One of the largest threats to the health of heavy drinkers is damage to the liver. Alcoholic liver disease is inflammation that has progressed to fibrosis and scarring of the liver from excessive alcohol drinking, says Dr. Fariba Javadi, assistant professor of gastroenterology at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield. Excessive amounts of alcohol can cause liver problems. Alcoholic liver disease doesn’t usually have symptoms, but fat in the liver cells causes inflammation or a hepatitis, which can be diagnosed by blood tests.
With continued excessive alcohol consumption the disease progresses to cirrhosis of the liver, which causes symptoms in patients. Dr. Javadi says the only treatment for alcoholic liver disease is to quit drinking.
If someone one you know consumes an excessive amount alcohol on a regular basis, they should see their primary care physician and be checked for liver disease.
(Posted 04:53 pm 03/12/13 by Ted Maguire)