What is Alcoholic Liver Disease?
Alcoholic liver disease encompasses diseases caused by alcohol intake to the liver. This includes fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis or chronic hepatitis and liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. Alcohol is passed through the liver for detoxification.
Medically males consuming more than 100 ml per day for 20 years and women consuming more than 75 ml per day increase their chances of ALD by 40%.
Nearly 20-30% of a long term or excessive drinkers develop alcoholic hepatitis or fibrosis and cirrhosis concomitantly or in succession.
This condition is lower in developed countries but relatively much higher in developing and poor countries. People drinking alcohol out of mealtime increase their chances by three times for ALD.
Home remedies for alcoholic liver disease are beneficial in checking the progression of damage and can repair damaged cells and tissues.
Excessive or regular alcohol consumption causes the release of pro-inflammatory compounds in the liver. The inflammation of liver causes toxicity and fatty liver condition which is the beginning of the problem.
If alcohol consumption is stopped completely even at this stage the condition is entirely reversible and the liver regains lost status.
Regular intake of alcohol even after inflammation or alcoholic hepatitis causes damage to hepatocytes or cells of the liver and leads to the formation of scarred tissues.
The formation of scarred tissues is fibrosis, this is marked by the formation of hard tissues that are non-functional.
Alcoholic hepatitis is predisposed to liver cirrhosis. Alcoholic hepatitis even if it damages 75% of hepatocytes or cells do not pose a threat to life.
With proper diet and lifestyle, a person can live his or her full life but with strict limitations. Home treatment for ALD is also helpful in preventing damage from progressing but in presence of complete prohibition of alcohol.
Cirrhosis is the last stage of ALD which with complete alcohol abstinence can be checked at best with proper treatment. But in the presence of alcohol consumption leads to liver failure and poses a serious threat to life.
Liver failure allows chemicals, toxins, and impurities to float in the body through the blood and cause a host of disorders and damages.
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Causes and Symptoms of Alcoholic Liver Disease
Alcohol intake is the cause of alcoholic liver disease. Not all alcohol consumers are disposed to become a victim of ALD and reach up to life-threatening conditions like cirrhosis but a large percentage of men and women do suffer from ALD.
There are a few risk factors that can increase the chances of ALD in people.
Quantity of alcohol consumption is one of the major risk factors which increase the chances of ALD. Men consuming more than 100 ml and women more than 75 ml per day are at high risk of developing
ALD after 20 years of consumption. The chances multiply after every 30 ml of intake more than this quantity.
The irregular pattern of drinking increases the chances of ALD by many times in men and women. People drinking out of mealtimes or late at night increase their chances of liver damage.
Women are twice more susceptible to suffer from ALD than men. Women can suffer from ALD even after consuming less quantity of alcohol for a shorter duration.
Genetic factors also play a role in increasing the chances of ALD in individuals. Many men and women are predisposed to suffer from ALD due to certain patterns in their genes which reduce the supply of enzymes required by the liver to regenerate its damaged cells and tissues.
Hepatitis infection not only increases the chances of ALD but also speeds-up its development. Previous or current hepatitis infection maximizes the risk of ALD.
A poor diet lacking in vitamin A and E or containing a high amount of fat is also responsible for increasing chances of ALD. Low diet intake is also common amongst alcoholics which increases the chances of ALD.
Iron overload through iron-rich foods or supplementation stresses liver out and speeds-up damages caused by alcohol. Toxin exposure via food and water or medicines is also responsible for causing ALD in men and women.
Early symptoms of ALD are fatigue, weight loss, loss of energy, poor appetite, belly pain, nausea and formation of a small spider-like web of blood vessels.
As the disease progresses advanced symptoms are – the yellow color of the skin, eyes and dark urine. Fluid build-up in the legs and abdomen, clay-colored stools, abnormal bleeding from mild cuts, confusion, inability to think straight and redness in the palms of hands are also advanced symptoms of ALD.
Men may also experience reducing testicles and swelling breasts, and signs of impotence.
Home Remedies for Alcoholic Liver Disease
There are effective and easy to use home remedies for alcoholic liver disease. These are safe and check the progression of the disease, these also reduce load over the liver, and help the liver in regenerating cells and tissues faster.
Cumin and Carom Seeds
Take one teaspoon each of cumin and carom seeds. Dry roast these over a pan and allow these to cool down. Grind to form a powder and add half teaspoon of rock salt to it.
Mix all the ingredients and consume with water. Consume this mixture twice in a day preferably once half an hour before breakfast and later in the evening before dinner.
This is one of the trusted home remedies for alcoholic liver disease.
Licorice is reckoned as an herb that is highly beneficial for liver and swollen cells. It helps in the removal of inflammation and also clear toxin build-up.
Take one tablespoon of licorice powder and add 2-3 teaspoons of honey to it. Mix them well and consume, repeat regularly till symptoms subside.
Honey is also a powerful anti-toxin and anti-inflammatory. In combination with licorice, it works as one of the very effective home remedies for alcoholic liver disease.
Take 1-2 cloves of garlic and chew them as first thing in the morning. Swallow these down with a cup of lukewarm water and avoid eating or drinking anything for an hour.
Garlic is powerful anti-inflammatory, cleanses the blood and makes it free from toxins and reduces load over the liver. Regular intake of garlic in raw form is one of the simple but reliable home remedies for alcoholic liver disease.
Crushed papaya seeds are wonderfully beneficial home remedies for alcoholic liver disease. Take a tablespoon or more of fresh papaya seeds and crush them in a bowl, collect the pulp and juice and sieve or press in a muslin cloth to extract juice out.
Add two teaspoons of lemon juice to about a teaspoon of papaya seeds juice and consume. Repeat this remedy twice in a day regularly on an empty stomach.
Papaya seeds have many beneficial properties and nutrients which help in improving the liver condition.
Vegetable juice is also effective and nutritive remedy which helps in reversing liver damage and also nutritional supply to improve energy levels.
Take 3-4 carrots and chop them finely, blend these to get their juice out. Take a sufficient amount of spinach leaves and extract their juice as well.
Mix these juices and consume at least 1-2 glasses a day. You can blend carrots and spinach leaves together as well. Make sure that you clean carrots and spinach leaves thoroughly.
These veggies are infamous for impurities, salt and soli attached, wash these 2-3 times before blending. Repeat regularly till symptoms are gone.
Drinking a glass of buttermilk every day after adding a teaspoon of roasted cumin seed powder maintains appetite, digestion and also eliminates chemicals and toxins from the liver.
Take two teaspoons of lemon juice and one teaspoon of salt, add these to a glass of plain water and mix. Consume this three times a day regularly to get a dose of antioxidants which help in reversing liver damage.
Diet for the alcoholic liver disease includes healthy foods and eliminates foods that may be counted as healthy but are bad for the liver.
Avoid all types of processed and refined foods completely, and also avoid white bread, cakes, colas, sugar, and refined flour.
These are sources of bad carbs. Unprocessed or least processed whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans shall be included in the diet as per one’s appetite to get enough dosage of carbs.
Avoiding bad fats that are saturated and trans-fat is also necessary for diet for alcoholic liver disease. High-fat meats are sources of bad fat so avoid meat, lamb, chicken with skin, whole dairy products, butter, full-fat cheese, and ice creams, etc.
Also cut out sources of trans-fat like cakes, pastries, cookies, muffins, crackers, and deep fried food items.
Use cold-pressed olive, canola, sunflower, peanut, sesame oils and consume peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, fish, soy products, flaxseeds, hazelnuts etc. more in quantity to get protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Use healthy spices in a diet for alcoholic liver disease, avoid too much salt and sugar use them in little quantity. Use spices like garlic, ginger, turmeric, etc. and use apple cider vinegar, lemon, olive oil and honey for seasoning and dressing dishes to improve their taste.
Alcoholic Liver Disease Treatment and Prevention
There is no treatment for the alcoholic liver disease through medicines. In fact there is no medicine that can treat, revive or repair liver or its tissues.
All the treatments for ALD or even for milder infections or jaundice etc. focus on reducing load over liver and allowing it to repair and regenerate itself.
Even in the case of ALD people are given medicines that suppress toxins and other hazardous compounds in the blood and digestive system to improve the condition of the liver.
For any person, quitting the habit of drinking completely is the first step even before treatment for alcoholic liver disease begins. Changes in diet and strict dietary regimen and lifestyle are other steps in this direction.
If alcoholic liver disease progresses and causes liver failure, transplant of liver is only option available. Liver transplant is not at all easy and does not come with 100% guaranteed results.
A perfect match is required and post-surgery responses of the body are two major hurdles that reduce the success rate of this major surgical measure.
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