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

Liver Health

Learn more about the diagnosis of alcohol-related liver disease


Emily Condon
BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences

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

Find out all about alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) here

If you present any symptoms of liver disease, a doctor will start by looking at your alcohol intake and drinking habits. A physical examination is good to see if the liver or spleen is enlarged and a blood test is a very useful way to check for markers which indicate liver health.

The liver enzymes gamma GT (GGT), alanine transferase (ALT) and aspartate transferase (AST) can be elevated if the liver is damaged or if the biliary system is obstructed. A liver biopsy may also be required to confirm a diagnosis of alcoholic hepatitis, but your doctor will decide if this is necessary.

Successful treatment for ARLD relies on the individual abstaining from alcohol to prevent any further damage. With early-stage liver disease, the damage may be reversed by not drinking alcohol and allowing your liver the time to recover. If the damage is too great to be reversed, then a liver transplant may be required.


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