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Alcohol a silent enemy for Hepatitis ?

Yes there is a health condition called as Alcohol Hepatitis. It is a diseased, inflammatory condition of the liver caused by excessive alcohol intake over  an extreme period of time. It can cause short- or long-term liver damage.

When alcohol gets processed in the liver, it produces highly toxic chemicals. These chemicals can injure the liver cells. This injury then leads to inflammation, and alcoholic hepatitis.

Although heavy drinking causes alcoholic hepatitis, doctors are not entirely sure why the condition develops. Alcoholic hepatitis only develops in a minority of heavy drinkers. It can also develop in people who are only moderate drinkers.

The liver is the largest organ in the body, and it removes poisons such as alcohol , ethanol from the blood. When it’s damaged by heavy drinking, it can become inflamed, scarred, and fatty. Over time, it stops its regular processes.

How is alcoholic hepatitis diagnosed?

If you have symptoms of alcoholic hepatitis, your doctor will ask you about your health history and the alcohol consumption level . Your doctor will also perform a biopsy to see if you have an enlarged liver or spleen.

A liver biopsy is an invasive procedure (with certain inherent risks) that requires your doctor to remove a tissue sample from the liver. A liver biopsy will show if you have liver disease. This test will also show whether or not you have alcoholic hepatitis. Following are the symptoms of alcoholic hepatitis :

  1. 1. Skin or the whites of your eyes look yellow -- a condition called jaundice.
  2. 2. Fever, stomachache, or liquid buildup in your belly and weight loss  
  3. 3. Pain areas: in the abdomen
  4. 4. Gastrointestinal: bloating, fluid in the abdomen, nausea, or vomiting

How to prevent your liver from getting affected with alcoholic hepatitis ?

The best way to prevent alcohol hepatitis might be not to drink at all.

Not all heavy drinkers will develop alcohol hepatitis, and it is unknown why some excessive drinkers develop the disease while others don't. It is also important to note that the disease can occur in moderate drinkers, although the chance is significantly reduced.

According to the Liver Foundation, up to 35 percent of heavy drinkers develop alcoholic hepatitis and of these, 55 percent already have cirrhosis. Alcohol can have many effects on the body, so moderation is always the key for those who drink.

How to manage if you are affected with alcoholic hepatitis?

In most patients with alcoholic hepatitis, the illness is mild. The short-term prognosis is good, and no specific treatment is required. Hospitalization is not always necessary. Alcohol use must be stopped, and care should be taken to ensure good nutrition; providing supplemental vitamins and minerals, including folate and thiamine, is reasonable.

Your doctor may recommend a liver transplant if your liver is severely damaged. To qualify for a transplant, you must demonstrate that you won’t continue drinking if you receive a new liver. You will also need to abstain from alcohol for at least six months. In some cases, you may need to seek counseling as well.

If those treatments don’t work because your disease is too advanced, you may need a liver transplant.  


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