10% of admissions in Internal Medicine present excessive alcohol consumption

Up to 20 percent of people with heavy drinking develop severe forms of alcoholic liver disease.

March 6, 2023. 11:29 am

Internal medicine doctors have addressed in the VII Conference of the Alcohol and Other Drugs Group of SEMI news in liver fibrosis, the growing role of clinical ultrasound in the patient with liver impairment and sarcopenia or muscle involvement in the patient with excessive alcohol consumption, among others. He has also lectured on “the paradigm shift in ‘moderate’ alcohol consumption, which is no longer considered healthy but rather low-risk consumption.”

In relation to liver fibrosis, three key aspects have been deepened: non-invasive evaluation of liver fibrosis; screening strategies for liver fibrosis in the population at risk and in patients with chronic liver disease and the advancement of antifibrotic treatments.

Problems derived from excessive alcohol consumption

It is estimated that Up to 10 percent of patients admitted to the Internal Medicine Services have excessive alcohol consumption. Among the medical problems that lead to admission in these patients are both intoxication and withdrawal. But also complications associated or favored by its consumption. This is the case of respiratory infections, soft tissue infections, Wernicke’s encephalopathy, acute alcoholic hepatitis or pancreatitis, etc. The evaluation of patients in interconsultation or shared assistance with the Psychiatry Service for support with organic complications and other services is also relevant. Especially surgical, where alcohol-related disorders during hospitalization have great potential relevance.

Miguel Marcos, coordinator of the Alcohol and Other Drugs Group of SEMI, provided more information in this regard. “Alcoholic liver disease is the main cause of advanced liver damage and cirrhosis in neighboring countries, including Spain. In fact, of people who perform with binge drinking, “10 to 20 percent develop severe forms of the disease”.

In this way, the expert concluded that the main pillar of treatment is the cessation of alcohol consumption, which reinforces the need for a multidisciplinary approach in the treatment of these patients for the alcohol use disorder itself, liver disease and other comorbidities. that they may suffer.

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