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Treatments for Alcoholic liver disease

Treatments for Alcoholic liver disease:

Treatment plans for alcoholic liver disease are individualized to best fit the patient's age, medical history, and specific type and stage of alcoholic liver disease. The goal of treatment is to reverse, stop or slow the progression of damage to the liver and minimize and quickly treat any complications, such as portal hypertension, esophageal varices, ascites, liver failure, hemorrhage and kidney failure. In some cases of early alcoholic liver disease, it may be possible to reverse the disease without permanent damage to the liver.

The first step in treatment is prevention. Prevention measures include not drinking alcohol or drinking in moderation. This generally means no more than one alcoholic drink per day for women and two for men.

Treatment of alcoholic liver disease includes addressing excessive alcohol consumption, alcoholism or alcohol dependence. Once a person has alcoholic liver disease, it is best to stop drinking altogether (abstinence). The best chance of accomplishing this requires a multifaceted approach including inpatient alcohol withdrawal, counseling, family therapy, and participation in a recovery program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. In some cases a medication called disulfiram (Antabuse) may be prescribed. Disulfiram discourages the consumption of alcohol by causing unpleasant side effects if a person drinks any alcohol.

Treatment of alcoholic liver disease may also include corticosteroid drugs and a focus on ensuring good nutrition, including B vitamin replacement. However, people with alcoholic liver disease should not take any supplements, over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs without consulting their health care provider. This is because the liver may not be able to clear the drugs from the body and can lead to toxic levels of chemicals or substances in the body.

Advanced alcoholic liver disease requires treatment in the hospital. Complications of alcoholic liver disease are also treated as appropriate. Treatment of the life-threatening complication of liver failure may include liver transplant for some people. This major surgical procedure involves using a healthy donor liver to replace a severely diseased liver.

Treatment List for Alcoholic liver disease

The list of treatments mentioned in various sources for Alcoholic liver disease includes the following list. Always seek professional medical advice about any treatment or change in treatment plans.

  • Zinc - possibly used for treatment of related zinc deficiency
  • In alcoholic liver disease, abstinence may slow or halt progression of liver damage. However, once alcoholic cirrhosis is established, care is aimed at management of complications as they arise, as well as management of chronic poor health related to liver dysfunction. Treatments include:
    • Abstinence from alcohol
    • Nutrition - supplements may be needed to ensure adequate calories, protein and B group vitamins
    • Zinc supplementation - may help improve appetite
    • Vitamin D supplementation - if osteoporosis develops
    • Regular exercise to maintain muscle mass
    • Management of pruritus
    • Management of ascites
      • Low sodium diet
      • Diuretics - furosemide, spironolactone
      • Paracentesis - removal of fluid via a needle in the abdomen
      • Peritovenous shunts
      • Portocaval shunts
    • Management of portal hypertension
    • Liver transplantation

Alcoholic liver disease: Is the Diagnosis Correct?

The first step in getting correct treatment is to get a correct diagnosis. Differential diagnosis list for Alcoholic liver disease may include:

Hidden causes of Alcoholic liver disease may be incorrectly diagnosed:

Alcoholic liver disease: Marketplace Products, Discounts & Offers

Products, offers and promotion categories available for Alcoholic liver disease:

Alcoholic liver disease: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research all specialists including ratings, affiliations, and sanctions.

Latest treatments for Alcoholic liver disease:

The following are some of the latest treatments for Alcoholic liver disease:

  • Aldehyde dehydrogenase inhibitors
  • Curcumin

Hospital statistics for Alcoholic liver disease:

These medical statistics relate to hospitals, hospitalization and Alcoholic liver disease:

  • 0.15% (19,130) of hospital consultant episodes were for alcoholic liver disease in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 61% of hospital consultant episodes for alcoholic liver disease required hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 67% of hospital consultant episodes for alcoholic liver disease were for men in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 33% of hospital consultant episodes for alcoholic liver disease were for women in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 76% of hospital consultant episodes for alcoholic liver disease required emergency hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • more hospital information...»

Hospitals & Medical Clinics: Alcoholic liver disease

Research quality ratings and patient incidents/safety measures for hospitals and medical facilities in specialties related to Alcoholic liver disease:

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Choosing the Best Treatment Hospital: More general information, not necessarily in relation to Alcoholic liver disease, on hospital and medical facility performance and surgical care quality:

Discussion of treatments for Alcoholic liver disease:

Those with cirrhosis often feel better, and the functioning of their liver may improve, if they stop drinking. Although liver transplantation may be needed as a last resort, many people with cirrhosis who abstain from alcohol may never need liver transplantation. In addition, treatment for the complications of cirrhosis is available. (Source: excerpt from Alcohol What You Don't Know Can Harm You: NIAAA)

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