In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 24,110 fatalities due to alcoholic-related liver disease (ARLD) in the U.S. This unfortunate statistic is the result of excessive alcohol consumption. Despite ARLD being preventable, statistics show about 10 to 20-percent of heavy drinkers will develop cirrhosis, the final stage of liver disease.
Liver disease is a potential consequence of heavy drinking. Since the damage of cirrhosis is irreversible, it’s important to recognize early symptoms to receive proper treatment. Here’s what you need to know about alcohol-related liver disease.
Types of Alcohol-Related Liver Disease
The symptoms of alcohol-related liver disease will ultimately depend on the stage of the disease. The more this disease progresses, the more severe the symptoms are. According to Cleveland Clinic, there are three types of ARLD.
- Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease — Occurs after acute alcohol ingestion and is generally reversible with abstinence to alcohol.
- Alcoholic Hepatitis — An acute form of alcohol-induced liver injury, which occurs when someone drinks excessively over a long period of time.
- Alcoholic Cirrhosis — The most severe form of ARLD where the liver is scarred and can potentially lead to liver failure.