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Know What Alcohol Can Do To Your Liver!

Dr. Sanjay Jain 91% (19 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Medicine, Member of the Royal College of Physicians, UK (MRCP UK)
Gastroenterologist, Noida  •  41 years experience
Know What Alcohol Can Do To Your Liver!

If you are in the habit of consuming alcohol excessively and notice redness on the palms of the hands or pale stools, then it might point to liver disease. These are one of the many symptoms of alcoholic liver diseases which is the collective terms for liver diseases occurring due to alcohol overconsumption which includes fatty liver, hepatitis, and cirrhosis. Read on to know about this condition in brief.

Causes and The Risk Factors
The main cause of the disease is overconsumption of alcohol though not all of the heavy drinkers develop this disease and the cause is not clearly understood. But it is found that a toxic chemical called acetaldehyde produced by alcohol damages the liver leading to its scarring and ultimately resulting in cirrhosis or an end state disease of the liver.

It is also noted that the people who consume liquor and beer or spirits are at greater risk of developing the alcoholic liver disease as compared to the ones who consume different alcoholic beverages like wine. Further, studies have revealed that women metabolize alcohol slower as compared to men and hence they are at a greater risk of developing the disease. And women who consume alcohol more and at the same time are on the heavier side have a high chance of developing a chronic liver disease which might even lead to death. Genetic factors increase the chances of developing a disease of the liver too.

Diagnosis
If the alcoholic liver disease is suspected, tests such as complete blood count, liver biopsy, liver function tests and coagulation studies might be conducted to confirm the diagnosis and proceed with the treatment.

Prevention and Treatment
For the prevention of alcoholic liver disease, the most critical step is to stop the intake alcohol completely. If you stop consuming alcohol, the risk for the rapid acceleration of the liver disease stops and then you can proceed with the further treatment procedures. If you cannot give up alcohol altogether, it is recommended to limit the intake of alcohol to only one or two drinks per day but is best to stop completely.

The causes and the risk factors of the alcoholic liver disease vary from one person to another, and similarly, the procedures of treatment also vary depending on the condition of the liver of the affected person.

Medications are used to treat the liver disease which depends on the condition of the liver. The healthcare professional decides the course of medication as per the requirements. In some severe cases, the doctors are left with the only option of liver transplantation which is the only definitive therapy in modern medical science, but that involves a lot of risks and other complications. So when it comes to alcoholic liver disease prevention is better than cure.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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