Drinking alcohol excessively is associated with severe liver damage and inflammation— alcoholic hepatitis. But it’s not really this simple. The relationship between alcohol and hepatitis is slightly tricky.
The fact that you drink heavily does not necessarily mean that you will get hepatitis. On the other hand you might get hepatitis even if you drink once in a while or have drunk heavily only once or twice.
Now, if you have alcoholic hepatitis you may be able to recover and become well again if you just quit drinking. If on the other hand, you don’t, then things can get worse to the point where you could develop cirrhosis or even suffer from liver failure.
Doctor’s report that Hepatitis caused by alcohol consumption is one of those mysteries of medical science for which there are no ready answers. The reasons behind the ailment are still unclear.
But what is clear is that in the case that you get this disease then you will have to quit drinking. And also stop consuming other things, which can further deteriorate the condition of your liver. Your doctor will advise you on which other things you need cut out.
If you are in the early stages of alcoholic hepatitis, you might not have any noticeable symptoms. As the disease advances however, you might begin to show one or many of the following symptoms:
- decrease in appetite
- vomiting (sometimes with blood)
- pain in the stomach region
- your skin and whites of your eye might become yellowish
- body temperature may increase
- you may feel tired all the time
- increased thirst and a dry mouth
- sudden weight gain
The severity of these symptoms may vary from one person to another and depending on the advancement of the disease. The symptoms might become more pronounced if you indulge in drinking alcohol.
It is time to see a doctor, when you start showing one or more symptoms of the disease or start experiencing extreme fatigue. In some cases where internal bleeding or extreme mental confusion is present, you would need immediate medical attention.
Your liver is technically the engine of your body. It processes multiple nutrients, clears your blood stream of alcohol and drugs, produces bile, and helps form blood clots.
Another exceptional quality of the liver is that it renews itself periodically. But constant exposure to toxins can damage your liver and cause irreparable harm.
The processes behind alcoholic hepatitis have not been fully charted yet. Why some people get it and some don’t is also unclear. The most popular hypothesis is that the byproducts that are produced when the alcohol is broken down, like acetaldehyde for example, damages and destroys the liver cells.
Severe scarring of liver, which is irreversible is called as cirrhosis, and is the final stage of liver damage.
The most effective treatment for alcoholic hepatitis is to quit drinking. If you don’t quit drinking then the disease will become chronic and you would inevitably develop cirrhosis.
If you are trying to quit alcohol, don’t hesitate to ask for help from your physician or resource groups. Your doctor might be able to help you by designing a program that is suited to your personal needs and requirements.