Alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) is caused by excessive consumption of alcohol and is both common and preventable. ARLD presents in three different stages depending on the severity of liver inflammation. The three stages of ARLD are alcohol-related fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis.
Also called alcoholic steatosis, is the earliest stage and the most common form of alcohol-related liver disease.
Alcoholic hepatitis is acute inflammation or swelling of the liver accompanied by the destruction of liver cells. This usually occurs after drinking very large amounts of alcohol continuously over a period of days to weeks.
Cirrhosis refers to the replacement of normal liver tissue with scar tissue (fibrosis) due to ongoing inflammation from any cause, including alcohol abuse.
For most people, moderate drinking will not lead to alcohol-related liver disease. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate drinking is one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. Each of these alcoholic beverages, in the following amounts, is considered one drink and contains the same amount of alcohol:
If you have chronic liver disease, even small amounts of alcohol can make your liver disease worse. People with alcohol-related liver disease and those with cirrhosis from any cause should abstain from alcohol completely.
Call Arizona Liver Health at 480-470-4000 to set up an appointment with one of our experienced providers who can help diagnose your liver condition and put you on a path toward improved outcomes.