What is Alcoholic Hepatitis?

Alcoholic hepatitis

is related to the inflammation of the liver caused by the consumption of alcohol. Not necessarily it is the heavy drinkers who have to suffer from hepatitis condition of the liver. Moderate drinkers who have been drinking for over a period of time are also known to suffer. This condition is known to be the initial stage of alcoholic liver disease.

Causes of Alcoholic Hepatitis:

As the name suggests, consumption of alcohol for over a period of time, damages the liver. Alcohol containing products like beer, whiskey et. contain ethanol which when broken down gives rise to some toxic chemicals that can damage the liver cells.

But interestingly, not all heavy/moderate drinkers suffer from this liver inflammation. The reason for this can be attributed to a few factors like genetics, malnutrition and various other forms of hepatitis. Each of these factors play can play a role in causing hepatitis of the liver which could eventually end up as cirrhosis.

Also, women are more vulnerable to this problem than men.


The following are the symptoms of liver inflammation or the initial stage of alcoholic liver disease-

  • jaundice related symptoms (turning of the skin and eye whites to yellow)
  • nausea and vomiting
  • abdominal cramps
  • fever
  • loss of appetite
  • mental confusion
  • fatigue

In a mild form of the disease, it is only the enzyme levels in the liver that are elevated; in severe cases, the liver can fail. Almost half the people who suffer from a severe form of liver inflammation, are known to die within 30 days after the onset of the disease.


The following are some of the complications that a person suffering an inflamed liver can develop-

  • accumulation of fluids in the abdomen
  • severe jaundice
  • increase in blood pressure due to improper circulation of the blood into the liver
  • enlarged veins due to the increase of blood pressure
  • vulnerable to bruises and injuries as blood clotting ability reduces
  • formation of scar tissue on the liver

People diagnosed of

alcoholic hepatitis

must give up their alcohol consumption completely and immediately in order to avoid a liver failure. Certain medications can be recommended by a doctor to alleviate liver inflammation. Liver transplantation could be essential in case of a liver failure.

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