Alcoholic Hepatitis

Alcoholic Hepatitis

Alcoholic Hepatitis Treatment in Littleton, CO

Our Gastroenterologists Can Manage Your Alcoholic Hepatitis

An inflamed liver can lead to a host of unpleasant symptoms that should be treated promptly. Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology Associates operates 15 offices, six state-of-the-art Endoscopy Centers, and a specialized pathology laboratory in Colorado to provide such assistance. We have built a stellar reputation for providing premier medical care to patients in Denver, Aurora, Littleton, and beyond. Our physician-owned practice always puts the patient first and ensures high-quality care regardless of the extent of their disease. We use leading technology and equipment to guarantee comfort. Call any of our convenient locations today to learn more about alcoholic hepatitis, its causes, and our treatment options.

What Is Alcoholic Hepatitis?

Alcoholic hepatitis is liver inflammation caused by alcohol consumption. It typically affects individuals who have been drinking heavily for many years, but that is not always the case. In fact, some heavy drinkers may not ever experience alcoholic hepatitis, while moderate drinkers might. The condition is exacerbated by binge drinking and ongoing alcohol use. If you have alcoholic hepatitis and continue drinking alcohol, you risk severe liver damage or even death.

When You Should See A Doctor

Symptoms of alcoholic hepatitis vary greatly depending on the individual and the amount of liver damage already present. In mild cases, patients may not experience any symptoms. But as damage increases, you may begin to notice:

  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Changes in appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Fluid accumulation in your abdomen
  • Jaundice
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Loss of appetite

Common Causes of Alcoholic Hepatitis

The root cause of alcoholic hepatitis is extended periods of drinking. However, it is unclear why it affects some individuals more than others. Alcoholic hepatitis occurs when the body’s process for breaking down alcohol produces highly-toxic chemicals that inflame and destroy liver cells. Scars ultimately replace healthy liver tissue and hinder the organ’s function. Risk factors that may contribute to alcoholic hepatitis among heavy or moderate drinkers include:

  • Heredity
  • Malnutrition
  • Obesity
  • Other types of hepatitis

Furthermore, women seem to be at a higher risk of developing the condition because of differences in how they process alcohol.

We Can Accurately Diagnose Your Condition

Our team is adept at quickly and accurately diagnosing alcoholic hepatitis. We will begin by reviewing your medical history and lifestyle habits. Next, we will complete a thorough physical examination that checks for spleen or liver enlargement. A liver biopsy is the most accurate way to test for alcoholic hepatitis. Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology Associates can perform this procedure at our locations throughout the Rocky Mountain region. A doctor will insert a tiny needle into your liver and remove a small piece of tissue for viewing under a microscope. But that is not the only way to determine whether you have the condition. Other tests include:

  • Abdominal CT scan
  • Blood clotting tests
  • Complete blood count (CBC) test
  • Liver function test
  • Ultrasound of the liver

Our Comprehensive Treatment Options

Alcohol both causes and aggravates alcoholic hepatitis. If you receive a diagnosis, you should discontinue drinking immediately. If you are still in the early stages of the disease, you may be able to reverse its effects. After significant damage occurs, the changes in your liver will become permanent. Even if you cannot reverse the effects of alcoholic hepatitis, you should stop drinking to limit its progression. Support groups and counseling services are available to help facilitate this lifestyle change. Other treatments include medications and nutritional supplements. We can prescribe a regimen that will reduce liver inflammation while also improving function. Unfortunately, severe alcoholic hepatitis may necessitate a liver transplant for survival. We will thoroughly explain your options and develop the ideal treatment plan for you.

Contact Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology Associates Today

Your liver filters all of your blood and breaks down poisonous substances like alcohol. But years of alcohol consumption can severely hinder your liver’s ability to do its job. For some drinkers, this results in alcoholic hepatitis, a condition that requires immediate action to treat or minimize. The board-certified physicians at Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology Associates offer premier care for patients in Aurora, Brighton, Centennial, and Denver, CO, as well as other convenient locations throughout the region. Request an appointment at any of our state-of-the-art facilities today.

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