According to data from Dasarang Central Hospital, which specializes in alcohol designated by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the number of patients with alcoholic cirrhosis in the hospital has been recording an average of 21% for the past three years. In particular, in the third quarter of 2020, the number of cirrhosis patients reached 29%.
Since July of last year, the improvement plan for alcohol regulation was applied, allowing customers to order alcohol for delivery food, and after the outbreak of the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19), drinking at home, that is, ‘home alcohol’, has increased. Due to the many changes, it is expected that the number of patients suffering from alcoholic liver disease will increase.
Alcohol has no nutrients and is high in calories, so it is easy to accumulate as fat in the liver, and it also interferes with the production of protein that breaks down fat. If the average daily alcohol intake exceeds 40 g for men (2/3 bottles of soju) and 20 g for women, it is highly likely to cause alcoholic liver disease.
When fat accumulates in the liver cells due to excessive drinking, alcoholic fatty liver occurs. If you do not completely stop drinking at this time, the liver will eventually lose its ability to regenerate and progress to cirrhosis or liver cancer, which hardens and can be life-threatening. In this regard, based on data such as ‘Healthline.com’, we will look into the management and prevention of alcoholic liver disease.
1. Significantly reduce or quit drinking
The most important thing in the prevention of alcoholic liver disease is abstinence and sobriety. In the case of alcoholic fatty liver, most of the alcohol returns to normal within 4 to 6 weeks when drinking is stopped.
Even with alcoholic hepatitis, if you stop drinking or drink less, the survival rate increases. However, if alcoholic hepatitis due to alcohol is repeated, it progresses to cirrhosis and it is difficult to recover.
2. Nutrition, infection control
Nutritional management is also important. This is because, if the nutritional status is poor, the liver damage caused by drinking alcohol is more severe.
In patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis, infection is one of the most common causes of death. Patients with chronic drinking history should be careful because immunity to bacteria, fungi, and viruses is reduced.
3. Strengthen your muscles with exercise
Patients with alcoholic hepatitis may experience muscle atrophy, so it is necessary to strengthen the muscles with simple exercise.
4. Mental illness check
Many alcoholics suffer from emotional disturbances. In particular, there are studies showing that depression is often accompanied by antisocial personality disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
In addition to the occurrence of alcoholic liver disease, psychiatric disorders must be considered as an alcohol-dependent factor in terms of treatment.
By Kwon Soon-il, staff reporter [email protected]
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