According to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2019, 25.8% of adults reported that they binge drink, while 6.3% reported heavy drinking. In the US, about 95,000 people die from alcohol addiction every year and that number is rising steadily, which is a growing concern. The Covid-19 pandemic has actually increased alcohol sales by 54%. Excessive alcohol consumption often leads to acute liver and kidney disease and by the time people get to know about it, they are already in the end stages of the disease and may die if they don’t get a viable liver transplant.
Different Types of Effects That Alcohol Can Have on your Liver
Alcohol can affect your liver in multiple ways depending on whether or not you have any previous underlying health conditions. Let’s have a look at some of them.
Almost any binge or heavy drinker develops fatty liver. It is an early stage that may then gradually develop into cirrhosis or alcoholic hepatitis. Fats start to develop as a result of extra alcohol that was unprocessed. At this stage, it is preventable completely with physical exercises that can burn the fat. This stage of liver damage is not usually detectable and presents no signs or symptoms.
At this stage, the liver gets inflamed or swollen and slowly the liver cells will start to die, which will result in a compromise in its functions. Bilirubin, which is usually extracted out of your blood by the liver, starts to accumulate and eventually leads to jaundice, fever, nausea, vomiting, and even abdominal pain. Severe hepatitis could be life-threatening.
This is a serious condition that develops slowly over time due to alcohol. Once the fatty liver condition sets in and if left untreated for about 10 years, those fat tissues will begin to be replaced by scar tissues if the patient continues to drink. Since it replaces the healthy liver cells with scar tissues, this condition is irreversible and by the symptoms appear, it may already be too late.
Early Signs of Liver Damage from Alcohol
There are no early signs of liver damage from excessive alcohol consumption and there’s no easy way to say it. Since the liver doesn’t show any early signs of alcohol damage, people often fail to take appropriate measures and by the time people start to see the symptoms, permanent damage has already set in.
That’s because the liver is the largest organ in the body and even if some portions of it are damaged, the rest of the liver still continues to perform its functions and so early symptoms don’t appear soon enough. The symptoms only begin to appear when your liver is too damaged and fails to break down certain compounds in your body, including toxins, alcohol, drugs, medicines, etc.
At these stages, you may find the following symptoms-
- Swelling of your liver which will cause discomfort in the upper right side of your abdomen
- Yellowish pigmentation in your skin or eyes due to the presence of bilirubin
- Sudden loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Nausea and/or lightheadedness
- Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Risk Factors That Increases The Chances of Developing Liver Disease
While Alcohol represents the highest risk factor that could lead to liver damage, people who don’t drink at all may also have liver damage, but the risk factors increase with alcohol. Alcohol and liver do not go well together. These are the major risk factors that could lead to the development of the liver disease-
Alcohol consumption has the highest risk of developing liver disease. There’s a limit to how much your liver can process alcohol and if you drink beyond that limit, it will start developing fats in your liver, which if not treated, will begin to form scar tissues and damage the liver over time.
Obesity often leads to significant fat deposits in the liver and so it is another risk factor that also increases the chances of liver damage. If you combine obesity and alcohol consumption, the chain of disaster will set in and it won’t be long before symptoms start to appear.
Infections such as Hepatitis B or C may also lead to the development of chronic liver disease and combined with alcohol, it could lead to alcoholic hepatitis.
Genetics also play an equally important role and if any bad genes get passed down to you, it could lead to the development of some sort of liver damage, and how healthy your liver is going to be in the long run will depend on that.
If you want to be free from alcohol addiction, you will need to visit an alcohol detoxification center. Here you will have to go through alcohol detox treatment programs and by the end of it, you will be free from your addiction.
5 Ways To Relax and have Fun Without Alcohol
A lot of people tend to drink alcohol to get out of their sorrows and anxiety, but it’s not the only way to have fun. In fact, alcohol consumption is damaging to your body and doesn’t help you in any way. Here are the 5 ways to enjoy, relax and have fun without alcohol.
Laughter Is the Best Medicine
Watch some comedy TV or movies or just go to a stand-up comedy club with your friends and family and we bet you will have a great time.
Spice Up Your Schedule
Your daily schedule can get a whole lot boring since you’ve been doing the same things for too long. It’s time to spice it up and bring new activities to your schedule.
Writing can help bring your attention and focus to balance. You can write about anything you wish. Try writing everything you do on a daily basis and make it a habit, or you could try writing a story.
Get a Pet
Loving and caring for something other than yourself can be very relaxing, heartwarming, and comforting. So, get a cat, or a puppy. If you want something even more low maintenance, then get a plant, and all it will ever ask for is sunlight and water.
Find Your Zen
People always flock after happiness, but good is happiness if you don’t have peace in your life. So, find your Zen and happiness will find you instead.
If you begin to see the early signs of liver damage, contact your healthcare immediately. It is recommended that you find ways to stop drinking alcohol and rather do something that will actually do something that will help your body, mind, and soul and that is physical exercise. It can actually do wonders. Golden Road Recovery which is a luxury residential inpatient treatment facility in Los Angeles can help you in quick recovery. Just make a call at our addiction recovery helpline at +1 (877) 372-0536.