Alcohol and Your Liver

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Long-Term Abuse of Alcohol

Substance abuse can take a toll on the body in a number of ways, especially alcohol and your liverLong-term abuse of alcohol effects on the liver cannot be overlooked.

The liver is an important organ in the body. It filters blood, metabolizes drugs and chemicals, and creates bile.

The liver is typically a low-maintenance organ — until something goes wrong.

Liver Disease in the U.S.

An estimated one in 10 people living in the United States has liver disease. Many have the disease as a result of alcohol abuse. This could include alcoholic hepatitis, alcohol-related cirrhosis, and fatty liver. At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we offer treatments to help those struggling with alcohol detox and learn to live a life of sobriety. We also provide education to help patients learn more about the connection between alcohol and liver function.

Alcohol and Your Liver Function

The liver has more than 500 functions in the human body. It also has a remarkable ability to repair itself after damage. However, repetitive injury can lead to irreversible liver failure and even death. Once the liver has been irreversibly damaged, it can become a life-threatening situation.

Some of the primary functions of the liver include:

  • Production of bile to aid in digestion
  • Breaking down and excretion of cholesterol, bilirubin, drugs as well as hormones
  • Metabolizing of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats
  • Detoxifying the blood

The liver works to break down most of the alcohol consumed and remove it from the body. However, the same process can result in the production of damaging substances even more damaging than alcohol.

These substances have the potential to damage the cells of the liver. They can also result in liver disease. Alcohol is said to be responsible for more than 80% of deaths resulting from liver disease.

The types of liver disease resulting from alcohol abuse include the following:

  • Acute alcoholic hepatitis. This is a serious and potentially life-threatening inflammation of the liver. Liver failure is possible, with death occurring in a third of individuals.
  • Fatty liver. Fatty liver is the most common type of liver disease stemming from alcoholism. Fat accumulates in the liver. This prevents the liver from correctly functioning.
  • Inflammation of the liver. A third of those who develop fatty liver will also develop moderate liver inflammation. This is known as alcoholic hepatitis.
  • Scarring of the liver or cirrhosis is seen in a fifth of alcoholics. Symptoms of cirrhosis may not be clear until the damage is extensive.

How Does Alcohol and Your Liver Damage Rate?

Abusing alcohol and your liver damage go hand in hand. When you drink alcohol, your liver is tasked with filtering the alcohol from your bloodstream. Small to moderate amounts of alcohol will typically not have much of an impact on a healthy functioning liver. It should not result in alcohol-related liver disease, either.

Moderate alcohol consumption for women is one drink a day. For men, it is two drinks a day. Consuming more than these quantities can have a damaging impact on the liver.

Consuming too much alcohol can take a toll on the entire body. Alcohol and your liver will always be linked. Whether the alcohol is abused over time or at once, the damage can be serious. Even a healthy liver cannot readily filter large quantities of alcohol. This means that it needs to work harder to process what it can.

An overworking liver can lead to an accumulation of fatty tissue, along with inflammation and ultimately scaring. Scarring will continue as binge drinking continues. Daily long-term abuse can be damaging. But binge drinking is perhaps one of the worst things you can do to your liver.

In due time, the scar tissue will overwhelm the healthy part of the liver. This can result in a liver no longer functioning. The liver will not be able to repair itself. At this point, the body no longer has a filtration system. Unless a liver transplant is possible, it can result in loss of life.

The Reduction of Liver Damage

The potential for abusing alcohol and your liver damage can be significantly reduced by slowing down consumption of or giving up alcohol entirely. Each liver disease can see improvement with the cessation of alcohol.

Abusing alcohol and your liver will lead to serious health issues. If you have been diagnosed with cirrhosis, you should stop consuming alcohol immediately. There is no current cure for liver cirrhosis. Cutting out all alcohol consumption increases survival chances. Those diagnosed with cirrhosis can live for decades if alcohol is halted in time.

Fatty liver damage can also be reversed by halting consumption of alcohol. Supportive medications and dietary changes can also help to support the health of the liver.

Additional steps that can reduce the impact that liver disease can have include:

  • Maintaining a balanced diet, avoiding the consumption of processed food
  • Keeping your weight healthy
  • Not smoking
  • Getting good regular exercise

The best thing that you can do for your health is to stop drinking alcohol, and your liver will slow the damage. When it comes to your liver, drinking is the single worst thing you can do to it.

Treating Addiction to Alcohol and Your Liver Recovery

The right approach to treating alcohol and your liver’s healing process involves taking the patient’s whole health into consideration. Patients will need to go through a detox phase, which can cause some discomfort. Medically managed detox can help to ensure the safety and comfort of the patient.

Any physical concerns will be addressed as a part of the detox and recovery phase. To recover from alcohol abuse, patients should feel comfortable.

As a part of recovery, patients will be encouraged to embrace healthier lifestyles. This could include dietary changes and the cessation of smoking. An increase in physical activity will also be encouraged. You can stop smoking and drinking alcohol, and your liver might still have damage.

Perhaps the most important part of recovery will be therapeutic solutions. Therapy allows patients to recognize what may be behind their addictive behavior. It can also provide the tools needed to ensure mental wellness and recovery.

Long-Term Sobriety Considerations

Time spent with us at Resurgent Behavioral Health will help you get through the detox phase. You will learn valuable lessons and earn helpful tools. Each of which is designed to help you to maintain long-term sobriety.

Some of the tools that can stand you in good stead through recovery include the following:

  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Time in a recovery facility can provide guidelines to help with establishing a healthy lifestyle. From healthy eating to appropriate physical activities.
  • Continuing with aftercare therapy, to include family therapy. Alcoholism can take a toll on the entire family.
  • Treatment of mental health concerns. Part of recovery may include diagnosing mental health concerns. And establishing a treatment plan.
  • Ongoing group meetings, such as those involved with 12-Step programs.

Your team of professionals will help you to find the right resources. This could include social services and other beneficial services to make your life of sobriety much more productive.

Alcohol Rehab at Resurgence

To help you stop drinking alcohol and your liver’s health will our top priority. Sobriety is the best step that you can take for the health of your liver.

There is no cure for scarring on the liver. The sooner that you do stop drinking, the better chances of survival for your liver.

At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we offer our patients a focus on whole health. Treating the patient and not just the addictive behavior can boost the chances of long-term recovery.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.