Alcohol induced hepatitis, also known as acute alcoholic hepatitis is a form of alcoholic liver disease (ALD).
Alcohol induced hepatitis is a major cause of liver cirrhosis in first world countries.
What is Liver Cirrhosis?
Liver cirrhosis is a condition where the liver becomes scarred and the scar tissue replaces healthy tissue.
It then blocks the flow of blood to the liver which impairs the liver’s ability to remove bacteria and toxins from the blood, protect from infection, help with blood clotting, produce bile and absorb nutrients.
If the person is taking any medicines it can also mean that he has an impaired ability to absorb those medicines.
The condition can result in death because you need a fully functioning liver in order to survive.
There are around 27,000 cirrhosis deaths a year in the United States and of these, around 44 percent are caused by alcohol induced hepatitis.
You don’t have to be alcoholic to get it. If you have drunk a heavy or moderate amount of alcohol regularly over a number of years, this may be enough to cause damage to your liver.
For women, the amount of alcohol needed to damage the liver could be as little as two glasses of wine or beer a night over a prolonged period of time.
This is because women have smaller organs and so the amount of alcohol they can safely consume is less, compared with men.
Men can damage their liver if they drink three or four alcoholic drinks a day.
Is there a Safe Level of Alcohol?
Medical professionals aren’t sure if there is a safe level of alcohol, but they suggest that men should drink no more than 21 units per week and women should drink no more than 14 units per week.
You should also try to stick to drinks that have a lower alcohol content such as beer or wine, instead of spirits and you should never drink alcohol on an empty stomach.
Aside from increasing your chances of getting drunk and having a hangover, it also increases your chances of getting liver cirrhosis.
Symptoms of Liver Cirrhosis
• Weight loss
• Enlarged parotid glands