Daily Drinkers at Risk for Serious Liver Disease

Daily Drinkers at Risk for Serious Liver Disease

Although around seven in 10 people with alcohol-related liver disease have an alcohol dependence problem,4 it is not only daily drinkers who develop liver disease. Heavy drinking on a few days in the week is also associated with alcohol related liver disease.5

Are you worried about how much you drink? Take a self-assessment test here.

By understanding the impact drinking alcohol  can have on your liver and reducing the amount you drink each week, some alcohol-related liver disease may be reversed, or further disease progression prevented.6

Increased alcohol intake can also give rise to obesity and diabetes. These co-morbidities, together with increased alcohol intake, have been associated with increased mortality from Covid 19.7

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Any time we drink alcohol, the liver must break it down prior to removal from the body. However, due to the toxicity of the products of alcohol's metabolism, some liver cells die during this process. Having a break from alcohol is important to allow the liver to recover and make new cells. Sustained heavy drinking doesn’t allow the liver time to do this.

This is thought to be why the liver is the organ that sustains the greatest degree of tissue damage through heavy drinking, which leads to alcohol-related liver disease.8

Find out if your drinking could be causing you harm

Alcohol-related liver disease is a spectrum of disease that broadly consists of three stages, each increasing in severity. It also increases the risk of developing liver cancer.

1. Alcoholic fatty liver disease

‘Fatty liver’ develops because of a build-up of fat in the cells in the liver.9 And drinking a large amount of alcohol, even for just a few days, can lead to a build-up of fat in the liver.10

It is estimated that alcohol-related fatty liver disease develops in 90% of people who drink more than 40g of alcohol (or four units) per day.11 That’s the equivalent of two medium (175ml) glasses of 12.5% ABV wine, or less than two pints of regular strength (4% ABV) beer.

This stage of alcohol-related liver disease does not usually cause any symptoms and may only be identified through a blood test. It’s also reversible by reducing your long-term alcohol consumption below the UK Chief Medical Officers’ (CMOs) low risk drinking guidelines. long term.

Your liver will start shedding excess fat if you stop drinking for at least two weeks12 and — after that — ensure you do not exceed the CMOs’ low risk drinking guidelines. But if you don’t reduce your drinking at this stage, in up to a third of people with this condition, it will progress to the much more serious stages outlined below.

Find out more about the UK low risk drinking guidelines

Alcohol-related hepatitis is a potentially serious condition caused by heavy alcohol consumption over a longer period. Between 10–35% of individuals with alcohol-related fatty liver disease who continue drinking heavily will develop alcohol-related hepatitis.13

While alcohol-related hepatitis usually occurs after years of harmful drinking, it can also occur if you drink a large amount of alcohol in a shorter period of time.14

As with fatty liver disease, alcohol-related hepatitis may be reversed if you stop drinking. However, continuing to drink any amount of alcohol when you have alcohol-related hepatitis will increase the risk of developing cirrhosis.

3. Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis of the liver has several causes, one of which is alcohol. The third stage of alcohol-related liver disease is cirrhosis – where healthy liver tissue has been replaced permanently by scar tissue. This is the result of long-term, continuous damage to the liver.

Up to one in every five long-term heavy drinkers will develop alcohol-related liver cirrhosis.15 While cirrhosis is not reversible, there is good evidence that stopping drinking completely improves the outcome for some people.16

If you have cirrhosis and do not stop drinking, then you are ly to die from liver failure. 5,840 people in the UK died of alcohol-related liver disease in 2019.17  There is always a shortage of donor organs and people who are not abstinent cannot usually access liver transplants in the UK.

Liver cancer

Alcohol-related cirrhosis increases the risk of developing liver cancer.18,19 Of people with liver cirrhosis, every year almost three every 100 (2.9%) of them will develop alcohol-related liver cancer.20

Find out more about liver cancer and alcohol.

Drinking within the UK Chief Medical Officers' (CMO) low risk drinking guidelines (drinking no more than 14 units a week for both men and women) will help keep your risk of developing alcohol-related liver disease low and benefit your overall health.

Reducing the amount you drink, ideally to zero, can help reverse damage, and reduce the risk of disease progression, for those with early-stage alcohol-related liver disease.

How to stop drinking alcohol completely

If you have established alcohol-related liver disease, it is essential that you stop drinking completely and permanently, to help prevent progression to even more serious disease. You will probably need professional help to stop drinking:

  • England
  • Northern Ireland
  • Scotland
  • Wales

Your GP or a member of their team can help you figure out if you should make any changes in your drinking, and offer help and advice along the way.

If you’re concerned about someone’s drinking, or your own, Drinkline runs a free, confidential helpline. Call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am – 8pm, weekends 11am – 4pm).

The British Liver Trust provides support and information on liver disease. Call their free helpline Monday to Friday from 10am to 3pm on 0800 652 7330 or visit the British Liver Trust website.

[7] Williams, R., Alessi, C., Alexander, G., Allison, M., Aspinall, R., Batterham, R. L., … & Yeoman, A. (2021). New dimensions for hospital services and early detection of disease: a Review from the Lancet Commission into liver disease in the UK. The Lancet. [11] Seitz, H.K., Bataller, R., Cortez-Pinto, H., Gao, B., Gual, A., Lackner, C., Mathurin, P., Mueller, S., Szabo, G. and Tsukamoto, H. (2018). Alcoholic liver disease. Nature Reviews Disease Primers, 4(1), 1-22. [13] Seitz, H.K., Bataller, R., Cortez-Pinto, H., Gao, B., Gual, A., Lackner, C., Mathurin, P., Mueller, S., Szabo, G. and Tsukamoto, H. (2018). Alcoholic liver disease. Nature Reviews Disease Primers, 4(1), 1-22. [15] Seitz, H.K., Bataller, R., Cortez-Pinto, H., Gao, B., Gual, A., Lackner, C., Mathurin, P., Mueller, S., Szabo, G. and Tsukamoto, H. (2018). Alcoholic liver disease. Nature Reviews Disease Primers, 4(1), 1-22. [16] Masson, S., Emmerson, I., Henderson, E., Fletcher, E.H., Burt, A.D., Day, C.P. and Stewart, S.F., (2014). Clinical but not histological factors predict long‐term prognosis in patients with histologically advanced non‐decompensated alcoholic liver disease. Liver International, 34(2), 235-242. [20] Ganne-Carrié, N., Chaffaut, C., Bourcier, V., Archambeaud, I., Perarnau, J. M., Oberti, F., … & CIRRAL Group. (2018). Estimate of hepatocellular carcinoma incidence in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis. Journal of hepatology, 69(6), 1274-1283.

Источник: https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/alcohol-related-diseases/alcohol-related-liver-disease

Stopping drinking alcohol

Treatment for ARLD involves stopping drinking alcohol. This is known as abstinence, which can be vital, depending on what stage the condition is at.

If you have fatty liver disease, the damage may be reversed if you abstain from alcohol for at least 2 weeks. After this point, it's usually safe to start drinking again if you stick to the NHS guidelines on alcohol consumption.

If you have a more serious form of ARLD – alcoholic hepatitis or cirrhosis – life-long abstinence is recommended. This is because stopping drinking is the only way to prevent your liver damage getting worse and potentially stop you dying of liver disease.

Stopping drinking isn't easy, especially as an estimated 70% of people with ARLD have an alcohol dependency problem.

Nevertheless, if you have alcohol-related cirrhosis or alcoholic hepatitis and don't stop drinking, no medical or surgical treatment can prevent liver failure.

Withdrawal symptoms

If you're abstaining from alcohol, you may suffer withdrawal symptoms. These will be at their worst for the first 48 hours, but should start to improve as your body adjusts to being without alcohol. This usually takes 3 to 7 days from the time of your last drink.

Many people initially experience disturbed sleep when abstaining from alcohol, but in most cases their sleep pattern returns to normal within a month.

In some cases, you may be advised to reduce your alcohol intake in a gradual and planned way to help avoid withdrawal problems. You may also be offered a medication called a benzodiazepine and psychological therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), to help you through the withdrawal process.

Some people need to stay in hospital or a specialist rehabilitation clinic during the initial withdrawal phases, so their progress can be closely monitored.

If you're staying at home, you'll regularly see a nurse or other health professional. You might see them at home, at your GP surgery or at a specialist NHS service.

Preventing relapses

Once you've stopped drinking, you may need further treatment to help ensure you don't start drinking again.

The first treatment usually offered is psychological therapy. This involves seeing a therapist to talk about your thoughts and feelings, and how these affect your behaviour and wellbeing.

If psychological therapy alone isn't effective, you may also need medication to help you abstain from alcohol, such as: 

  • acamprosate
  • naltrexone
  • disulfiram

Read our page on treating alcohol misuse for more information on the treatments offered.

Self-help groups

Many people with alcohol dependence find it useful to attend self-help groups to help them stop drinking. One of the most well-known is Alcoholics Anonymous, but there are many other groups that can help.

See alcohol support for more information about the help available.

Diet and nutrition

Malnutrition is common in people with ARLD, so it's important to eat a balanced diet to help ensure you get all the nutrients you need.

Avoiding salty foods and not adding salt to foods you eat can reduce your risk of developing swelling in your legs, feet and abdomen (tummy) caused by a build-up of fluid. 

The damage to your liver can also mean it's unable to store glycogen – a carbohydrate that provides short-term energy. When this happens, the body uses its own muscle tissue to provide energy between meals, which leads to muscle wasting and weakness. Therefore, you may need extra energy and protein in your diet.

Healthy snacking between meals can top up your calories and protein. It may also be helpful to eat 3 or 4 small meals a day, rather than 1 or 2 large meals.

Your GP can advise you on a suitable diet or, in some cases, refer you to a dietitian.

In the most serious cases of malnutrition, nutrients may need to be provided through a feeding tube inserted through the nose and into the stomach.

Medication for symptoms

The use of medication to directly treat ARLD is controversial. Many experts have argued there's limited evidence for its effectiveness.

For people with severe alcoholic hepatitis, treatment in hospital may be necessary. Specific treatment with corticosteroids or pentoxifylline medication may be used to reduce inflammation of the liver in some people with this condition.

Nutritional support (see above) is also an important part of treatment in these cases.

Other medications that have been used to treat liver damage include:

  • anabolic steroids (a more powerful type of steroid medication)
  • ropylthiouracil (a type of medicine originally designed to treat overactive thyroid glands)

However, there's a lack of good evidence that these help and they're no longer used for severe alcoholic hepatitis.

Liver transplants

In the most serious cases of ARLD, the liver loses its ability to function, leading to liver failure. A liver transplant is currently the only way to cure irreversible liver failure.

A liver transplant may be considered if:

  • you develop progressive liver failure, despite not drinking alcohol
  • you're otherwise well enough to survive such an operation
  • you commit to not drinking alcohol for the rest of your life

Источник: https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/stomach-liver-and-gastrointestinal-tract/alcohol-related-liver-disease

Alcohol and the Liver

Daily Drinkers at Risk for Serious Liver Disease

Yes, but alcohol is only one of the many known causes of liver disease. The risk of developing liver disease depends on how much you drink and over how long a period.

Other known causes of liver disease include:

  • Viruses
  • Hereditary defects
  • Reactions to drugs and chemicals

Scientists are still investigating the causes for the most serious liver diseases.

How much alcohol can I safely drink?

Because some people are much more sensitive to alcohol than others, there is no single right answer that will fit everyone. Generally, doctors recommend not to have more than two drinks per day.

Are there other dangers from alcohol besides how much I drink?

Yes. Even moderate amounts of alcohol can have toxic effects when taken with over-the-counter drugs containing acetaminophen.

If you're taking over-the-counter drugs, be especially careful about drinking and don't use an alcoholic beverage to take your medication.

Ask your doctor about precautions for prescription drugs.

What kinds of liver diseases are caused by too much alcohol?

  • Alcoholic hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver.
  • Cirrhosis involves permanent damage to the liver cells.
  • «Fatty liver» is the earliest stage of alcoholic liver disease. If you stop drinking at this point, the liver can heal itself.

What is alcoholic hepatitis?

Alcoholic hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that lasts one to two weeks.It is believed to lead to alcoholic cirrhosis over a period of years.

Symptoms include of alcoholic hepatitis include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain and tenderness
  • Fever
  • Jaundice
  • Mental confusion

Is alcoholic hepatitis different from «fatty liver?»

Yes. Anyone who drinks alcohol heavily, even for a few days, will develop a condition in which liver cells are swollen with fat globules and water. This condition is called «fatty liver.»

It also may result from:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Certain drugs
  • Severe protein malnutrition

Fatty liver caused by alcohol is reversible when one stops drinking alcohol.

How can alcoholic hepatitis be diagnosed?

Alcoholic hepatitis is not easy to diagnose. While the disease usually comes on after a period of fairly heavy drinking, it may also be seen in people who are moderate drinkers.

Blood tests may help in diagnosis.

Proof is best established by liver biopsy. This involves taking a tiny specimen of liver tissue with a needle and examining it under a microscope. The biopsy is usually done under local anesthesia.

Is alcoholic hepatitis dangerous?

Yes. It may be fatal, especially if you have had previous liver damage.

Those who have had nutritional deficiencies because of heavy drinking may have other ailments. These medical complications may affect almost every system in the body.

It's important to recognize and treat alcoholic hepatitis early, to help prevent these life-threatening consequences.

Are men or women more ly to get alcoholic hepatitis?

Women appear to be more ly to suffer liver damage from alcohol.

Even when a man and woman have the same weight and drink the same amount, the woman generally has a higher concentration of alcohol in the blood because she has relatively more body fat and less water than the man, and her body handles alcohol differently.

Can «social drinkers» get alcoholic hepatitis?

Yes. Alcoholic hepatitis is frequently discovered in alcoholics, but it also occurs in people who are not alcoholics.

People vary greatly in the way their liver reacts to alcohol.

Do all alcoholics get alcoholic hepatitis and eventually cirrhosis?

No. Some alcoholics may suffer seriously from the many physical and psychological symptoms of alcoholism, but escape serious liver damage.

Alcoholic cirrhosis is found among alcoholics about 10 to 25 percent of the time.

Does alcoholic hepatitis always lead to cirrhosis?

No. It usually takes many years for alcoholic hepatitis to produce enough liver damage to result in cirrhosis.

If alcoholic hepatitis is detected and treated early, cirrhosis can be prevented.

How can prevent alcoholic hepatitis?

The best treatment is to stop drinking.

Treatment also may include:

  • Prescribed medication
  • Good nutrition
  • Rest

Your doctor may instruct you to avoid various drugs and chemicals.

Since the liver has considerable ability to heal and regenerate, the prognosis for alcoholic hepatitis is very hopeful — if you totally abstain from drinking alcohol.

What causes cirrhosis?

There are many causes of cirrhosis.

Major causes include:

  • Long-term alcohol abuse
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Hereditary defects in iron or copper metabolism
  • Prolonged exposure to toxins

In children, the most frequent causes are biliary atresia — a disease that damages the bile ducts — and neonatal hepatitis. Children with these diseases often receive liver transplants.

Many adult patients who require liver transplants suffer from primary biliary cirrhosis. We do not yet know what causes this illness, but it is not in any way related to alcohol consumption.

Is cirrhosis different from alcoholic hepatitis?


Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver.

In cirrhosis, normal liver cells are damaged and replaced by scar tissue. This scarring keeps the liver from performing many of its vital functions.

Source: «What Are the Myths vs. Facts About Alcohol and the Liver» from the American Liver Foundation.

Additional information: Alcohol-Related Liver Disease at the American Liver Foundation

Источник: https://www.upmc.com/services/liver-cancer/liver/alcohol-liver

Millennials and Alcohol: More Young People are Drinking to the Point of Liver Damage

Daily Drinkers at Risk for Serious Liver Disease

The liver is one of the most resilient organs in the body, with an impressive and unique ability to actually regenerate new, healthy tissue to replace damaged tissue.

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And we’re lucky it can do that because the liver plays an important role in removing toxins from the bloodstream and turning food into energy.

But the accumulation of certain toxins, including alcohol, can get in the way of the liver’s ability to do its job. And that’s a problem for a growing number of young people who are drinking alcohol in excess for long periods of time.

An alarming new study calls attention to an uptick in both the number deaths from liver disease and the number of young adults age 25 to 34 who died from alcohol-related cirrhosis – the latest stage of liver damage – between 1999 and 2016.

Hepatologist Christina Lindenmeyer, MD, says a trend toward diagnosing alcohol-use disorders more in young people is something she and her colleagues have observed in practice, too.

“It used to be a diagnosis that we didn’t make until people were in their 40s or 50s,” she says.

One of those increasingly common diagnoses is severe alcoholic hepatitis. The impact of alcohol on liver health varies from person to person, but people are generally at risk for severe alcoholic hepatitis when they drink at least 80 grams of alcohol a day for at least five years.

“You have this profound inflammation of the liver that carries an extremely high mortality,” Dr. Lindenmeyer says. “We used to say it took 10 to 20 years of drinking 80 grams of alcohol a day, but in this younger group of patients we’re seeing a shorter time to development of severe acute liver disease.”

What’s going on?

David Streem, MD, psychiatrist and Medical Director for the Alcohol and Drug Recovery Center, hasn’t noticed a significant change in the number of young people seeking behavioral treatment for alcohol addiction.

But he notes that alcohol use disorders are the most common problem for which people request treatment.

“Despite great variability in percentages of heavy drinking and binge drinking across the country, as a nation, Americans drink too much,” he says.

And the rise of craft beer, wine clubs that deliver bottles to your doorstep each month, and bottomless mimosa brunches make an abundance of alcohol readily available today.

Another factor contributing to overconsumption may be a lack of education around or attention to what one serving of alcohol (14 grams of pure alcohol) actually looks . Dr. Lindenmeyer explains that sometimes, patients show up with severe liver disease and don’t even realize that they have been drinking too much.

“We say we should have no more than two drinks a day for men and no more than one per day for women. But when you ask people what they’re drinking, they might say they drank one 40-ounce beer,” she explains. “They also don’t take into account that they might be drinking a beer with 12% alcohol.”

This is also a problem with wine, as Dr. Streem points out. “Wine is typically served in portions that are unmarked and often much larger than the 5-ounce standard drink measurement,” he says.

“In most restaurants, if you ordered a glass of wine and received a 5-ounce pour, you’d conclude that someone at your table had upset the waiter.

So that can mislead people as to how much they’re drinking.”

In the United States, a standard drink contains about 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is the equivalent of:

  • 12 ounces of beer with about 5% alcohol content.
  • 5 ounces of wine with about 12% alcohol content.
  • 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits with about 40% alcohol content.


Lindenmeyer adds that often, patients who show up with liver problems have been longtime drinkers but have also experienced something in their life that’s caused an uptick in their recent alcohol use – maybe a stressful event, for example. Along those lines, the authors of the cirrhosis study point to The Great Recession as a potential trigger for financial stress that could have led young people to take up drinking in the last decade.

When to worry

For most people, moderate drinking will not cause liver disease. We’re talking about years of repeated overuse.

The first signs of liver disease tend to be yellowing of the skin and development of fluid overload in the abdomen or in the legs, Dr. Lindenmeyer says. Some people experience blood in the stool or even vomiting blood.

The optimistic news is that damage caused by inflammation to the liver can be repaired – at least to a certain extent.

“We do know that the longer people are abstinent from alcohol, the better their livers get, even up to a year after stopping alcohol,” Dr. Lindenmeyer says.

“It may not improve to be a completely normal liver, but it can improve to the point where they may not have complications related to their liver disease.”

If you are concerned about the drinking habits and health of someone you know, Dr. Streem suggests starting with online resources from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism about how to talk to loved ones about alcohol and how to find help.

Источник: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/millennials-and-alcohol-more-young-people-are-drinking-to-the-point-of-liver-damage/

Daily Drinkers at Risk for Serious Liver Disease

Alcohol related liver disease (ALD) is the result of drinking more alcohol than the liver can process, which damages the organ. The liver, responsible for performing many functions in the body, processes what the body needs, discarding what it doesn’t.

As the liver breaks down the alcohol, the chemical reaction releases a toxin, which damages liver cells. If too much alcohol is ingested repeatedly over time, even without getting drunk, liver damage begins. When too much liver damage occurs, it impacts the whole body.

ALD is both preventable and can be fatal.

More than 21,000 people die annually in the United States from ALD. Nearly 70 percent of those deaths are men, yet women develop the disease after less exposure to alcohol than men.

  • Alcholol Related Steatohepatitis (ASH): Fat accumulates inside liver cells, making it hard for the liver to work properly. This early stage of liver disease occurs fairly soon after repeated heavy drinking.

    Usually it is symptom free but upper abdominal pain on the right side from an enlarged liver may occur. Steatosis goes away with alcohol abstinence.

  • Alcoholic Hepatitis: This condition is marked by inflammation, swelling and the killing of liver cells. This scars the liver, which is known as fibrosis.

    Symptoms may occur over time or suddenly after binge drinking. They include fever, jaundice, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and tenderness. Up to 35 percent of heavy drinkers develop alcohol hepatitis, which can be mild or severe. If it is a mild case, stopping the drinking can reverse it.

  • Alcohol Related Cirrhosis: The most serious form of ALD, it occurs when the entire liver is scarred, causing the liver to shrink and harden. This can lead to liver failure. Usually the damage cannot be reversed.

    Between 10 to 20 percent of heavy drinkers develop cirrhosis typically after 10 or more years of drinking.

Alcohol hepatitis and alcohol cirrhosis previously were called alcohol steatohepatitis (ASH), a term that still arises among some circles.

Not everyone who drinks heavily develops ALD. While the amount of alcohol and the length of time as a heavy drinker are the key risk factors, additional forces impact the outcome. They are:

  • Obesity/Overweight: Carrying extra weight increases the risk of liver disease because fat builds up in the liver. The fat cells secrete acids which cause a reaction that destroys healthy cells in the liver, leading to scarring. Add alcohol to the mix and the combined effect adds additional liver damage.
  • Malnutrition: Often people who drink heavily, eat poorly. They also may have trouble absorbing nutrients because alcohol’s toxic byproducts make it difficult to break down food. The lack of nutrients contributes to liver cell damage.
  • Genetic component: How a body metabolizes alcohol is influenced by genetics. If certain enzymes are missing, that can affect the risk of developing ALD.
  • Demographic influencers: Rates of alcohol cirrhosis are higher in African-American and Hispanic males than they are in Caucasian males. Women are more susceptible than men to the impact of alcohol because they become more impaired than men after drinking equal amounts.
  • Having viral hepatitis, especially hepatitis C: Adding alcohol to a liver already taxed by hepatitis increases the risk of developing liver disease, as well as liver cancer.

Symptoms of ALD

Early ALD may not have any symptoms at all, which is why it is important to take action if you are drinking heavily. By the time symptoms develop, ALD is usually very advanced. 

As the disease progresses, the symptoms include:

  • Jaundice (a yellow tint to the skin and the whites of the eyes)
  • Swelling of the lower limbs (edema)
  • Fluid buildup in the abdomen (ascites)
  • Itchy skin
  • Fever and shivering
  • Fingernails that curve excessively
  • Muscular weakness
  • Blood in vomit or stools
  • Bleeding and bruising more easily
  • More sensitive reactions to alcohol or drugs
  • High blood pressure in the liver (portal hypertension)
  • Bleeding from veins in the esophagus (esophageal varices)
  • Confusion and behavior changes
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Kidney failure

ALD Diagnosis

A hepatologist, a liver specialist, may suspect ALD after a physical examination and a conversation about a patient’s history of alcohol use. If further testing is needed, the doctor may order:

  • Blood test
  • Imaging tests: CT scan, MRI or ultrasound of the liver
  • Endoscopy: To look for abnormal veins in the esophagus, stomach, and intestines
  • Liver function test: Used to check for liver inflammation and liver damage.
  • Liver biopsy: This is most commonly done using a percutaneous approach, where the area is numbed and a needle is inserted into the liver to obtain a small piece of tissue for analysis.

ALD Treatment

Stop drinking alcohol: Abstinence is the most critical step to take following an ALD diagnosis. Even one drink is too many. Alcohol avoidance is the only way to possibly reverse the damage or prevent the disease from worsening.

Those who find stopping alcohol use difficult should discuss treatment options with a doctor.

Getting help improves long-term abstinence and because a rapid reduction of alcohol in the body can lead to dangerous withdrawal symptoms including hallucinations and seizures, for which medicine may be prescribed.

Nutrition and diet: Because nutritional deficiencies are common in patients with ALD, a special diet, vitamins and supplements may help.

A nutritionist will educate patients on meal planning to combat malnutrition and help keep fluid buildup at bay through low-sodium suggestions.

Similarly, a lifestyle change that includes eating right and losing weight may help decrease the toxic fat deposits in the liver.

Medications: A doctor may prescribe medicine depending on the severity of the ALD.  Viral treatment is not a common part of ALD treatment, though it may be needed if someone has comorbid viral liver disease.     

Liver transplantation: This surgery removes the diseased cirrhotic liver and replaces it with a healthy liver from a donor. Qualifying for one requires approval from a transplant center, as well as abstaining from alcohol both before and after surgery.

Other Information About Digestive and Liver Health

To see related medical services we offer, visit our Digestive and Liver Health overview page.

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment with the University of Michigan Hepatology Program, call 844-233-0433.

Источник: https://www.uofmhealth.org/conditions-treatments/digestive-and-liver-health/alcohol-related-liver-disease

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