Effects Of Alcohol On The Liver

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Short Term Effects Of Alcohol On The Liver Can Be Damaging

People may think that health problems from alcohol do not occur until a person has heavily abused alcohol for many years, but the short-term effects of alcohol on the liver can actually be rather damaging.

According to the National Institutes of Health, excessive alcohol consumption can cause fatty liver, even over the short-term.

Furthermore, while most research has focused on the long-term effects of alcohol abuse, recent research has suggested that the short-term effects of alcohol on the liver can include acute liver injury.

Unfortunately, liver problems are not the only health-related consequences of alcohol abuse.

Understanding The Short-Term Effects Of Alcohol On The Liver

To understand the short-term effects of alcohol on the liver, it is helpful to know that the liver is the primary organ responsible for alcohol metabolism. This means that it is also the most vulnerable to alcohol-related damage. As experts have explained, fatty liver is highly prevalent among people who drink alcohol daily, and over time, it can progress to persistent fatty liver and inflammation in some cases.

Over the short-term, fat deposits can build up in the liver as a consequence of alcohol metabolism. According to research, fatty liver is one of the rather common short-term effects of alcohol on the liver, and it typically does not cause lasting damage in and of itself. When someone engages in a session of binge drinking or even moderate alcohol consumption, it is common for fatty liver to develop, but it is typically resolved when someone stops drinking.

Short-Term Effects of Alcohol On The Liver Can Lead To More Serious Problems

While the short-term effects of alcohol on the liver may resolve when a person stops drinking, the reality is that if a person continues abusing alcohol, there can be serious damage to the liver. According to experts, acute bouts of fatty liver make the liver more sensitive to damage. For instance, if someone has a second risk factor for liver problems, the acute fatty liver that results from an episode of heavy drinking can eventually cause serious livery injury.

In addition, someone who has been chronically abusing alcohol may be at risk of liver problems, and the short-term effect of alcohol on the liver can lead to serious liver damage because of other risk factors. For example, a chronic heavy drinker may develop hepatitis after a short-term episode of binge drinking. This condition involves liver inflammation accompanied by symptoms like jaundice, fever, and stomach pain.

Alcoholic Cirrhosis: Moving Beyond Short-Term Effects Of Alcohol On The Liver

Other liver problems can develop beyond the short-term effects of alcohol on the liver. The most serious of these is alcoholic cirrhosis, which is characterized by scar tissue in the liver. This condition is progressive and can be fatal, and it is most common among people who have been drinking heavily for 10 to 20 years, especially those who are daily drinkers. Complications associated with cirrhosis of the liver include severe bleeding, brain disorders, fluid buildup in the abdomen, and kidney failure. Cirrhosis can stabilize if a person stops drinking, but a liver transplant is the only viable treatment for those who are terminally ill from alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver.

Health Problems Aside From The Short-Term Effects Of Alcohol On The Liver

While alcohol is known to have negative effects on the liver, diseases of the liver are just one of several potential health-related consequences associated with alcohol abuse. As the National Institutes of Health reports, long-term alcohol abuse can damage the cardiovascular system, leading to problems like stroke, irregular heartbeat, drooping of the heart muscle, and high blood pressure.

In some cases, a single bout of heavy alcohol use can damage the heart. Alcohol abuse is also linked to pancreatitis and several types of cancer, and even a single episode of drinking can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of infections like pneumonia. Alcohol abuse can also lead to issues with brain functioning, which can cause changes in mood, and make it more difficult to think clearly.

Preventing Complications From Short-Term Effects of Alcohol On The Liver And Other Alcohol-Related Problems

Having a drink at a wedding or enjoying a class of wine with dinner is typically harmless, but heavy drinking, especially over the long-term, can cause serious health problems. If you find that you have been binge drinking frequently, it is time to reconsider your drinking habits to reduce your risk of developing health problems from alcohol abuse. If you are unable to cut back on your drinking, you may have an alcohol use disorder, which is the clinical term for an alcohol addiction.

Some signs of an alcohol use disorder are as follows: drinking larger amounts of alcohol than intended, continuing to drink even when it causes problems in relationships or difficulty meeting responsibilities at work, experiencing strong alcohol cravings, or drinking even when it worsens a health problem. If you have some of these signs, you may have an alcohol use disorder, which is a diagnosable medical condition that requires treatment. It is important to receive treatment for an alcohol use disorder to reduce your risk of ongoing health problems from alcohol abuse. Treatment options for alcohol abuse typically involve behavioral treatments like counseling, in addition to support groups and medications. No single treatment option will work for everyone, so the best approach is an individualized plan that meets your unique needs.

California Alcohol Rehab

If you are seeking treatment for alcohol abuse, Resurgence California is located in Orange County and is a leading provider of alcohol rehab. We offer alcohol detox as well as inpatient and outpatient alcohol rehab, and we believe in providing a customized treatment plan to each patient who chooses us as their alcohol rehab provider.

We offer a variety of treatments, including group and individual therapy, educational workshops, therapeutic outings, and relaxation activities like yoga and meditation. If you decide to stay with us for inpatient alcohol rehab, you will receive treatment in a home-like setting, with access to beautiful California amenities, such as beaches, piers, swimming pools, waterfalls, and scenic outdoor shopping centers.

We are also a dual diagnosis treatment provider, meaning we can address both alcohol addiction and co-occurring mental health problems like depression or anxiety.

Paying For California Alcohol Rehab

You might be concerned about covering the costs of alcohol rehab, but at Resurgence, we offer a free insurance verification program to make the process easier.

Simply give us a call or visit our website to provide us with your insurance information, and we will tell you what services your insurance plan covers and how much you can expect to pay out of pocket for treatment with us.

Once you begin alcohol rehab, we will communicate with your insurance provider so you can focus on treatment instead of worrying about finances.

If you do not have insurance, we will work with you to create a private payment plan, because we do not want finances to get in your way of getting the help you need.

Give us a call today to discuss your options and to begin your journey toward an alcohol-free life.


1) https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa19.htm
2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3372892/
3) https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohols-effects-health/alcohols-effects-body
4) https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/treatment-alcohol-problems-finding-and-getting-help