Alcohol Induced Hepatitis or Alcohol Hepatitis: Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors,Treatment
There is a complex relationship between a heavy drinker and alcohol-induced hepatitis or alcohol hepatitis. People who have been drinking heavily for a long time usually suffer from this disease. But then moderate drinkers can also fall prey to the disease.
Stop drinking alcohol if you are diagnosed with alcohol-induced hepatitis or alcohol hepatitis. There is a high risk of liver damage and severe health problem if you continue to drink heavily over years.
Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Induced Hepatitis or Alcohol Hepatitis
It starts indicating with yellowing of skin and whites of eyes. The jaundice increases the girth as the fluid is collected in the body. These are the most familiar indications of alcohol induced hepatitis or alcohol hepatitis in a person which alerts him to take necessary medical care without wasting a time. Sufferers may also go through:
- Lacking of appetite.
- Nausea and tendencies of vomiting.
- Softness and pain in the abdomen.
- Loss of body weight.
People who drink heavily usually suffer from lack of hunger and so tend to get malnourished after a certain period of time. Alcohol contains a lot of calories which the person intakes on a regular way.Indications of acute alcohol induced hepatitis or acute alcohol hepatitis:
- Fluid collection in the abdominal cavity or the ascites.
- Changes in behavior of the person in a confusing way due to the accumulation of toxins (encephalopathy) in the brain leading to brain damage.
- Failure of organs like kidney or liver.
Causes of Alcohol Induced Hepatitis or Alcohol Hepatitis
Due to prolonged period of heavy drinking, alcohol induced hepatitis or alcohol hepatitis is induced in a person. Alcohol damages the liver first. However the reason is still unknown that why does it affect a particular group of drinkers and not all! The fact known to medical science is that the ethanol in the form of beer, wine or whiskey starts to break down; it produces highly toxic elements inside the body like acetaldehyde. These toxic chemicals work as catalyst to inflame the liver cells and destroy it. The liver tissues hence lose health and get web like scars on it. Thus the ability of the liver to function gradually reduces. When these scarring becomes irreversible, the final stage of alcoholic liver is achieved which is known as liver cirrhosis.
Increase of Gradual Risk of Alcohol Induced Hepatitis or Alcohol Hepatitis due to Continuous Alcohol Consumption
Prolonged habit of alcohol consumption causes liver diseases which gradually increase with the passage of time and quantity of consumption. But then there are many who do not suffer from alcohol induced hepatitis or alcohol hepatitis in spite of regular heavy drinking. There are other factors which also play role here. These are:
- Other different types of hepatitis: A person suffering from hepatitis C has greater chances of developing cirrhosis of liver if he is a heavy drinker. Even if he is a moderate drinker, the chances of developing liver cirrhosis is more.
- Malnourished body: Lack of nutrients in the body may also cause damage of liver cells. Since the body cannot obtain required nutrients due to lack of appetite, the body lacks necessary protein, vitamins and fat which can lead to development of cirrhosis syndromes in the body.
- Hereditary factors: Certain gene mutations may also accelerate the alcohol metabolism in the body and develop complications of liver cancers. Though the particular genetic associations have still not been recognized.
Risk Factors for Alcohol Induced Hepatitis or Alcohol Hepatitis
The main factors of risks to grow alcohol induced hepatitis or alcohol hepatitis are:
- Alcohol consumption. The quantity of alcohol consumed is the main reason to develop liver disease in any person. A male who consume 2 to 2.8 ounces (60 to 80 grams) of alcohol for 10 long years and for females it is 0.7 ounces (20 grams), have 35% more chances of developing an alcohol induced hepatitis or alcohol hepatitis than other heavy drinkers.
- Sex. Alcoholic hepatitis is recorded to be developed more in women than men. This is due to the differences in alcohol processing in the female body than male body.
- Factor related to genes. Different genetic mutations in the body break the alcohol differently in each body. Particular mutations increase the tendencies of liver diseases in the body.
The alternative components which increase the risk of alcohol induced hepatitis or alcohol hepatitis are:
- Choice of liquor (beer, whiskey or rum)
- Binge drinking
- Obesity has a peculiar effect on the worsening of the liver
- Hispanic or African-American
Complications of Alcohol Induced Hepatitis or Alcohol Hepatitis
The complications of alcohol induced hepatitis or alcohol hepatitis are:
- The portal vein suffers from high blood pressure. The portal vein is the medium through which blood from other organs (intestine, spleen and pancreas) enters the liver. This blood may hack up if the scar tissues reduce the blood circulation here creating portal hypertension.
- Increase in the size of veins called varices is noticed. As the blood circulation is hampered in the portal vein, it tends to gather in other blood vessels of stomach and esophagus. The thin wall of these veins cannot support the heavy flow of blood and usually bleed. Extensive fatal bleeding is experienced in people in the upper stomach or esophagus and needs to be moved to intensive medical care for life survival.
- Patients suffering from alcohol hepatitis tend to accumulate fluid in their abdominal cavity (ascites). There are possibilities of antibiotic input given by doctors due to the infection caused by such accumulation. Though not fatal in nature, but this fluid accumulation can add on to the complexities of alcohol hepatitis.
- As the liver gets weak, it becomes unable to remove bilirubin from the blood. Thus the residue of the old blood cells remains in the blood and deposits in the skin to make it yellowish. These are symptoms of jaundice as the white of the eye also gets yellowish.
- Acute liver damage in alcoholic hepatitis blocks the liver to remove the toxins from the blood. As these toxins builds up, the brain suffers damage and develops Hepatic encephalopathy. The behavior and personality along with the mental stability is disturbed in the person and causes severe mood swings, forgetfulness or even coma.
- Irrecoverable cirrhosis of liver is noticed in persons suffering from extreme inflammation in alcoholic hepatitis. The liver ultimately fails to deliver any of its function due to the growth of cirrhosis.
- Failure of kidney.
Tests to Diagnose Alcohol Induced Hepatitis or Alcohol Hepatitis
Diagnosis of alcohol induced hepatitis or alcohol hepatitis due to excess consumption of alcohol. There are two major factors to identify the alcohol induced hepatitis or alcohol hepatitis:
- Proof of excess consumption of alcohol
- Proof of liver disease.
Proof of Excess Consumption of Alcohol Leading to Alcohol Induced Hepatitis or Alcohol Hepatitis
While visiting a doctor it is utmost necessary to be honest to him and answer all his questions correctly. He may ask you about your history of alcohol consumption along with your family's association with the fluid. Doctors can judge from the apparent symptoms of chronic alcoholism from skin lesions called spider nevi.
Tests to Prove Liver Disease to Confirm Alcohol Induced Hepatitis or Alcohol Hepatitis
Followings are the important tests doctors prescribe more to diagnose alcohol induced hepatitis or alcohol hepatitis:
- Tests of liver function which includes international normalized ratio, albumin, and total bilirubin.
- Blood cell count of the entire body.
- Ultrasound, CT or MRI scan of the liver.
- Blood tests which eliminates other reasons for liver disease.
Treatments for Alcohol Induced Hepatitis or Alcohol Hepatitis
Complete Ceasing of Alcohol Consumption to Treat Alcohol Induced Hepatitis or Alcohol Hepatitis
The foremost thing you have to do after you are diagnosed with alcohol induced hepatitis or alcohol hepatitis is to stop drinking immediately. The only method to reverse the damage caused by alcohol is to stop it on an urgent basis or else the treatment could be ineffective. Drastic improvement is noticed in people who have been successful in quitting alcohol.
Your medical complications are likely to increase more if you still not be able to hold on to your drinking habit.A doctor can prescribe customized therapy for you to quit drinking which may include medication, counseling or rehabilitation etc.
Treatment of Malnutrition for Alcohol Induced Hepatitis or Alcohol Hepatitis
Doctors recommend special diet charts to malnourished patients suffering from alcohol induced hepatitis or alcohol hepatitis to control it to get more acute. He may refer you to a dietitian who can help you regain your health and increase the nutrient absorption in your body.
Tube feeding is usually recommended to those who have problem in eating normally. A tube is passed through the throat to the stomach and nutrient-rich liquid diet is passed to the body through this tube.
Medications to Decrease the Inflammation of Liver for Alcohol Induced Hepatitis or Alcohol Hepatitis
Corticosteroids drugs are prescribed by doctors to reduce the inflammation of the liver in a quick time for alcohol induced hepatitis or alcohol hepatitis. However if the patient has kidney problems, or infections or gastrointestinal bleeding he may not be suggested the same drug. Since 40 percent people fail to respond to this drug, physicians prescribe pentoxifylline to them instead. Doctors may put the patient on trial of both these drugs to ultimately decide on the responsive one.
Liver Transplant Treatment for Alcohol Induced Hepatitis or Alcohol Hepatitis
Liver transplant is the sole hope for people who have been suffering from acute and fatal alcohol induced hepatitis or alcohol hepatitis. A five year survival is noticed in patients who has undergone successful liver transplant.
People who are prone to continue drinking after the liver transparent are not recommended such surgery. Medical centers in U.S. consider sufferers of acute alcohol induced hepatitis or alcohol hepatitis to be contraindication for liver transplantation.
A person has to undergo specific medical programs to get the liver transplanted for alcohol induced hepatitis or alcohol hepatitis. The program may exceed to a period of 6 months, on successful completion of which the person is moved ahead for a liver transplant.
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