Alcohol related liver disease

Alcohol-related liver disease or ARLD is referred to as damage to liver caused due to excessive intake of alcohol. ARLD usually does not lead to any symptoms till there is a severe damage to liver. When this happens below symptoms may show up:

  • Feeling sick
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Yellowing of eyes & skin due to jaundice
  • Drowsiness or confusion
  • Swelling in tummy or ankles
  • Passing blood in stools or vomiting blood

Alcohol and liver

Liver happens to be the most complex body-organ, brain being the exception. The functions of liver are:

  • Filtering off toxins from our blood
  • Regulating levels of blood sugar & cholesterol
  • Aiding food-digestion
  • Helping to fight disease and infections

Liver is highly capable and resilient of regenerating itself. Every time our liver filters alcohol, few liver cells die. Liver can grow new cells, however, prolonged misuse of alcohol can lessen the ability of it to regenerate. This may lead to a serious, permanent damage to our liver. The number of patients with this condition has been rising over last few decades use to rising use of alcohol.

Alcohol-related liver disease is lead by drinking a lot of alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol increases our risk of having an alcohol-related liver disease.

Drinking too much can lead to ARLD in 2 ways:

  • Drinking large quantity of alcohol in short time or binge drinking can lead to fatty liver disease & less commonly, an alcoholic hepatitis
  • Drinking beyond the recommended limits of alcohol in many years may result in cirrhosis and hepatitis which are the more serious forms of ARLD

Evidence suggests that individuals drinking regularly above the recommended quantity are at the highest risk of having an ARLD:

  • Men & women are suggested to not drink over 14 units of alcohol in a week
  • Drinking can be spread over 3 days or even more if one drinks around 14 units of alcohol in a week.