4. What is alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD)?

Liver Health

Learn everything there is to know about alcohol-related liver disease

09/01/2018


Emily Condon
BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences

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What is alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD)?

The liver is the largest internal organ, having over 500 different roles in the body.  

Out of all the functions that the liver performs, removing toxins from the blood is one of the liver’s most crucial roles. When exposed to harmful substances such as drugs and alcohol, toxins enter the body. The digestion of food also produces toxins such as ammonia which is released when proteins are broken down in the body. The liver uses specialised enzymes and oxygen to break down these toxins and then combines with either sulphur or amino acids to be able to remove them from the blood through bile or urine.

Alcohol-related liver disease occurs due to many years of excessive alcohol drinking. Prolonged alcohol exposure causes scar tissue to form in the liver which affects the proper and healthy functioning of the liver. ARLD is part of a progression - often starting with fatty liver disease, advancing to alcoholic hepatitis. If drinking continues alcoholic cirrhosis may occur causing scar tissue to form in the liver.

Learn more about liver disease:

What is the liver?

What can go wrong with the liver?

What are the symptoms of liver disease?

What are the symptoms of alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD)?

How is alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) diagnosed?

What is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)?

Am I at risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)?

What are the symptoms of non-alcoholic related liver disease (NAFLD)?

How is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) diagnosed?


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