Alcohol-related liver disease is caused by excessive consumption of alcohol.
Excessive alcohol consumption contributes to three types of liver disease:
(a) fatty liver, where excess fat deposits in the liver;
(b) Alcohol-related hepatitis, in which the liver cells get damaged (inflamed) and
(c) Alcohol-related cirrhosis, in which normal liver tissue is replaced by nonliving (or fibrous) scar tissue. Cirrhosis of liver is irreversible medical condition
Obesity or poor nutritional status (malnutrition), certain genetic factors and underlying liver disease (like viral hepatitis) can contribute or exacerbate alcoholic liver disease.
- Women are more likely to suffer liver damage from alcohol than men.
- Abstinence is the most effective way to prevent alcohol-related liver disease! In the early stages of the disease, liver damage may be reversed if the person stops drinking.
- Majority of heavy drinkers develop fatty liver. Up to 30 to 35 percent develop alcohol related hepatitis and between 10 to 20 percent can develop cirrhosis.
- Alcohol-related cirrhosis is the most serious form of alcohol-related liver disease. Unlike fatty liver and alcohol related hepatitis, the damage from alcohol-related cirrhosis is not reversible and can cause fatal liver failure with high mortality (death). Liver Transplant is only treatment option in such advance disease.