To make an appointment with a UPMC liver disease expert, call 412-647-1170 or fill out our contact form.
ALD is liver damage that occurs due to drinking excessive amounts of alcohol over a long period of time.
This liver damage worsens as you drink more.
Early in the disease, you may not notice any symptoms. As it progresses, your liver may start to scar (cirrhosis).
In advanced stages, this scarring can lead to reduced liver function and you may even need a liver transplant.
Early diagnosis is vital.
You have hope at the UPMC Alcohol-Related Liver Disease Clinic. Our experts provide focused care for people with ALD, starting with treatment of the root cause of the illness.
There are 3 stages of ALD:
The direct cause of alcoholic liver disease is consuming large amounts of alcohol. But there are many hard to control factors that may lead a person to drink heavily.
Research shows that these factors all affect alcohol consumption:
It's vital to seek care for any of the above factors to help you stop drinking. This, in turn, will slow the progression of your liver disease.
You're at increased risk for ALD if you:
Left untreated, ALD can cause complications like:
You're also at an increased risk of liver cancer if you have ALD.
You can prevent ALD by drinking less alcohol or none at all.
It can be challenging to stop drinking on your own. You should speak to your doctor about your drinking and seek care for your mental and emotional health.
ALD is a silent disease. That means you will likely not notice any symptoms, sometimes for years, as your liver disease worsens.
At later stages, you might have symptoms such as:
Advanced liver damage can cause symptoms like:
If you're a heavy drinker and have ALD symptoms, your doctor:
You may need other testing so doctors can learn more about your liver's health.
If you have ALD, it's crucial that you stop drinking. We can help.
At the UPMC Alcohol-Related Liver Disease Clinic, you'll have access to expert hepatologists and a team of nurses and behavioral therapists.
Our clinic's behavioral health experts can help treat the underlying causes of your alcohol consumption.
These treatments may include:
If you have an alcohol addiction, our experts can connect you with resources or a treatment program to help you stop drinking.
Your doctor might also suggest:
Your doctor might prescribe certain drugs to treat the early stages of liver damage from ALD.
These drugs include:
If ALD advances to alcoholic cirrhosis, you may experience liver failure. In these cases, the only treatment is liver transplant.
In liver transplant surgery, doctors replace your liver with a healthy liver from a donor.