Alcohol-related liver disease, or ARLD, is triggered by excess alcohol intake. There are three main stages of this condition that range in severity and symptoms. One sign that could raise suspicion can crop up in your daily life as fatigue.
“It’s a type of tiredness that emanates from within the central nervous system, which may be so debilitating, it can be hard to even raise your head off the pillow.”
This sign is also considered to be one of the “early” symptoms of alcohol-related liver disease, according to the British Liver Trust.
However, it can also point to various liver problems.
Dr Lee said: “Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of hepatitis, including alcohol-related hepatitis (ARLD), and viral hepatitis, and in advanced liver disease, due to cirrhosis and liver failure.
“It affects both mental and physical functions, such that it can be very hard to cope with everyday life.”
Another important thing to remember is that the degree of your fatigue isn’t necessarily dependent on the severity of your liver damage.
The expert shared that those with mild hepatitis may have severe fatigue while those with severe hepatitis may only struggle with mild fatigue – “there is no rhyme or reason”.
She added: “The fatigue can also be persistent, or fluctuating.”
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It’s also important to remember that many patients might not have any symptoms, making the condition difficult to identify.
“[Around] 75percent of patients who will eventually die from cirrhosis – which occurs in the natural progression from hepatitis – have no idea they even have liver disease,” said Dr Lee.
The condition often only gets picked up when you’re being tested for other problems.
That’s why the NHS recommends telling your GP if you regularly drink alcohol to excess.