Identifying alcoholic liver disease depends on two main things:
- Evidence of excessive alcohol consumption
- Evidence of liver disease
Your doctor will want to know about your history of alcohol consumption. It is important to be honest in describing your drinking habits. Your doctor may ask to interview family members about your drinking. Many people will have signs of chronic alcoholism, such as skin lesions known as spider nevi.
Your doctor will likely order the following tests to look for liver disease:
Nov. 03, 2012
- Liver function tests (including international normalized ratio, total bilirubin, and albumin)
- Complete blood cell count
- An ultrasound, CT or MRI scan of the liver
- Blood tests to exclude other causes of liver disease
- Alcohol-induced liver disease. American Liver Foundation. http://www.liverfoundation.org/abouttheliver/info/alcohol/. Accessed Sept. 25, 2012.
- AskMayoExpert. Alcoholic liver disease. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191371208-2/0/1492/0.html#. Accessed Sept. 25, 2012.
- Choi G, et al. Alcoholic hepatitis: A clinician's guide. Clinical Liver Disease. 2012;16:371.
- Singal AK, et al. Alcoholic hepatitis: Prognostic models and treatment. Gastroenterology Clinics of North America. 2011;40:611.
- O'Shea RS, et al. Alcoholic liver disease. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2010;105:14.
- Cirrhosis. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/cirrhosis/index.htm. Accessed Sept. 26, 2012.
- Singal AK, et al. Outcomes after liver transplantation for alcoholic hepatitis are similar to alcoholic cirrhosis: Exploratory analysis from the UNOS database. Hepatology. 2012;55:1398.
- Milk thistle. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Sept. 27, 2012.
- SAMe. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Sept. 27, 2012.