Introduction about Alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD)
What causes Alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD)?
- Alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) occurs after years of heavy drinking (more than 10 units per week, each unit being equal to 30ml of whisky/a glass of wine/beer or equivalent). It initially causes fat deposits in the liver. If the damage continues, it causes inflammation in the liver. Over time, scarring and cirrhosis can occur. Cirrhosis is the final phase of alcoholic liver disease.
- Alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) does not occur in all heavy drinkers. On the other hand, you do not have to get drunk for the disease to happen. The chances of getting liver disease go up the longer you have been drinking and more alcohol you consume. Whether and with what amount of alcohol a person will develop serious liver damage also depends on individual metabolic capacity and the genetic make-up.
- The disease seems to be more common in some families. Women may be more likely to have this problem than men.
1.What are the symptoms of Alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD)?
- Symptoms vary, based on how bad the disease is. You may not have symptoms in the early stages. Symptoms tend to be worse after a period of heavy drinking.
- Some of the abdominal symptoms are:
- Pain and swelling in the abdomen
- Decreased appetite and weight loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dry mouth and increased thirst
- Esophageal bleeding (enlarged veins in the lower part of the food pipe)
2. What are the tests and diagnosis available for Alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) in India?
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- Liver function Test
- Ultrasound of the abdomen
- Abdominal CT scan
3. What are the treatments available for Alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) in India?
- The most important part of Alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) treatment is to stop using alcohol completely. If liver cirrhosis has not yet occurred, the liver can heal if you stop drinking alcohol. Once cirrhosis develops, it is irreversible.
- An alcohol rehabilitation program or counseling may be necessary to break the alcohol addiction. Vitamins, especially B-complex and folic acid, provide some nutrients that are deficient due to malnutrition.
- If cirrhosis develops, you must be monitored by a liver specialist to manage the potential complications of cirrhosis. Eventually, you may need a liver transplant if there has been a lot of liver damage.
- Continued excessive drinking can shorten your lifespan. Your risk for complications such as bleeding, brain changes, and severe liver damage go up. The outcome will be poor if you keep drinking.
4. What are the possible ways to prevent Alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD)?
- Drink in moderation i.e. not more than 10 units per week
- Drink a lot of non-alcoholic fluids especially lemonade after consuming alcohol
- Never drink alone
- Avoid mixing your drinks
- Take "alcohol-free breaks" e.g. 3 months in a year. This helps in partial recovery of the liver damage
5. What are the risks associated with Alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD)?
- The main risk factors for Alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) include:
- Kidney failure.
- Bleeding by portal hypertension.
- Breast enlargement in men.
- Reduction of oxygen in the body.
Which specialty of doctor to be consulted for the treatment of Alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) in India?
What is the cost of Alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) treatment in India?
Which hospital to be preferred for Alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) treatment in India?