Nature: Heavy alcohol use can lead to fatty liver and inflammation, usually called alcoholic hepatitis.
Incidence: Alcohol can cause acute and chronic hepatitis. The patient who presents with alcoholic hepatitis is usually a chronic drinker with a recent episode of exceptionally heavy consumption. Alcoholic hepatitis can range from a mild hepatitis, with abnormal laboratory tests being the only indication of disease, to severe liver dysfunction with complications such as jaundice (yellow skin caused by bilirubin retention), hepatic encephalopathy (neurological dysfunction caused by liver failure), ascites (fluid accumulation in the abdomen), bleeding esophageal varices (varicose veins in the oesophagus), abnormal blood clotting and coma. Alcoholic hepatitis can lead to liver scarring and cirrhosis, and very frequently occurs in alcoholics who already have cirrhosis of the liver.
Problem Type: G: Very specific problems
Date of last update 14.06.2005 – 00:00 CEST