Health: Alcohol and Liver Disease
Alcohol and liver disease
Drinking excess alcohol can lead to three types of liver disease,says liver and gastro surgeon Avinash Kumar Tank.The treatment is to stop drinking completely
Alcohol is absorbed from the stomach and intestines into thein the blood thats flowing through the liver.Liver cells contain enzymes which metabolize the alcohol.The enzymes break down alcohol into water and carbon dioxide.The liver cells can process only a certain amount of alcohol per hour.
Liver disease induced by alcohol:
There are three primary types of alcohol-induced liver disease: fatty liver,hepatitis and cirrhosis.
In this condition,there is excessive accumulation of fat inside the liver cells.It is a common alcohol-induced disorder,in which the liver gets enlarged and may cause upper abdominal discomfort on the right side.
This is an acute inflammation of the liver,accompanied by the destruction of individual liver cells.Symptoms may include pain,fever and jaundice.
This is a condition where the normal liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue or fibrosis.The scar tissue affects the normal structure and re-growth of liver cells.Liver cells become damaged and die as scar tissue gradually develops and the liver gradually loses its ability to function well.Symptoms may include lethargy,deep jaundice,blood in vomitus or in stool,fluid in tummy (ascites),bloodclotting problems,confusion,coma and bleeding in the guts.
Alcohol is a risk factor for liver cancer through cirrhosis.About five per cent of people with cirrhosis develop liver cancer.And the risks of liver cancer are even greater if a person is infected with the hepatitis B or C viruses.One in five people with these viruses develop cirrhosis and liver cancer.People with these infections should avoid alcohol,as even a small amount could damage their liver.The disease can be diagnosed by physical examination,ultrasonography and a liver-specific blood test.
Abstinence from alcohol is the primary treatment.The liver has great regenerative power and is often able to repair early stage of liver damage.However,once the liver becomes cirrhotic,it cannot be reversed.Liver replacement is the only curative treatment for liver cirrhosis.
bloodstream.Since blood from the stomach and intestines first goes through the liver and then to other parts of the body,the highest concentration of alcohol is
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