Alcohol causes three types of disorders in the liver. They include fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis. Although these disorders generally appear in a specific sequence, it is not always the case. Regular, excessive alcohol use is more likely to cause damage to the liver than occasional bouts of heavy drinking. The longer the time that excessive alcohol use continues, the greater the likelihood that the individual will develop alcohol related liver disease and liver cancer.
Causes of Alcoholic Liver Disease
The toxic effect of alcohol on the liver is the cause of alcohol related liver diseases.
Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholic Liver Disease
Most commonly, fatty liver does not cause any specific symptoms. When symptoms do develop from fatty liver it is most commonly right upper abdominal pain caused by the enlargement of the liver. Alcoholic hepatitis is common in people who have consumed excessive alcohol for over 10 years. Nausea and vomiting occur. Weight loss, fever, and pain in the right upper abdomen are common symptoms. Jaundice - yellowing of the skin and eyes - is often seen as well as abdominal swelling. When people develop cirrhosis, which is usually the end stage of this disorder, symptoms may be minimal for long periods of time. They eventually develop decreased appetite and start to lose weight. They may vomit blood, due to the development of esophageal varices and may have blood in the stool. Finally, as the liver cannot remove all of the toxins in the body, confusion and coma may develop.
Find more information
Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
The information contained on this site is for the sole purpose of
being informative. This information is not and should not be used or relied upon as medical
advice. Always seek the advice of your physician, nurse
Or other qualified health care provider before you undergo any treatment or
for answers to any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
If you believe you have a medical emergency, please discontinue use
of MyElectronicMD and call 911 now.
Nothing contained on or provided through the service is intended to be or is
to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.
Your use of this site is subject to certain terms and conditions.