What is alcoholic cirrhosis?

Alcoholic cirrhosis symptoms include jaundice, fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, itching, and easy bruising.Cirrhosis can develop in a man who consumes 5 or more alcoholic beverages every day for at least 10 to 15 years; women may develop the disease after 3 or more drinks daily over the same period.

At least 10% to 15% of people who drink alcohol excessively will develop cirrhosis. Of the 26,000 people who die from cirrhosis each year, at least 40% have a history of alcohol abuse.In cirrhosis, the liver cells are replaced by fibrous scar tissue. Fibrosis leads to the development of portal hypertension.

Portal hypertension is abnormally high blood pressure in branches of the portal vein, the large vein that brings blood from the intestine to the liver.

Cirrhosis is a condition in which the liver slowly deteriorates and malfunctions due to chronic injury. Scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue, partially blocking the flow of blood through the liver. Scarring also impairs the liver’s ability to

* control infections

* remove bacteria and toxins from the blood

* process nutrients, hormones, and drugs

* make proteins that regulate blood clotting

* produce bile to help absorb fats—including cholesterol—and fat-soluble vitamins

A healthy liver is able to regenerate most of its own cells when they become damaged. With end-stage Alcholic cirrhosis, the liver can no longer effectively replace damaged cells. A healthy liver is necessary for survival.

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