Liver Disorders Treatment > Treatment for Liver Disease due to Alcohol Intake
Signs & Symptoms of Alcohol-related Liver Disease
Cirrhosis may often cause no symptoms for a number of years or only mild symptoms, including:
1. Poor appetite and weight loss.
3. Muscle wasting.
In some cases, severe cirrhosis may lead to a serious condition in which there is bleeding into the digestive tract from abnormal blood vessels that develop in the wall of the esophagus (Portal Hypertension and Varices). Severe alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis can lead to liver failure, which may result in coma and death.
Diagnosis of Alcohol-related Liver Disease
A history of heavy alcohol consumption is essential for the diagnosis of Alcohol-related Liver Disease. It is important that you be honest and tell your doctor exactly how much you drink. However, many people who drink heavily are reluctant to do this.
Your doctor may arrange for blood tests to evaluate your liver function. You may also have a liver biopsy, a procedure in which a hollow needle is inserted into the liver to obtain a sample of liver tissue. The sample is then examined under a microscope to look for cell abnormalities.
Alcohol-related Liver Disease Treatment
People with Alcohol-related Liver Disease must stop drinking completely and forever. Many people need professional help to achieve this. If drinking continues, the disease will probably progress and may be fatal. If drinking stops, the prognosis is likely to improve. Fatty liver often disappears after 3-6 months of abstinence from alcohol. Some people with alcoholic hepatitis who stop drinking recover completely. However, in most cases damage to the liver is irreversible, and the condition progresses can cause a number of serious complications, which in some cases may be fatal. About half of all people who have cirrhosis die from liver failure within 5 years. More than 1 in 10 people with cirrhosis go on to develop liver cancer.
People with Alcohol-related Liver Disease who have no other serious health problems and have stopped drinking may be candidates for a liver transplant. Many of the symptoms and some of the complications of Alcohol-related Liver Disease can be treated with some success. For eg, swelling of the abdomen, which results from fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity, may be decreased by diuretic drugs and a diet that is low in salt. Nausea can frequently be relieved by antiemetic drugs.
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