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what is alcoholic steatohepatitis

Alcoholic steatohepatitis is one of two types of fatty liver diseases (FLD); resulting in the inflammation of the liver. The word “steatohepatitis” derives from a combination of two words:

“steato” – fat

“hepatitis” – inflammation of the liver

As the name indicates, alcoholic steatohepatitis includes the inflammation of the liver with the additional factor of alcohol being the root cause. The term alcoholic steatohepatitis is also commonly referred to as Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) or alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD).

Who is at risk of alcoholic steatohepatitis?

The risk of alcoholic steatohepatitis is heightened among both men and women who consume large amounts of alcohol regularly. Occasionally though, ARLD can develop in those who consume alcohol less frequently as well as in potentially one-off binge drinking sessions. Evaluating the risks between certain populations concludes that the disease is more commonly located within Western societies.

When viewing this information among demographics, results showed that women were more susceptible to contracting the disease than men. Evidence to support this statement is based upon women who on average tend to have lower metabolism rates in comparison to men. The physical form and build of men’s genes lead to more muscle being present in men as well as men producing significantly more testosterone. Needless to say, other factors still contribute including body size, age, and genes.

Symptoms of Alcoholic Steatohepatitis

Symptoms for alcohol related diseases are not usually present until serious damage has been caused to the liver. However the most common symptom is jaundice.

Jaundice

Jaundice, also known as icterus, refers to yellowish coloured pigment of the skin and sclerae (white outer part of the eyes) occurs. The condition stems from the body producing high levels of bilirubin – a yellow coloured substance found in blood.

In relation to alcohol misuse, jaundice is caused by liver dysfunction.

Other Symptoms

Other symptoms of alcoholic steatohepatitis to look out for include:

  • Abdominal (tummy) pains
  • Weakness and/or fatigue
  • Vomiting and/or nausea
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Appetite loss

Is Alcoholic Steatohepatitis Reversible?

Assessing whether alcoholic steatohepatitis is reversible or not depends upon the severity of damage caused to the liver. In most cases, alcoholic steatohepatitis is curable from a few weeks of abstinence.

The liver is one of the most important organs in the human body that caters for a multitude of functions including digesting food, regulating cholesterol levels and blood sugar whilst also helping to fight infection and diseases. If damage to the liver occurs, the liver can repair and regenerate itself back to its original state unless substantial damage has occurred in such extreme circumstances such as cirrhosis.

Professional Medical Assistance

Tackling any alcohol related condition should always begin by consulting a medical professional. In extreme cases of alcoholism, abstinence may not always be the most appropriate course of action. An immediate detox from alcohol in such dire circumstances can cause further health complications. Regardless of the alcohol case, if you require assistance in being sober, speak to our professional experts today by calling us directly or filling out our patient forms.

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