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Liver disease, alcoholic

Damage or injury to the liver resulting from extreme alcohol consumption. Alcohol linked liver disease heightens the risk of developing liver cancer.

The longer that excessive alcohol intake goes on, the more serious the damage. The primary effect is the formation of fat globules inside liver cells, a condition known as fatty liver, which is then followed by alcoholic hepatitis (liver inflammation). Damage progresses to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver tissue), resulting in extreme structural damage to the liver that ultimately leads to a loss of liver function.

Liver-function tests shows a characteristic pattern of abnormalities, and a liver biopsy (tissue sampling) can be necessary to assess the severity of the impairment. There is no specific treatment, but abstinence from alcohol stops further harm to the liver. Treatment for the alcohol dependence can be necessary for certain cases.

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