Alcoholic Liver Disease

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Alcoholic liver disease is used to define an encompassing of hepatic diseases of over alcohol consumption, with the inclusion of fatty liver, alcohol and chronic kinds of hepatitis and cirrhosis. Alcoholic liver disease is one of the most common causes of liver diseases in the western world. Steatosis is bound to develop in any person consuming large amounts of alcohol-related beverages on a long scale of time, but the process is long and can be reversed. Amongst the heavy drinkers of alcohol, only up to 20% might be diagnosed with cirrhosis or hepatitis. This can occur in succession or not.

Alcoholic liver disease

Diagnosis of Alcoholic Liver Disease

In the beginning, patients having alcoholic liver disease possess small and very often rare abnormal physical kind of symptoms. It is normally after a development in a kind of advanced liver disease that chronic liver disease is obvious. Early alcoholic liver disease is often discovered after or during a routine health checkup when the enzyme levels in the liver are found to be rising. This is reflecting a hepatic steatosis (hepatic). Both macro kind and the micro kind of steatosis are with inflammations and are normally seen in the specimens of liver biopsy.

The histological and salient features of alcoholic liver disease are indifferent from the ones of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Steatosis usually goes after the consumption of alcohol is heavily diminished or ceased. If the alcohol consumption is continued with, then there develops a higher risk of liver disease’s progression along with that of cirrhosis. The patients having alcoholic hepatitis of acute kind will have normal clinical symptomatology like

  • Jaundice accompanied by fever
  • Possible hepatomegaly
  • Possible decompensation alongside encephalopathy (hepatic)
  • Possibility of variceal bleeding and accumulation of ascites
  • Abdominal pain is not so usual but there might be a small amount of hepatomegaly
  • It is occasional that a patient is asymptomatic.

Laboratory diagnosis

In the patients of alcoholic liver disease, the ratio of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) to alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is normally greater that 2:1. The ALT and AST levels almost are always lower than 500. The ration elevation might be an indicator of pyridoxal-6-phosphate’s deficiency that is needed in ALT’s process of functioning.

Other laboratory findings might be.

  • Presence of macrocytosis of the erythrocytes
  • Elevation in the levels of gamma-glutamyl transferase
  • Elevations in the levels of alkaline phosphatase
  • Elevations in the level of bilirubin levels
  • Reduction in foliate levels due to an elevated absorption by the intestines
  • An increase in the requirements of bone marrow for folates
  • Increased loss of urine

The leukocytosis levels are the major indicators of the severance of injury caused to the liver.

Treatment of Alcoholic Liver Disease

The following treatment is useful for the patients with alcoholic liver disease:

Antioxidants – Antioxidant supplements for example milk should be administered as a placebo treatment

Transplant – On severance of the disease when none of the medication works, the ultimate way is a liver transplant

Nutritional treatment with usage of fluids, multivitamins, and minerals in food as well as on a regular basis

Administration of corticosteroids