It's called alcohol to alcoholic liver disease or liver disease caused by excessive alcohol consumption. Is not a unique clinical picture, but can occur several modes depending on the amount of alcohol consumed, the time that is consumed and individual susceptibility.
Broadly there are three large paintings of liver disease caused by alcohol, from lowest to highest, severity: alcoholic liver steatosis, the hepatitis alcoholic and alcoholic cirrhosis. In many patients are the three consecutively over the years. Alcoholic hepatic steatosis is caused by excessive alcohol intake over a period ranging from weeks and sometimes years. Consists of an accumulation of fat in the liver as a result of metabolic changes produced by alcohol. The patient has no symptoms, laboratory abnormalities course was frequently and does not affect liver function. It is reversible with cessation of alcohol consumption. Some patients, although they continue drinking alcohol do not develop more severe forms of the disease while others develop into the other two tables. The hepatitis alcoholic is a picture of subacute evolution. It is considered to be consumed too much alcohol for at least 5 years in order to develop this picture. It is much more severe steatosis. The patient usually has symptoms; liver test abnormalities are present and affect liver function. The severity is variable. If drinking stops, the disease can be cured, but there are patients who die and others going to the third type of frame. Alcoholic cirrhosis involves the alteration of the structure of the liver by the healing process (fibrosis) Produced in the liver as a result of alcohol consumption in general for many years. Is irreversible. Although some patients are asymptomatic in the early stages of the disease, many symptoms. Laboratory abnormalities occur and liver function deteriorates. Many patients eventually died due to disease.
What are the symptoms?
Steatosis is always asymptomatic. Is detectable by ultrasound liver and accurate diagnosis is by liver biopsy. Many patients with alcohol liver damage including steatosis, have high blood a substance of hepatic origin, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT or GammaGT), which is the earliest biochemical marker of heavy drinking. The hepatitis alcoholic usually present with severe symptoms of general illness such as tiredness, lack of appetite, gastrointestinal upset, pain on the right side of the abdomen and, sometimes, fever. In addition data can be seen most typical of liver disease as yellowing of the skin (jaundice), Dark urine, accumulation of fluid in the abdomen (ascites) And coagulation disorders, among others. Some of these patients die from progressive deterioration of liver function or complications, particularly infectious. There are patients who present hepatitis lower alcohol intensity who remain asymptomatic or with symptoms like those described, but milder, but the liver damage is progressive and many eventually develop cirrhosis. Cirrhosis may be asymptomatic in its early stages. Then gives general symptoms or complications manifested by: yellowing of the skin (jaundice), gastrointestinal bleeding, accumulation of fluid in the abdomen (ascites), changes in behavior and the level of consciousness and malnutritionBasically. In addition, patients may have symptoms from alcohol toxicity in other organs.
How is it diagnosed?
The doctor makes a diagnosis based on history of alcohol consumption, physical examination, liver tests, ultrasound abdominal and in many cases it is necessary to perform a liver biopsy for definitive diagnosis.
How is it treated?
The only effective treatment is the quitting alcohol. If there dependence stopping the use alcoholic needs psychiatric help. Suppression of alcohol allows recovery of steatosis and, in many cases, the hepatitis alcoholic cirrhosis when there results in an improvement of liver function, although cirrhosis is irreversible. Depending on the degree of deterioration of liver function, these patients may then lead a normal life or, conversely, to specify a liver transplantation to prevent death from complications of cirrhosis.