Alcoholic hepatitisis a liver disease that occurs due to overconsumption of alcohol for years. In the early stage, the condition may lead to hepatic steatosis in which excess fat deposits in the liver. This may cause the progression of fibrosis and in later stage may lead to cirrhosis, excessive bleeding or even liver failure. Acute alcoholic hepatitis is an inflammatory liver disorder and is curable. However, in severe cases, it can prove to be life-threatening. In the recent time the number of cases of alcoholic hepatitis is increased in Delhi NCR region.
The liver produces alcohol releasing highly toxic chemicals. These chemicals are harmful and can damage the liver cells which lead to inflammation and alcoholic hepatitis. Although, there is no particular cause for the disease, however, the possible factors include: The synthesis of alcohol by the body’s process produces toxic chemicals that trigger inflammation and the destruction of liver cells. Scarring replaces healthy tissues of the liver causing an interruption in liver functionality. In a chronic condition, it may lead to a severe alcoholic liver disease known as cirrhosis.
If you have hepatitis C and even if you drink occasionally, there are chances that you might develop cirrhosis. Heavy drinkers mostly belong to the poor class. These people are generally malnourished and alcohol consumption causes a lack of nutrients in the body that contributes to liver cell damage.
The primary symptom of alcoholic hepatitis disease is paleness of skin along with whitening of eyes, commonly known as jaundice. Other signs include:
Bleeding or bruising
Fluid accumulation in the abdomen(ascites)
Behavioral changes, confusion due to toxin accumulation broke and released by the liver
Kidney related problems
Scarring of liver
When you see a doctor, he or she would take a lengthy session with you to discuss your medical history as well as how frequently and in what quantity you consume alcohol. A physical examination is performed to check the liver or spleen enlargement. After that, certain tests may be recommended for further diagnosis. The list is as follows:
Complete Blood Count (CBC) : This test measures the cells that make up your RBCs, WBCs, and platelets.
Liver Function Test : LFTs aka hepatic panel are a group of blood tests that provide information about the state of the patient's liver. It includes prothrombin time, aPTT, albumin, bilirubin, and others.
Abdominal CT Scan : It is a specialized X-ray that helps your doctor analyze the organs, blood vessels, and bones in the abdominal cavity.
Blood Clotting Tests : This prothrombin time(PT) test measures the time taken by the blood to clot. In normal scenarios, it takes about 25-30 seconds.
Blood Clotting Tests : This prothrombin time(PT) test measures the time taken by the blood to clot. In normal scenarios, it takes about 25-30 seconds.However, if the time exceeds the normal case, it indicates blood-thinning or diseases like hemophilia, liver disease or malabsorption.
Ultrasound of the Liver : The abdominal ultrasound produces pictures of the abdomen to evaluate the size and shape of the liver and help to analyze the flow of blood through the liver. It is a special test for liver fibrosis analysis.
Liver Bioscopy : A non-invasive procedure that involves the removal of a tissue sample from the liver. A liver bioscopy decides the severity and type of liver disease.
Once you are diagnosed with alcoholic hepatitis, firstly you need to stop drinking. In case you have an alcohol addiction and need help to avoid alcohol, consult your doctor for alcohol detoxification and recovery. Certain therapies, counseling sessions, and medications are available to aid you to stop alcohol consumption. Also, support groups and residential treatment programs are an option to help you stop drinking. If malnutrition is the cause of severe alcohol intake, the doctor might recommend a special nutrient-rich diet. Consult a dietitian to increase the consumption of lacking vitamins and nutrients in the body. In case you have trouble eating food, tube feeding can be an alternative for a special nutrient-rich liquid diet.
To reduce liver inflammation, your doctor might recommend medications, namely :
Corticosteroids : These medicines offer short-term benefits in increasing the age of people who suffer severely with alcoholic hepatitis (AH). However, your doctor may not prescribe these medications in case you have kidney failure problems, gastrointestinal bleeding or any kind of infection.
Pentoxifylline : These are advisable in case your body does not allow you to take corticosteroid treatment. It is an anti-inflammatory medication and is recommended in case of severe AH.
Liver Transplantation is the only treatment for patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis and having a high risk of death. For this, you might need to undergo a program first which would include a life-long commitment to alcohol abstinence along with a regular course of medications. Book your appointment with best alcoholic liver Diseases specialist in Delhi – Dr. Shri Ram Agarwal, at Samadhan Clinic, one of the best liver doctor in Delhi.