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Alcoholic hepatitis prognosis

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Anatomy of the liver(84955)
Alcoholic hepatitis is liver inflammation that is caused by drinking too much alcohol. If the condition is mild, it may not cause a lot of issues, but as it progresses and gets more serious, the liver becomes more damaged and more symptoms will appear:

Symptoms of alcoholic hepatitis
These may include:
  • Appetite loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain and tenderness
  • Jaundice
  • Fever
  • Swelling of the stomach caused by fluid accumulation
  • Mental confusion
  • Extreme tiredness

Prognosis of Alcoholic Hepatitis

Alcoholic hepatitis symptoms

If someone is diagnosed with alcoholic hepatitis, their long-term prognosis is not very good, especially if it is left untreated. However, if the person stops drinking alcohol they have a much better prognosis of alcoholic hepatitis. If not, and they keep drinking lots of alcohol, then it’s possible they will get cirrhosis and future total liver failure.

If that occurs, the possible death rate for people with alcoholic hepatitis is as much as 50 percent within the next seven years after diagnosis. Other issues can also come into play with untreated alcoholic hepatitis such as kidney failure, and encephaylopathy, as well as death caused by a fat thrombosis in the lung, acute pancreatitis or extremely low blood sugar. For this reason it is vital for the patient to stop drinking alcohol if they want a better prognosis for alcoholic hepatitis.

Other thing that these patients must do is insure that they are getting good nutrition; as well as taking supplemental vitamins and minerals, especially folate,  thiamine, and vitamin K.

Severe alcoholic hepatitis prognosis

Alcoholic hepatitis treatment

If a person has severe acute alcoholic hepatitis the prognosis for alcoholic hepatitis gives them a 50 percent chance of dying within a month of diagnosis. This is especially the case if they are diagnosed also with hepatic encephalopathy or a combination of hyperbilirubinemia and coagulopathy. These victims have also been found to have problems such as gastric bleeding. Patients with these problems need to be hospitalized and kept in intensive care until they can be stabilized.

How is alcoholic hepatitis treated?

Treatment for alcoholic hepatitis

The main treatment is for the person to stop drinking so their liver can heal. In case the liver is already badly damaged, there are therapies that the doctors can try. Glucocorticosteroids are often prescribed to help the liver to heal, but there is controversy on whether or not they are truly helpful in this treatment. The main thing the doctors will try to do in order to improve the prognosis of alcoholic hepatitis is to try to prevent the liver from contracting cirrhosis and help the liver to work better. Above all, the person can never drink alcohol again.

Experiments are being conducted in using gene therapy to treat this disease and according to studies; it is a promising way to get a better prognosis of alcoholic hepatitis.

The main thing for people with alcoholic hepatitis to know is that alcohol is the reason for their condition and if they want a good prognosis of alcoholic hepatitis then they must stop drinking and follow their doctor’s advice for helping their live to heal.


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