What Is Alcoholic Liver Cirrhosis?
The liver is one of the largest organs with an essential role in your body. It produces bile to help the body absorb fat, cleans the blood of toxins, and breaks down proteins. When a person does binge drinking over decades, the body replaces the healthy liver tissue with scar tissue. Doctors call it alcoholic liver cirrhosis.
If the disease progresses to advanced stages, and more of your liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue, your liver will lose its optimal functioning.
According to the ALF (American Liver Foundation), approximately 10% to 20% of binge drinkers will develop cirrhosis at some point in their life.
Alcoholic liver cirrhosis is a type of complication and the most advanced form of liver cirrhosis associated with excessive alcohol intake.
It may start with fatty liver disease, gradually progress to alcoholic hepatitis, and later on to alcoholic cirrhosis. It is possible, however, that a person can directly develop liver cirrhosis without having alcoholic hepatitis.
Symptoms of alcoholic liver cirrhosis
Symptoms of liver cirrhosis secondary to alcoholism develop typically when a person is somewhere between 30 and 40 years of age.
In the early stages of the disease, the body should be able to balance the reduced capacity of the liver. Symptoms will get more noticeable as the disease progresses.
Symptoms of alcoholic liver cirrhosis are almost similar to those of other liver disorders associated with alcohol. Symptoms may include:
- Jaundice – paleness of the skin and whites of the eyes
- Portal hypertension – increase in blood pressure in the vein that runs through the liver
- Pruritus – itching of the skin
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