When does my body start to shut down from alcohol abuse?

by James
(Ketchikan, AK)

Please help, all the web links are generic and do not answer my questions…I have for years gone in for blood tests on liver enzymes, and once they were so high it scared me to no end. I went clean for a year but fell back into it. I consume a 750ml bottle a day and have been for months.

My question is, how do I know when my liver and kidney function is shutting down…when I stop, I get sick and it is almost easier to drink a little and not get sick. I do not want this in my life anymore. Any response is welcomed!


This is a question for your doctor. I am not educated on liver and kidney functioning. If you regularly go for liver enzyme checks, ask your doctor when you are there for those tests. It’s ok to be honest with your doctor about your drinking problem. Of course, your doctor will give you advice that you may not want to hear, but he/she can also answer you health questions accurately.

Having said that, I wouldn’t recommend waiting until you receive bad test results to make a life change. At that point it may be too late.

It is normal to feel sick physically and psychologically when you stop drinking. This feeling will not last forever. The physical withdrawal tends to last 1-3 weeks, peaking at day 2-3. These symptoms can include anxiety, depression, fatigue, irritability, nightmares, headache, insomnia, vomiting, and more. Physical withdrawal from alcohol can be dangerous. It is best to seek medical detox in a safe medical environment. The psychological withdrawal can last years but most people report significant relief after 90 days.

When experiencing withdrawal you will definitely feel it is better to drink a little and relieve the suffering. However, this only starts it over again. The easy way is not always the best way. A trained counselor can help you endure the psychological battle that will ensue. This is not something you want to attempt alone. There are many resources available, some which are free.

You have a choice to make. Will you continue this lifestyle or will you not? If not, then you have to endure the withdrawal some time. Why not get it over with before you develop more problems? Get it over with while there’s still life left to live.

Some additional reading that might be helpful includes alcoholism recovery, self-help resources, alcoholism health issues.

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