Advanced Care for Alcohol-Associated Liver Diseases
Alcohol-associated liver disease is caused by the long-term, excessive use of alcohol and can result in a variety of liver conditions, many of which can be life-threatening if not treated.
Call to Schedule an Appointment TodayTo schedule an in-person or virtual consultation with a UH liver specialist, call 216-844-8500, Option #1 or schedule online.
Alcohol-associated liver conditions include:
The amount of alcohol needed to cause liver damage will vary by individual. Unchecked, alcohol-associated liver disease can also lead to kidney failure.
Symptoms of Alcohol-Associated Liver Disease
The symptoms of alcohol-associated liver disease will vary depending on the type and extent of the disease. In some patients, there will not be any symptoms until the liver damage is advanced. Some of the most common warning signs include:
- Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
- Weight loss due to the loss of muscle mass
- Weight gain due to water retention and swelling
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting
- Ascites (fluid buildup in the belly)
- Confusion that can come up suddenly
- Neuropathy (numbness and pain in the hands or feet)
- Black stools or vomiting of blood from gastrointestinal bleeding
Treatments for Alcohol-Associated Liver Disease
Once a diagnosis of alcohol-associated liver disease has been confirmed, it is essential that the patient immediately stop consuming alcohol. This is the first and most important step towards treatment and recovery and structured recovery services may be needed. This is often a pre-requisite to surgery and other procedures to treat alcohol-associated liver disease. UH can help patients find inpatient and outpatient programs to help them quit drinking for good.
In addition to stopping all alcohol use, other treatments may include:
- Medications to treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and reduce or eliminate physical cravings for alcohol
- Nutrition counseling
- Participation in a clinical trial
- Liver transplantation
Medical professionals now have a greater understanding of alcoholism as a disease and liver transplantation may now be a treatment option for patients who might have been deemed ineligible in the past. Our care team, which consists of liver specialists, transplant surgeons, social workers and mental health experts, will work with each patient to ensure each patient is offered the highest level of care and the most effective treatment options.
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