alcohol-related liver disease (arld) refers to liver damage caused by excess alcohol intake. the liver is very resilient and capable of regenerating itself. this can result in serious and permanent damage to your liver. the number of people with the condition has been increasing over the last few decades as a result of increasing levels of alcohol misuse. alcoholic hepatitis, which is unrelated to infectious hepatitis, is a potentially serious condition that can be caused by alcohol misuse over a longer period.
less commonly, alcoholic hepatitis can occur if you drink a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time (binge drinking). cirrhosis is a stage of arld where the liver has become significantly scarred. a person who has alcohol-related cirrhosis and does not stop drinking has a less than 50% chance of living for at least 5 more years. the main treatment is to stop drinking, preferably for the rest of your life. a liver transplant may be required in severe cases where the liver has stopped functioning and does not improve when you stop drinking alcohol. all liver transplant units require a person to not drink alcohol while awaiting the transplant, and for the rest of their life.
non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (nafld) is the term for a range of conditions caused by a build-up of fat in the liver. it’s estimated that up to one in every three people in the uk has early stages of nafld where there are small amounts of fat in their liver. early-stage nafld doesn’t usually cause any harm, but it can lead to serious liver damage, including cirrhosis, if it gets worse. if detected and managed at an early stage, it’s possible to stop nafld getting worse and reduce the amount of fat in your liver. in small number of cases it can progress and eventually lead to liver damage if not detected and managed. there aren’t usually any symptoms of nafld in the early stages. if cirrhosis (the most advanced stage) develops, you can get more severe symptoms such as yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes (jaundice), itchy skin, and swelling in the legs, ankles, feet or tummy. nafld is often diagnosed after a blood test called a liver function test produces an abnormal result and other liver conditions, such as hepatitis, are ruled out.
this is a type of scan where sound waves are used to create an image of the inside of your body. this may involve a special blood test or having another type of ultrasound scan (fibroscan). most people with nafld won’t develop any serious problems, but if you’re diagnosed with the condition it’s a good idea to take steps to stop it getting any worse. you may be advised to have regular appointments with your doctor to check your liver function and look for signs of any new problems. nafld isn’t caused by alcohol, but drinking may make the condition worse. there isn’t currently any medication that can treat nafld, but various medicines can be useful in managing the problems associated with the condition. if you develop severe cirrhosis and your liver stops working properly, you may need to be put on the waiting list for a liver transplant. alternatively, it may be possible to have a transplant using a section of liver removed from a living donor.
types of liver disease ; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, being very overweight (obese) – this may cause fat to build up in the liver ; hepatitis, catching a symptoms of alcohol-related liver disease (arld) feeling sick weight loss alcohol-related liver disease – where the liver is damaged after years of alcohol misuse, this can lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), .
non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (nafld) is the term for a range of conditions caused by a build-up of fat in the liver. cirrhosis is scarring (fibrosis) of the liver caused by long-term liver damage. the scar tissure prevents the liver working properly. there are over 100 types of liver disease, affecting at least 2 million people in the uk, including alcoholic liver disease, cirrhosis and hepatitis., .
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