Wednesday, 27 July 2016

The safe limit of alcohol varies from one country to another

The safe limit of alcohol varies from one country to another New Delhi, July 25th, 2016: One to two drinks a day for women, and two to four drinks a day in men, are inversely related to mortality. This was stated by Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal – President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Honorary Secretary General IMA. The definition of a "standard drink" varies in different countries. A standard drink in the US is approximately 12 to 14 g alcohol. In Great Britain, a standard drink is 8 g alcohol. In Japan, it is 19.75 g and in India is 10 grams of alcohol. The blood serum tests: AST (SGOT), ALT (SGPT), and gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) are often abnormal in alcoholic liver disease. The most common pattern of abnormalities is a disproportionate elevation of serum AST (SGOT) compared to ALT (SGPT). This ratio is usually greater than 2.0, a value that is rarely seen in other forms of liver disease. The absolute values of serum AST and ALT are almost always less than 500 IU/L (and typically less than 300 IU/L). Higher levels should raise the suspicion of concurrent liver injury due to viral or ischemic hepatitis or acetaminophen use, even at therapeutic doses. Alcoholic liver damage can range from asymptomatic fatty liver to alcoholic hepatitis to end–stage liver failure with jaundice, coagulopathy, and encephalopathy. Many alcoholics first become symptomatic only when severe, life–threatening liver disease is already present. Even at this stage, abstinence can result in a significant reversal in some patients. Alcohol can lead to a variety of histopathologic changes in the liver ranging from steatosis to cirrhosis. Steatosis, alcoholic hepatitis, and possibly cirrhosis are reversible. A high prevalence (25 to 65 percent) of hepatitis C virus infection has been recognised in alcoholics, which can greatly accelerate fibrosis and associated morbidity. These patients tend to have more severe disease, decreased survival, and an increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. Fatty liver, or alcoholic steatosis, can occur within hours after a large alcohol binge.

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