Alcoholic Liver Disease UPMC Center for Liver Diseases

The main treatment is to stop drinking, preferably for the rest of your life. ARLD does not usually cause any symptoms until the liver has been severely damaged. If you have an alcohol addiction, our experts can connect you with resources or a treatment symptoms of alcohol related liver disease program to help you stop drinking. Our clinic’s behavioral health experts can help treat the underlying causes of your alcohol consumption. That means you will likely not notice any symptoms, sometimes for years, as your liver disease worsens.

  • Different types of beverages contain different percentages of alcohol.
  • In this video, consultant hepatologist Mark Wright explains liver disease and how not drinking alcohol can help.
  • This means that you may have no initial warning signs to tell you that the organ is in distress.
  • Those who regularly drink more than the recommended daily limits of alcohol should not stop drinking without medical support.
  • Just how alcohol damages the liver — and why it does so only in some heavy drinkers — isn’t clear.

However, disulfiram has not been shown to promote abstinence and consequently is recommended only for certain people. Of heavy drinkers, 10%–20% develop cirrhosis, a serious condition that usually develops after 10 or more years of drinking. Because scar tissue builds up and replaces most of the liver cells, it’s irreversible.

What other symptoms does heavy alcohol use cause?

Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for one-third of all driving fatalities in 2019. The consequences of underage drinking include unintentional injuries; sexual assaults; alcohol overdose; and deaths, including motor vehicle crashes. Severe liver scarring, or cirrhosis, is the main complication of NAFLD and NASH. Cirrhosis happens because of liver injury, such as the damage caused by inflammation in NASH.

How people react to the adverse effects of alcohol varies depending on age, gender, genetic background and other medical issues. Women tend to develop liver disease faster than men, despite consuming the same amount of alcohol over the same length of time. Cirrhosis can lead to fatal liver failure or liver cancer. At this point, some patients may benefit from a liver transplant if they meet certain criteria. Long term, alcohol use can increase the risk of developing certain cancers, including colon, liver, esophagus, mouth and breast.


If ultrasonography or computed tomography is done for other reasons, doctors may see evidence of fatty liver Fatty Liver Fatty liver is an abnormal accumulation of certain fats (triglycerides) inside liver cells. People with fatty liver may feel tired or have mild abdominal discomfort but otherwise have no symptoms… Read more or portal hypertension Portal Hypertension Portal hypertension is abnormally high blood pressure in the portal vein (the large vein that brings blood from the intestine to the liver) and its branches.

Cirrhosis is a stage of ARLD where the liver has become significantly scarred. Even at this stage, there may not be any obvious symptoms. The liver is one of the most complex organs in the body. The portal for UPMC Cole patients receiving inpatient care.

Alcoholic Liver Disease

Heavy drinkers usually first develop symptoms during their 30s or 40s and tend to develop severe problems about 10 years after symptoms first appear. They’re often caused when blood flow in the portal vein is blocked. The portal vein carries blood from the intestine, pancreas and spleen to the liver. You can also recover from malnutrition by changing your diet and taking appropriate supplements (if needed). It’s not too late to change lifestyle habits if you or a loved one drinks excessively.

symptoms of alcohol related liver disease

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