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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Men's Health ALCOHOL AND FATTY LIVER DISEASE

ALCOHOL AND FATTY LIVER DISEASE

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Alcoholic liver disease is the liver injury that happens as a result of alcohol consumption above threshold limits. The chronic alcohol consumption of more than 4 beers or its equivalent will definitely hamper liver function over a period of time and may cause alcoholic liver disease, cirrhosis or other serious liver problems.

 

What are symptoms of alcoholic liver disease?

There may be no symptoms or the patient may present with end stage liver disease. The symptoms could be on-specific like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, jaundice or abdominal swelling. Liver and spleen may be enlarged on clinical examination by doctor. Alcohol related problems like unsteady gait, accidents, violent behavior, depression, problems with job and relationships maybe seen. Poor nutrition and high cholesterol may exacerbate the problem.

If the liver function is already compromised, addition of alcohol will deteriorate liver cell functions via production of NADH and other toxic metabolites damaging the multi level regularities of bile homeostasis, P 450 enzyme pathway and others.

 

What investigations are needed?

Gastroenterologist may order liver function tests, ultrasound abdomen and CT scan to know the extent of problem ,Liver biopsy may be required if diagnosis of cirrhosis is suspected.  Addition of alcohol over and above the compromised liver will deteriorate liver cell functions via production of NADH and other toxic metabolites damaging the multi level regularities of bile homeostasis, P 450 enzyme pathway and others.

 

Management of alcoholic liver disease

 

-          Alcohol consumption must be stopped and abstinence is needed to control the damage. Discuss tapering of alcohol consumption on gradual basis to make reversible changes in a favorable path before it turns into irreversible liver damage i.e cirrhosis

-          Control body weight, blood sugar, cholesterol levels.

-          Regular follow up with your gastroenterologist for evaluation with liver function tests, ultrasound of the abdomen and pelvis.

-          If additional smoking habit is also present, it will add on hepatocyte damage. It must also be stopped.

-          Basic life style modifications of diet control avoiding high cholesterol, dairy fat ; regular exercises, stress management and sound regular sleep are the utmost parameters to be followed sincerely.

Alcoholic liver disease can cause irreversible damage to liver. Ask A Gastroenterologist online if you have any liver issues due to alcohol consumption.

 

Written by Dr Vaishalee Punj