Alcohol-induced liver disease, as the name implies, is caused by excessive consumption of alcohol and is a common, but preventable, disease.
There are three primary types of alcohol-induced liver disease, including the following:
Fatty liver is excessive accumulation of fat inside the liver cells. Fatty liver is the most common alcohol-induced liver disorder. The liver is enlarged, causing upper abdominal discomfort on the right side.
Alcoholic hepatitis is an acute inflammation of the liver, accompanied by the destruction of individual liver cells and scarring. Symptoms may include fever, jaundice, an increased white blood cell count, an enlarged, tender liver, and spider-like veins in the skin.
Alcoholic cirrhosis is the destruction of normal liver tissue, leaving non-functioning scar tissue. Symptoms may include those of alcoholic hepatitis, in addition to portal hypertension, enlarged spleen, ascites, kidney failure, confusion, or liver cancer.
The effects of alcohol on the liver depend on how much and how long a person has been drinking alcohol. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. The following are the most common symptoms and signs of alcohol-induced liver disease :
The symptoms of alcohol-induced liver disease may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.
In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for alcohol-induced liver disease may include the following:
A series of special blood tests that can determine if the liver is functioning properly.
A procedure in which tissue samples from the liver are removed (with a needle or during surgery) from the body for examination under a microscope.
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