Diagnosis of liver diseases related to alcohol
Excessive use of alcohol damages the liver more than it does other organs. Diseases of the liver caused due to excessive consumption of alcohol are first suspected when the tests done for other diseases show symptoms or results that there is damage in the liver.
General medical practitioners do not suspect that there could be a liver disease because there are usually few obvious symptoms when the disease is in early stages and the symptoms become more obvious and unique only when the disease advances by which time, it becomes too late to treat, in most cases, resulting in the loss of lives.
The deaths from liver disease is caused mostly by excessive drinking, hepatitis infection and obesity and diseases of the liver associated to these causes have increased from 7,841 cases reported in 2001 to about 10,948 in 2012. It is categorized as the only major fatal disease that is still seen on the rise in England. However, when considering the rest of the Europe, it is decreasing. Several tests are conducted to diagnose the condition of the liver.
Blood tests are the basis of all tests and the results of blood tests such as liver function tests are used to evaluate the condition of the liver. These tests detect enzymes in the blood that are present only when there is damage in the liver.
Imaging tests can also be ordered if there is a need such as an ultrasound scan, a CT or an MRI which produce detailed images of the liver and some of the imaging tests also reveal how stiff the liver is showing whether or not scars are present in the liver. If a tumor or a group of tumors are detected, a bioscopy may be ordered to examine the nature of the tumor cells. In some cases, an endoscopy is also done to have a closer look at the liver.