The liver is one of the most important organs. It performs several critical functions including filtering and breaking down harmful substances in the blood. It also produces hormones, enzymes, and proteins required by the body to prevent infections.
The liver also converts medicines, nutrients, and vitamins into substances that can be absorbed by the body. It cleans the blood, stores glycogen for energy, and creates bile for digestion.
The liver is also responsible for breaking down the alcohol that you consume to eliminate it from the body. Alcohol leads to the formation of substances that harm the liver. It may damage the liver cells and affect the overall health of an individual.
Types of Liver Diseases Caused Due to Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Medical experts have pointed out that excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to numerous liver conditions. Some of these are:
1. Steatosis [Fatty Liver]
Steatosis or fatty liver is the most common affliction. Fat builds up in the liver, preventing it from functioning optimally.
2. Hepatitis [Inflammation of the Liver]
Alcoholic fatty liver may develop moderate or mild inflammation, leading to Alcoholic Hepatitis. This condition might not exhibit symptoms or signs during the early stages.
3. Acute Alcoholic Hepatitis
Acute Alcoholic Hepatitis is a life-threatening and severe inflammation of the liver. This condition can lead to the following:
- Liver failure, which may be fatal
- Loss of appetite
- Yellow skin or jaundice
- Stomach Pain
Medical experts say that 1 out of 3 individuals who develop this condition may die.
4. Cirrhosis [Scarring of the Liver]
About 1 in 5 heavy drinkers will develop Cirrhosis or scarring of the Liver.
These tissues will replace the normal and healthy cells and prevent the liver from functioning properly, which can cause liver failure or death. Cirrhosis might not cause many symptoms, but when it does, you will experience the following ones.
- Muscle cramps
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling unwell
- Swollen stomach
- Vomiting Blood
How Alcohol-Related Liver Conditions are Diagnosed?
Alcohol might not be the only reason that can cause liver conditions. The physician will check the liver’s health to rule out other diseases or conditions. They will do so by performing these tests:
- CBC [Complete Blood Count]
- Abdominal Ultrasound
- Liver Function Test
- Abdominal CT [Computer Tomography] Scan
The doctors may also conduct liver enzyme tests to determine the three liver enzyme levels. These tests are
- GGT [Gamma-Glutamyltransferase]
- AST [Aspartate Aminotransferase]
- ALT [Alanine Aminotransferase]
The Treatment for Alcohol-Related Liver Conditions
The treatment protocol will prohibit the consumption of alcohol so that further liver damage can be prevented and encourage healing. Here are some treatment options:
- Alcoholic Rehabilitation Program: You will come across many programs that can aid you to stop drinking, especially when you cannot do so by yourself.
- Liver Transplant: A liver transplant might become compulsory when the liver disease cannot be treated through medication due to excessive scarring or inflammation.
- Multivitamins: Vitamin B-complex is much lower in individuals who are heavy drinkers. This particular deficiency may cause malnutrition and anaemia.
- Vitamin A Supplements: Individuals who suffer from alcohol-related liver conditions are Vitamin A deficient. Keep in mind not to take alcohol and Vitamin A together. It is recommended for those who have stopped alcohol consumption. These supplements do not cure liver condition but prevent complications.
How to Reduce the Impact of Liver Conditions?
If you wish to lessen the impact of severe liver diseases or conditions, there are some ways you can do so. These are:
- Working out regularly
- Maintaining a proper weight
- Getting adequate sunlight
- Avoid consuming processed food produced
- Eating a balanced diet
- Not smoking
Alcoholic Fatty Pancreas
Pancreatitis is a severe inflammation of the pancreas that can be fatal. It is often associated with long-term and excessive alcohol consumption. It may cause the blocking of the pancreatic ducts or the destruction of pancreatic tissue.
Symptoms of Fatty Pancreas:
- Upper abdominal pain
- Rapid pulse
How is a fatty pancreas diagnosed?
- Clinical check-up
- Trans-abdominal ultrasound
- CT Scan
Treatment for fatty pancreas:
- Therapy and medication
- Diet and lifestyle management
Alcohol can negatively impact your liver. Too much drinking can lead to various liver conditions, preventing your liver from working properly. The information provided in this post about alcohol-related liver conditions will give you the necessary insights. You will also come across the treatment options available, which you can opt for after consulting with a physician. In case you notice the symptoms of fatty pancreas, you should consult specialists at a reputed hospital for fatty pancreas treatment for a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment.
Read more health blogs about precautions after liver transplant.