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Alcoholic Liver Disease

Alcoholic hepatitis requires serious medical attention. Over 1/3 of heavy drinkers develop alcoholic hepatitis, leading to death in over a third of cases within 6 months after symptoms appear.

Heavy alcohol consumption can cause liver inflammation. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis of the liver can result from alcoholic hepatitis.

If a patient with alcoholic hepatitis stops drinking, the liver damage may be reversible. However, if cirrhosis has set in, the patient could be at risk for liver failure.

SYMPTOMS OF ALCOHOLIC LIVER DISEASE

  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting, perhaps blood or black material 
  • Ascites—retaining fluid in the abdominal cavity
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Jaundice
  • Fatigue

DIAGNOSING ALCOHOLIC LIVER DISEASE

TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR ALCOHOLIC LIVER DISEASE

The first step to treating alcoholic hepatitis is to stop drinking alcohol, ENTIRELY. Often, people who stop drinking show improvement within only a few months. However, this can be a complex problem and may require an alcoholism therapy program.

There is currently no complete cure for alcoholic hepatitis. Medications may be recommended to reduce the liver inflammation.

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General Information: (314) 747-3000
One Barnes-Jewish Hospital Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63110
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