What is Alcoholic Hepatitis?

Alcoholic Hepatitis is characterized by liver cell damage due to excessive use of alcohol or alcohol addiction.

Hepatitis when become chronic may develop into cirrhosis. Though hepatitis and cirrhosis are the same continuum of liver diseases i.e. they both affect the liver, one major difference is there while hepatitis may or may not be reversible, cirrhosis is always permanent. Cirrhosis basically refers to permanent scarring of liver tissue. While some forms of hepatitis may develop very rapidly cirrhosis develops more gradually.

How Chronic Alcoholism Affects Liver?

If we look at the liver it’s a complex body organ. The liver is very resilient in fighting diseases and has an innate capability to regenerate itself.  It has got diverse functions like:

  • Helps to filter out toxins from the blood.
  • Helps in the digestion of food
  • Helps in the regulation of blood sugar and cholesterol level
  • Helps fight infection and disease.

The liver is the site of alcohol metabolism in our body. But unfortunately, each time liver cells filter out alcohol some liver cells are going to die in the process. Although the liver has the capability to build new cells, drinking too much over many years can reduce the liver’s ability to regenerate. As a result, the liver gets permanently and seriously damaged in the long run.

Is Alcoholic Hepatitis Dangerous?

Yes, alcoholic hepatitis may be fatal if you have had previous liver damage. If alcoholic hepatitis is diagnosed at an early stage, its life-threatening consequences may be prevented.

How is Alcoholic Hepatitis Diagnosed?

Blood tests may also help in diagnosis but the best-established proof is liver biopsy. A liver biopsy is done by taking a tiny specimen of liver tissue with a needle and examining it under a microscope for possible diseases. Different diseases show different patterns under the microscope.

Apart from the above two imaging procedures are also helpful in diagnosing alcoholic hepatitis. Imaging procedures like ultrasound, MRI, and CT scan are also used. Ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure in which sound waves are used to image the liver. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is an imaging procedure in which a magnetic field and radio frequency pulses make out a picture of the current state of your liver. CT scan is again an imaging procedure that uses X-rays for imaging. It takes out horizontal or axial images of the liver (often called the slices) to make a more detailed picture of the liver in comparison to other imaging tests. Hence CT scan provides the most detailed images of body structures.

What Treatment to be given in Alcoholic Hepatitis?

There is particular medicine available for treating alcoholic hepatitis. The best treatment is to stop drinking forever. The treatment may be done through a combination of medications, good nutrition, dietary changes, rest, and lifestyle changes. Taking a healthy and balanced diet is most important to help the liver recover back. Lifestyle changes and more involvement in physical activity may also help. Treatment for alcoholic hepatitis is available at Tulasi Healthcare Center located at Sector 64, Gurgaon. We provide holistic treatment for alcoholic hepatitis through a combination of medications and healthy lifestyle maintenance. We have a panel of psychiatrists, psychologists, doctors, and gastroenterologists (on call) who help provide holistic care to the patient for his rapid recovery. For more details, you may call us at +91-8800000255 or mail us at [email protected]

As far as medication for alcoholic hepatitis is concerned a combination of anti-inflammatory, cholesterol control and steroids should be prescribed.

Anti-inflammatory or NSAIDS: Anti-inflammatory help in counteracting inflammation in the liver and other parts of the body.  The inflammation in the parenchymal and non-parenchymal cells of the liver gets exaggerated on exposure to ethanol.  It is accompanied by hepatomegaly and infiltration of several different subtypes of leukocytes including neutrophils, monocytes/macrophages, and both T and B lymphocytes. So anti-inflammatory also helps in managing hepatomegaly (enlarging of the liver in size).

Cholesterol-controlling drugs: Cholesterol-controlling drug includes statins. They control cholesterol by blocking the HMG CoA reductase enzyme that the liver uses to make cholesterol.

Corticosteroids: though corticosteroids have serious side effects, they have shown short-term benefits in increasing the survival of people with severe alcoholic hepatitis. They help stimulate or modify the hormone effect, thus reducing inflammation and helping in tissue growth and repair.

What maybe the complications of alcoholic hepatitis?

Though alcoholic hepatitis is not itself so serious a disease it gives you a probability of a more dangerous and life-threatening disease like cirrhosis, gall stones, and liver cancer. If the liver doesn’t function properly it may lead to a build-up of toxins in the body, which can damage the brain and lead to coma and death.

Importance of Rehabilitation in Alcoholic Hepatitis

In the treatment and management of alcoholic hepatitis rehabilitation centers play a crucial role.
Rehabilitation centres provide a comprehensive and structured treatment plan to address alcohol addiction treatment, manage liver damage, and promote long-term recovery.
They offer medical supervision, individualized treatment plans, psychological support, and educational resources to empower individuals in their journey toward sobriety and liver health.
Since at Tulasi Healthcare deaddiction centre, we apply a holistic approach towards treatment, we care about the overall well-being of the patient. All the perspectives of health are taken care of including the mental, physical, social, and spiritual health of the patient. For this purpose, we have a dedicated team of Doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and gastroenterologists (on call).