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What is Alcohol Hepatitis?

Addiction to alcohol is a struggle that many people face on a daily basis. Alcohol hepatitis is a condition that often arises as a result of alcohol addiction. Identifying risk factors and symptoms can help save someone’s life. With a rapid onset of symptoms that can result in irreversible damage, this condition can lead to devastating results. Ending alcohol use and having proper medical care is crucial to avoiding these negative results. 

Alcohol Hepatitis Overview

The liver is a vital organ within the body. It is located in the upper right abdomen, beneath the rib cage. It is the second largest organ in the body, and its functionality is crucial for the body to perform vital tasks. Alcohol hepatitis is a form of alcohol-related liver disease. This condition occurs when someone consumes more alcohol than the liver is able to process.

The main function of the liver is to process food and drinks, filter out toxins, and metabolize nutrients. When excessive amounts of alcohol are introduced into the liver for processing, it can result in liver swelling and a decline in functionality. If the liver isn’t able to process and filter out toxins introduced by alcohol, it can result in swelling and a backup of these toxins. 

Alcohol Hepatitis and End Stage Alcoholism

End-stage alcoholism is the final, most severe stage of alcoholism. It can result from years of excessive drinking and lead to a myriad of physical and mental health conditions that can be detrimental. Depression, hallucinations, malnutrition, alcohol-related brain issues, as well as heart and liver disease could become prevalent. Alcohol hepatitis during end-stage alcoholism can be dangerous. If continued drinking occurs, the person’s liver could continue to be damaged.

As the liver continues to swell, and the liver cells are being continually damaged by alcohol, it can result in scarring. This swelling and scarring prohibits the liver from properly functioning. Irreversible liver scarring that impairs its function is known as cirrhosis. This is an incurable condition and in order to prevent further damage, one must stop drinking immediately and seek medical help to treat potential symptoms that may arise.

Alcohol Hepatitis Risk Factors

The risk factors of alcohol hepatitis include heavy drinking for long periods of time. As the person’s liver continues to break down the alcohol over time, it begins damaging liver cells. This results in swelling and damage to the organ. Another of the risk factors is having other existing forms of hepatitis. This can make someone more at risk of developing alcohol hepatitis, thus it is not advisable that these individuals drink alcohol.

A person’s gender assignment at birth can also be a factor as women are more susceptible to developing this condition. Other factors such as genetics and obesity can also play a role in a person developing alcohol hepatitis. Those struggling with alcohol should be vigilant when it comes to potential liver damage. If they feel there is a problem, seeking medical help as soon as possible can help prevent devastating results. 

Alcohol Hepatitis Treatment

Struggling with alcohol can be extremely difficult. Alcohol hepatitis can make this struggle even more difficult. Treatment for this condition begins with diagnosis. A doctor will begin by taking a complete medical history and performing a physical examination. From there, questions regarding history of alcohol use can occur. Blood tests can help determine the functionality of the liver, and ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRI scans can show any existing damage to the organ. 

The first step to treating alcohol hepatitis is to stop drinking. Continued alcohol consumption will continue to cause damage to the liver and result in further scarring and build-up of fats and toxins within the organ. When detected early, ending alcohol abuse can reverse liver damage. Anyone who finds themselves at a point where drinking has led to this condition should seek professional help to overcome alcohol addiction.

Detoxification can help to remove the substance from the body. The symptoms of withdrawal associated with alcohol can be extremely uncomfortable and can lead to life-threatening effects. Professional monitoring in a safe and healing environment can make this process more bearable. It can also help to ensure someone’s safety as they are bettering their life.

From there, getting continued help in order to remain abstinent from alcohol consumption is crucial. Necessary life and coping skills make a huge difference in the lives of individuals seeking recovery from addiction to alcohol. Help is available. Seeking help and adhering to a plan for treatment can help to not only increase quality of life but also to reverse this deadly damage to a vital organ. 

Overcoming Alcohol Addiction is Vital

Alcohol abuse and addiction can be extremely dangerous and detrimental to the life and well-being of the individual struggling. Alcohol hepatitis can result in major impacts on health and even premature death. In order to prevent these impacts, one must quit drinking. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction to alcohol, there is help available. At Lexington Addiction Center we provide much-needed care for individuals who are struggling to begin healing and learning to live life alcohol-free.

Contact us now and begin a journey of healing and recovery.