Steroids are a common treatment for alcoholic hepatitis, a severe liver disease caused by long-term alcohol abuse. Steroids, such as prednisolone, work by reducing inflammation and suppressing the immune system, which can help reduce liver damage and improve liver function.
Here are some ways that steroids can help treat alcoholic hepatitis:
Reducing inflammation: Alcohol abuse can cause inflammation in the liver, leading to liver damage and impaired function. Steroids can reduce inflammation in the liver, helping to slow down or prevent further liver damage.
Suppressing the immune system: The immune system can contribute to liver damage in alcoholic hepatitis by attacking healthy liver cells. Steroids can suppress the immune system, reducing the damage caused by the immune response.
Improving liver function: Steroids can help improve liver function in individuals with alcoholic hepatitis by reducing inflammation, suppressing the immune system, and promoting the regeneration of healthy liver cells.
It’s important to note that steroids are not appropriate for everyone with alcoholic hepatitis, and the decision to use steroids should be made on a case-by-case basis by a healthcare provider. Steroids can have significant side effects, such as increased risk of infection, elevated blood sugar levels, and weight gain. Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or osteoporosis, may not be able to tolerate steroids. Additionally, steroids may not be effective for all individuals with alcoholic hepatitis, and other treatment options may be necessary.