How are alcoholic liver disease and viral hepatitis different?

Different causes. One is caused by alcohol and the other is caused by a virus which infects the liver, hepatitis b and c are the most common causes of chronic viral hepatitis. As both of these affect and damage the liver they may have similar symptoms such a jaundice and evenually cirrhosis. The treatment however would be different. Having a viral hepatitis and drinking would speed the progression of the damage.
Patterns of injury. Acute viral hepatitis presents with transaminases (lft's) in the thousands with alt>ast. Acute alcoholic injury to the liver causes ast>alt and the levels are <500. Importantly, the mortality of acute alcoholic hepatitis is much higher than viral hepatitis. Chronic liver injury is another story.

Related Questions

What are the differences between viral hepatitis and alcoholic hepatitis?

Infection vs toxin. Viral hepatitis occurs after the virus gets into the liver where it injures the tissue while reproducing the virus.The areas involved cannot keep us with the regular liver work and symptoms continue until healing. Alcohol can be processed without liver injury up to a point. After that threshold is exceded it becomes toxic & the liver cells begin to die off & scar . Read more...
2 different things. A virus is a living being that can only survive inside other cells - it has no nucleus and requires our cells to be able to reproduce itself. There are many different kinds of viruses- some cause colds, some influenza, and specific viruses cause hepatitis a, b and c (all different). Alcoholic hepatitis is caused by alcohol, and only alcohol, though a very similar damage is seen in many obese folk. Read more...

Can Ayurveda or other alternative medicines cure alcoholic liver disease?

It depends on stage . First of all it can be reversed in earlier stages before full blown cirrhosis has set in, as that is irreversible but no medicine will work unless you stop alcohol intake completely and for good. Read more...