Alcoholic hepatitis is a common case of hepatitis in which, acute inflammation of liver occurs as a result of excessive consumption of alcohol. This condition is a preliminary stage of cirrhosis or any other liver disease. While the mild cases might be curable, the severe stages have high risks for death. Sometimes, the severe stages can be healed with the help of glucocorticoids.
Often, many people confuse this condition with cirrhosis. Hence, in this article, we shall discuss about Alcoholic hepatitis, its causes, symptoms and treatments.
Alcoholic hepatitis generally occurs in those patients that are already suffering from liver disease of chronic hepatitis. It does not lead to other lever diseases but, the symptoms of cirrhosis gradually occur with time, as the regular doses of alcohol increases. Sometimes, this condition crops up because of sudden inflammatory reaction of cells that are affected by changes in fatty acid levels. This condition is called alcoholic steatonecrosis and, sometimes leads to liver fibrosis.
Alcoholic hepatitis leads to mixed symptoms like change in liver tests, enlargement of liver, agitation, presence of fluids in abdomen, visibility of spider-like webbed blood vessels on the skin surface, abdomen tenderness, reduced appetite, slight fever, mood swings, fatigue, pale complexion, vomiting blood, memory loss, confusion, red palms and yellowing of eyes as well as skin. Severe cases lead to jaundice.
In the initial stage, the symptoms of Alcoholic hepatitis are not very noticeable hence this condition can be avoided if the patient avoids alcohol within a month.
At the second stage, this disease gradually progresses to acute hepatitis where the delicate tissues of liver become inflamed due to overconsumption of alcohol and leads to sever form of liver damage. This condition can be effectively cured with proper treatment within seven month to a year.
Cirrhosis of liver marks the final stage of this alcoholic liver disease. By the time a patient reaches this level, he is at the risk of liver failure. This is a life threatening condition and, very few people are able to survive it.
If you feel that you’re suffering from Alcoholic hepatitis, it is advisable that you visit a physician immediately. This disease is diagnosed by taking blood tests. Blood tests highlight the level of liver inflammation. You can also go for liver biopsy or ultrasound.
Avoiding alcohol is the immediate and most effective treatment for Alcoholic hepatitis. However, if you want to eradicate this disease completely, you can take up milk thistle. Europeans believe that milk thistle helps in rebuilding liver tissues by stimulation of antioxidant enzymes. Other than this, you can also opt for herbs, Chinese treatment, ozone therapy, interferon injections and approved drugs, as prescribed by the doctors.
It is very important for you to visit an expert physician in such cases. Moreover, you should plan your diet accordingly.
Now that you’re familiar with the causes, symptoms and treatments of Alcoholic hepatitis, you can effectively avoid this disease!