Alcoholic Hepatitis: Causes
Excessive consumption of alcohol causes not only health but also social problems. The mortality rate associated with excessive alcohol consumption is very high, especially among young men. Excessive intake of alcohol not only increases the risk of liver disease, but can also be responsible for malignant tumors, public accidents, violence and the root cause of some other social problems.
What Can be Considered as Alcohol Abuse?
This question cannot be answered categorically, as each person and situation is unique. In adults, and only as a general guideline, there have been set limits for consumption that are internationally considered safe although these tend to be increasingly restrictive as years pass. In healthy men this, the intake limit should ideally not exceed 30 grams of alcohol per day and in healthy women, it should not exceed 20 grams per day. To avoid developing liver disease, daily alcohol consumption of between 30 and 60 gram in men and between 20 and 40 gram in women is enough for a period no shorter than 10 years.
Logically, the risk increases as we increase the grams of alcohol consumed. Fortunately, only 15-40% of people who go for excessive alcohol consumption progress to advanced liver diseases, most only develop a simple hepatic steatosis, popularly known as “fatty liver” which is a reversible situation which requires quitting consumption altogether. The liver condition known as cirrhosis is normally developed by less than 10% of those who drink more than the above stated amount daily.
Some people are of course more prone to develop liver conditions than others, regardless of the amount of alcohol consumed. Some factors that may increase their chances are nutritional aspects (like malnutrition and obesity), hereditary factors (for example genetic polymorphisms of enzymes that destroy ethanol), the presence of the hepatitis virus (HBV or HCV) and certain toxicity drugs metabolized in the system, such as paracetamol.