Alcoholic Hepatitis: Symptoms and Treatment
What is alcoholic hepatitis?
Excessive drinking of alcohol can cause inflammation of the liver. This condition is called alcoholic hepatitis. Usually, heavy drinkers are the most affected by this condition. Although, moderate drinkers can get this medical concern too.
Individuals who get a diagnosis of alcoholic hepatitis should stop drinking alcohol. However, liver damage or failure can happen if these individuals persist in drinking the beverage.
What are the symptoms of this condition?
The common sign of this condition is best described by the yellowing of the eyes and skin. It is what medical experts identify as jaundice. The following are other symptoms of this condition:
- Lack of appetite
- Recurrent nausea
- Severe vomiting
- Mild to severe headache
- Fever or chills
- Severe pain in the abdomen
- Fatigue and extreme weakness
When do you need to obtain immediate medical attention?
When you experience the mentioned symptoms, see your healthcare professional immediately. Several medications are available for drinking cessation. Those who are professionals in the field can assist you in controlling your drinking habit.
What are the causes of this condition?
This condition mostly occurs because of excessive alcohol consumption. When you drink too much alcohol, the body produces highly toxic chemicals and is harmful to the liver. These chemicals target the liver, causing severe inflammation and damage. As a result, scarring and cirrhosis happen within the organ.
Susceptibility to alcoholic hepatitis
The amount of alcohol you consume influences the development of alcoholic hepatitis. If you drink at least ten glasses of alcohol per day, there is a big chance for you to acquire this condition. This also means a bigger risk of acquiring cirrhosis.
While alcoholic hepatitis is common in heavy drinkers, it can also happen to those who only drink minimally. Here are the factors that best explain this fact.
- Being overweight
- Genetic circumstances
- Race and gender
- Binge drinking
Occasional drinkers must still observe the amount of alcohol they consume. The same symptoms can happen if they acquire alcoholic hepatitis.
What are the complications associated with alcoholic hepatitis?
As mentioned, the main complication that can happen is cirrhosis or liver scarring.
Alcoholic hepatitis can also cause varices or enlarged veins. It is a condition where blood cannot flow properly in the veins, causing fluid build-up in thinner blood vessels. Furthermore, kidney failure also occurs, which affects blood flow.
How to prevent this condition?
The first thing to do if you truly care for your health is avoid drinking alcohol. Note that alcohol consumption can be addictive. Do not wait for complications to happen. Abstain from alcoholic consumption while it’s still early. However, you can minimize your consumption if this is already a habit.
Discuss if it is harmless to drink alcohol if you are under medication with your healthcare professional. If this consumption will only reduce the effectiveness of your medication, avoid it as much as possible. By abstaining from alcohol, you are also protecting yourself from hepatitis C.