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Alcohol Related Liver Disease (ARLD)


Refers to a range of conditions where alcohol has caused damage to the liver. Alcohol causes damage to the liver both by damage to liver cells from breakdown products/metabolites of alcohol and by the accumulation of fat in liver cells. Over time, this damage leads to inflammation and scarring (fibrosis) in the liver, eventually leading to cirrhosis and its complications.



•feeling sick
•weight loss
•loss of appetite
•yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin (jaundice)
•swelling in the ankles and tummy (ascites)
•confusion or drowsiness
•vomiting blood or passing blood in your stools


The most effective treatment for ALD is to reduce or abstain from alcohol. If the liver disease is severe, then long term abstinence from alcohol is essential. If the liver disease is mild and there is no history of alcohol dependency, then a few weeks of abstinence followed by resumption of alcohol within recommended guidelines may be sufficient. A healthy diet and lifestyle are central to recovery. Vitamins, particularly thiamine, are important to protect the brain and nervous system from alcohol related damage. In severe alcoholic hepatitis, the patient is at risk of dangerous complications including infections/sepsis, kidney failure and bleeding. The management is usually initiated in hospital and may involve numerous medical interventions and a prolonged stay if some cases.

Turning Point

Alcoholics Anonymous

British Liver Trust


Clinical Trials

Clinical trials for treatment of ARLD are run by Dr Jeremy Cobbold and Dr Francesca Saffioti