Alcoholic liver disease: Treatment

Treatment

The most important part of treatment is to stop using alcohol completely. If liver cirrhosis has not yet occurred, the liver can heal if you stop drinking alcohol.

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An alcohol rehabilitation program or counseling may be necessary to break the alcohol addiction. Vitamins, especially B-complex and folic acid, can help reverse malnutrition.

If cirrhosis develops, you will need to manage the complications of cirrhosis. You may need a liver transplant.

Support Groups

You can often ease the stress of illness by joining a support group whose members share common experiences and problems.

See:

* Alcoholism – support group
* Liver disease – support group

Prognosis (Expectations)

Continued excessive drinking can shorten your lifespan. The outcome will likely be poor if you keep drinking.

Complications

* Bleeding esophageal varices
* Cirrhosis
* Hepatic encephalopathy
* Increased pressure in blood vessels of the liver (portal hypertension)

Calling Your Health Care Provider

Call your health care provider if:

* You develop symptoms of alcoholic liver disease
* You develop symptoms after prolonged or heavy drinking
* You are concerned that drinking may be damaging you

Alcoholic liver disease: Overview, Causes

Alcoholic liver disease: Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests

Alcoholic liver disease: Treatment


Review Date : 9/1/2008
Reviewed By : Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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