What is Alcohol Jaundice— Symptoms And Diagnosis


Alcohol hepatitis is liver inflammation caused by alcohol consumption and one of its signs is alcohol jaundice. This health issue commonly affects people who have drunk heavily for many years. There is however a complex relationship between alcoholic hepatitis and drinking. Not everyone who drinks heavily will develop this condition while moderate drinkers may develop alcoholic hepatitis. So you can see that the relationship is a complex one. A person with this condition has to stop consuming alcohol. Individuals who drink alcohol will be at higher risk of death and severe liver damage.

Alcoholic hepatitis can be deadly and as such must not be treated with levity. If you begin to notice any of the symptoms which will be listed shortly then you have to consult a doctor as soon as you can. If you are also finding it difficult to regulate your drinking see medical help there are programs fully suited to help people like you.

Jaundice Alcohol And Other Symptoms of Alcoholic Hepatitis

The typical sign of this hepatitis is skin and eye whites yellowing. Other symptoms include:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Low-grade fever
  • Weakness and fatigue

Malnutrition is also common. Heavy consumption of alcohol usually suppresses appetite and these drinkers obtain almost all their calorie intake from alcohol.

Additional symptoms and signs that may occur during severe alcoholic hepatitis are:

  • Ascites, that is the accumulation of fluid in the abdomen
  • Behavior changes and confusion as a result of toxins buildup which is usually broken and excreted through the liver
  • Liver and kidney

Symptoms and diagnosis of Alcohol jaundice


In order to get an accurate diagnosis, your medical practitioner will carry out a physical test or examination. The question concerning your past and current use of alcohol will be asked and you should be completely honest. Your doctor may also need to question members of your family concerning your drinking with your permission of course.

Some tests that may be conducted are:

  • Blood tests
  • Liver function lab test
  • CT, MRI or an ultrasound of your liver

If the above tests do not help in supplying a certain diagnosis, then a biopsy of the liver will be done.


Alcoholic hepatitis starts developing as alcohol damages or harms your liver. The process of how alcohol is able to harm the liver is not yet clear. The following factors take part or contribute to alcoholic hepatitis:

  • When the body tries to break down alcohol it produces highly toxic chemicals
  • This chemical stimulates an inflammation that eventually destroys the cells of the liver
  • With time the healthy tissues of the liver are replaced with scars which will interfere with the functioning of the liver
  • This irreversible cirrhosis or scarring is the last stages of liver alcoholic disease

Some other contributory factors that result in alcoholic hepatitis are:

  • Other hepatitis types; If you already drink and also have suffered from hepatitis C your chances of getting liver cirrhosis are higher.
  • Malnutrition: Most heavy drinkers are malnourished due to their poor eating habits or alcohol which leaves some byproducts in their body that prevents it from absorbing nutrients properly. Insufficient nutrients partly result in damage to the liver cells.


Certain complications may arise from alcoholic hepatitis which is caused by serious damage to the liver in relation to the scarred tissue. The flow of blood through the liver can be slowed down by scar tissue increasing the portal vein blood vessel pressure and toxin buildup. Complications include:

  • Varices (enlarged veins): When the flow of blood through the portal vein is obstructed the blood may go into the esophagus and stomach blood vessels. However, these blood vessels possess thin walls which would most likely bleed when filled up with excess blood than its normally used to. This heavy bleeding can be life-threatening. Urgent medical attention is needed here.
  • Ascites: Abdominal accumulation if fluids might get infected and need antibiotics treatment. Ascites may not be a threat to life but they usually signal cirrhosis or alcoholic hepatitis.
  • Slurred speech, drowsiness, and confusion: A damaged or unhealthy liver will find it difficult to remove toxins from the body. These toxins can cause brain damage.
  • Kidney failure: An unhealthy liver can disrupt the flow of blood to the kidneys causing organ damage
  • Cirrhosis: Liver scarring may result in liver failure


By following these tips you are reducing the risk of you getting alcoholic hepatitis

  • Drinking moderately if you must: Healthy adults should practice moderate drinking which means one drink daily for females and meld above sixty-five. However, the most certain way to prevent this condition is the total avoidance of alcohol.
  • Hepatitis protection: an infectious disease of the liver known as hepatitis if untreated may cause cirrhosis. You should protect yourself against getting these diseases. If you already have it and still drink alcohol your chances of getting alcoholic hepatitis are higher.
  • Use medications properly: Before taking medications to confirm form your doctor if it is okay to take that drug while drinking alcohol. Read warning labels of OTC medications, some of these drugs warn about possible complications that may arise from taking it alongside alcohol especially some pain relievers like acetaminophen.


To treat alcoholic hepatitis you have to quit drinking and go for therapies that would relieve symptoms and signs of your liver damage. Supportive forms of treatment to quit drinking may include counseling, medications, residential or outpatient treatment program.

If you are malnourished diet will be recommended to you to correct your nutritional insufficiency. A dietitian may help in suggesting ways of increasing your vitamin consumption and your lacking nutrients.

If there is difficulty in eating you may be placed on tube feeding which involves passing a tube either through your throat or sides to the stomach and a special nutritious diet is passed in via the tube.

Jaundice alcohol will come will yellowing of the skin and eyes, it is an outlet of alcoholic hepatitis and thus will require the same treatment and prevention method,

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