heavy drinking of alcoholic beverages can cause liver cell steatosis
(fatty liver) and liver inflammation (degeneration and necrosis),
and these changes can eventually lead to liver fibrosis and
cirrhosis. In the United States, the number of alcoholic liver
diseases is far greater than that of chronic viral hepatitis. Among
daily drinkers, after five years of continuous drinking,
approximately 10 to 20 per cent will develop an alcoholic liver
disease at various stages.
The number of liver transplantations related to alcoholic liver
diseases is three times higher than that of hepatitis C. Thus, it is
by far the most prevalent liver disease in Western society.
To prevent the
development of alcoholic liver diseases, the most obvious thing to
do is to stop drinking alcoholic beverages. Once the cause
eliminated, most early stages of alcoholic liver diseases can be
recovered as the liver has very strong regenerative capabilities.
For advanced stages of alcoholic liver disease, treatment should
focus on healing liver cells and getting rid of the fat deposits.
This in turn will promote the reversal of liver fibrosis.