If you, or someone you care about abuses alcohol then it is only natural to worry about the effects all that alcohol is having on your, or their, liver.
The liver is the largest organ in the body (unless you call the skin an organ).
It also carries out many functions, without which the human body could not survive.
When we talk about alcohol and liver damage, we mean alcohol is hampering or preventing it from carrying out the important functions listed below.
Some of the liver's functions include:
More often than not, the first stage of alcoholic liver disease involves fatty liver. Also known as alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Often symptom-less, alcoholic fatty liver disease largely refers to the enlargement of the liver, and is generally painless.
This is also the most reversible stage of alcoholic liver disease. In other words, if you reach this stage and then stop drinking, it is more than likely that your liver will recover.
Progression from the alcoholic fatty liver disease can lead to the very painful, cirrhosis of the liver.
This is a more advanced form of liver disease that results in the liver becoming scarred, hardened and shrinking due to excessive alcohol consumption.
Another form of progression from fatty liver is alcoholic hepatitis, which is an inflammation of and, ultimately, death of liver organ tissue.
Alcoholic liver cirrhosis and alcoholic hepatitis are not mutually exclusive, and both conditions may occur at the same time in the same person.
As stated above, alcoholic fatty liver disease is generally symptom-less and less serious than more advance alcohol liver damage.
However, There may be little to no symptoms of advanced liver disease in some unfortunate cases, which may severely delay diagnosis of the conditions until it is too late.
Alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver and/or alcoholic hepatitis will render the liver unable to...
Symptoms may include:
It doesn't make for pretty reading, and treatment for advanced alcoholic liver disease is somewhat limited. However, in all cases of alcohol induced liver damage, it is essential that the sufferer quits drinking IMMEDIATELY.
Deborah Morrow, M.S. Addiction Psychology, is the director of treatment programs for The Alcoholism Guide website. In her practice Deborah provides on-line coaching and support for those dependent on alcohol or who require other services such as relapse prevention or court mandated services. (Read More)
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