic hepatitis. This level is also partly reversible but is tend to leave some residual damage. Please note that one can only get better if the consumption of alcohol is completely stopped. However, if not done so at the second stage, the disease becomes alcoholic liver cirrhosis. Being the last stage, this is completely irreversible but can get better if the patient starts getting treatment along with no alcohol intake.
The best thing to do is to stop drinking alcohol at the early stages itself. If the situation has gone far and the patient has reached the late stages, then he may require a liver transplant. In the last stages, even if the person has stopped taking alcohol, he may not be able to benefit from the transplant. The transplant is the most advanced possible liver treatment. Also, this treatment can only be given to those who have utterly evaded alcohol for the span of more than 6 months.
Other possible treatment options for people with early stages can be a change in lifestyle. One must eat a diet with a low salt percentage and get vaccinated for other diseases. The diseases can include hepatitis and influenza as they increase the possibility of alcohol disorders. Medications such as vitamin k and antibiotics can also be taken.
Alcoholic diseases caused in the liver can be rather fatal if not properly treated. One must follow some advisories to prevent such disorders. The first rule that everyone should follow is to take alcohol in a limited amount. Also, no one should drink on empty stomach and should focus on nutritious content. Alcohol is dangerous and best if not consumed at all!