Alcoholism Liver Disease

Alcoholism liver disease is a major cause of illness and death in the world.  Fatty liver, the most common form, is reversible with abstinence. More serious ALD (Alcoholism liver disease) includes alcoholic hepatitis, characterised by persistent inflammation of the liver and cirrhosis, characterised by progressive scarring of liver tissue. Either condition can be fatal.

There are three forms of liver disease associated with alcohol – fatty liver, hepatitis and cirrhosis.  These are potentially fatal conditions. This condition is more prevalent in males than females.  The liver is responsible for removing harmful toxins from the body and is the chief organ involved in breaking down alcohol.  This makes it vulnerable to damage from alcohol.  After prolonged drinking the liver may become swollen.

This condition is known as “alcoholic hepatitis” and is thought to be a precursor to cirrhosis.  Cirrhosis involves permanent damage to the liver and may require a liver transplant to treat.  Damage to the liver will impair the body’s ability to deal with toxins.  Symptoms of ALD include jaundice, loss of appetite, nausea and abdominal pains.

Alcoholism Liver Disease (ALD) is a major health concern worldwide, often leading to severe illness and mortality. This disease encompasses various stages of liver damage caused by prolonged alcohol abuse, each with its own set of challenges and health risks. The liver is responsible for filtering harmful substances from the body, including alcohol. However, excessive and prolonged alcohol consumption can overwhelm the liver, leading to various liver problems. ALD encompasses different stages of liver damage, ranging from fatty liver to alcoholic hepatitis and, in severe cases, cirrhosis.

Stages of ALD

  • Fatty Liver
    The most common and initial stage of ALD. It is characterised by fat accumulation in the liver cells and is generally reversible with abstinence from alcohol.
  • Alcoholic Hepatitis
    This stage involves persistent inflammation of the liver. Symptoms can include jaundice, loss of appetite, nausea and abdominal pain. Alcoholic hepatitis can be a precursor to more serious liver damage if alcohol consumption continues.
  • Cirrhosis
    The most severe form of ALD, cirrhosis involves progressive scarring of liver tissue, leading to impaired liver function. This stage is often irreversible and can be life-threatening, potentially requiring a liver transplant.

Gender Prevalence and Liver Function

  • Higher Prevalence in Males
    Studies have shown that ALD is more common in males than females.
  • Liver’s Role in Alcohol Breakdown
     The liver is the primary organ responsible for metabolizing alcohol. Prolonged heavy drinking overburdens the liver, leading to damage and impaired function.

Health Implications

  • Impaired Toxin Removal
    Damage to the liver affects the body’s ability to process and eliminate toxins, leading to various health complications.
  • Risk of Fatal Conditions
    Each stage of ALD carries the risk of developing into more serious conditions, potentially resulting in fatal outcomes.

Importance of Early Intervention

  • Seeking Help
    It’s important to seek help for alcoholism in its early stages to prevent the progression of ALD.
  • Alcohol Detoxification
    Detoxification is the first step in treating alcoholism and preventing further liver damage.

Fatty liver, the earliest stage of ALD, occurs when fat builds up in the liver. Although it generally doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms, it serves as a warning sign that liver damage is occurring. If alcohol consumption continues, alcoholic hepatitis can develop. This condition involves inflammation of the liver, causing symptoms such as abdominal pain, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), swollen liver and fever.

The most severe form of ALD is cirrhosis, which is characterised by the scarring of liver tissue. As scars accumulate, the liver becomes increasingly damaged, impairing its ability to function properly. When cirrhosis progresses, symptoms may include fatigue, easy bruising, fluid buildup in the abdomen and mental confusion.

It’s important to remember that ALD is often preventable by avoiding excessive alcohol consumption and seeking help for alcohol addiction. If you are concerned about your alcohol intake or suspect that you may have ALD, it is key to consult a healthcare professional who can provide necessary guidance and support.

In the addiction recovery community, the term “alcoholism liver disease” is commonly used to describe the liver damage caused by alcohol abuse. This term accentuates the connection between alcoholism and liver health, highlighting the importance of addressing alcohol addiction to prevent further liver damage.

    Addiction & Mental Health

    Treatment Services

    View More

    Founded in 2008, WeDoRecover has evolved from an advisory service for addiction treatment into a comprehensive provider of care, following its 2019 merger with Changes Addiction Rehab in Johannesburg. Specialising in connecting patients to top-tier addiction treatment centers in the UK, South Africa and Thailand, WeDoRecover supports individuals globally, including those from the United Arab Emirates and Europe. Accepting both South African medical aid and international health insurance our organisation facilitates access to high-quality treatment for substance and alcohol use disorders, offering individualised care that addresses the physical, mental and social needs of patients.

    Our team, led by Gareth Carter, offers empathetic and professional support, guiding you through every step of the treatment process. Whether you're in South Africa or abroad, our acceptance of various insurance plans makes quality care accessible, providing a platform for lasting recovery and a healthier future.

    Inpatient Rehab

    Rehab care is a good option if you are at risk of experiencing strong withdrawal symptoms when you try stop a substance. This option would also be recommended if you have experienced recurrent relapses or if you have tried a less-intensive treatment without success.


    If you're committed to your sobriety but cannot take a break from your daily duties for an inpatient program. Outpatient rehab treatment might suit you well if you are looking for a less restricted format for addiction treatment or simply need help with mental health.


    Therapy can be good step towards healing and self-discovery. If you need support without disrupting your routine, therapy offers a flexible solution for anyone wishing to enhance their mental well-being or work through personal issues in a supportive, confidential environment.

    Mental Health

    Are you having persistent feelings of being swamped, sad or have sudden surges of anger or intense emotional outbursts? These are warning signs of unresolved trauma mental health. A simple assesment by a mental health expert could provide valuable insights into your recovery.

    Finding the right rehab close to you is simple with WeDoRecover. Our network includes the finest rehab centers, ensuring personalised, quality care for your recovery needs. Let Gareth Carter and our empathetic team help guide you to a center that feels right for you, offering expert care and support. Start your healing today by choosing a rehab that's not just close to you, but also that truly cares about your loved ones recovery.

    Scroll to top
    Call Us Now