One alcoholic drink takes the body approximately an hour to digest. The digestion time increases with the increase in alcohol consumption. It takes more time for an individual to metabolize alcohol if the blood alcohol concentration is high. Alcohol is processed in the liver at a specific rate. As a result of excessive drinking, the alcohol not metabolized by the liver enters the bloodstream. Individuals become intoxicated when alcohol in their blood affects their cardiovascular and neurological systems.
Alcohol and its impact on your liver
The liver is responsible for converting vitamins, nutrients, and medicines into compounds utilized by the body. To combat infection, it produces enzymes, proteins, and hormones. In addition to its metabolic functions, the liver is also vital to break down and remove harmful substances from the blood. It also produces bile to aid digestion and store glycogen, which is a source of energy. It is responsible for processing more than 90% of your alcohol intake. The remainder is excreted via urination, sweating, and respiration.
Alcoholism results in the degeneration of liver cells. This results in:
- Cirrhosis (liver scarring)
- Hepatitis induced by alcohol
- Mutations in liver cells that may lead to cancer
It is a combination of fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis. Extreme drinkers may have alcohol-induced cirrhosis without becoming ill with hepatitis. A safe level of alcohol depends on the size, body weight, and gender of an individual. In general, women absorb a significantly higher amount of alcohol from the drinks they take than men, putting them at higher risk for liver disease. A person who consumes more than two alcoholic beverages a day may have liver damage.
Is moderate alcohol consumption harmful to the liver?
Whenever a person consumes alcohol, the liver filters it out of their blood. Moderate consumption of alcohol generally does not result in the development of (ALD) alcohol-related liver disease.
For women, moderate alcohol consumption is defined as one drink daily, while for men it is considered two drinks daily. One drink consists of the following:
- 1 oz liquor
- 4 oz wine
- 2 oz beer
Alcohol-Induced Liver Damage: Early Signs and Symptoms
Alcohol is one of the potentially harmful substances that your liver breaks down. Alcohol and its byproducts can harm your liver if consumed more than what the liver is capable of processing.
It manifests as excess fat in the liver. However, it may result in inflammation and scarring over time. Most of the time, alcohol does not cause symptoms during the first phase of liver damage.
In the early stages of liver damage, the following symptoms may be present:
- A decrease in appetite
- A build-up of fluid in the liver can cause pain in the upper right-hand corner of the abdomen
- Unexpected weight loss
- Feeling nauseated
Late symptoms of liver disease due to alcohol consumption
The symptoms of liver damage caused by alcohol become more apparent as the disease progresses. A few symptoms of late-stage liver disease are:
- Lower limb swelling
- Intestinal and hepatic disorders
- Itchy skin that persists for an extended period
- Losing a significant amount of weight
- Vomit and stools containing blood
- An edematous skin condition or jaundice in which the eye whites appear yellow
- Ascites, or accumulation of fluid in the abdomen
- The curving of the fingernails, known as clubbing
- Muscle wasting and general weakness
- More prone to bruising and bleeding
The appearance of these symptoms indicates the illness has progressed to a more severe or chronic stage. It is crucial to seek immediate treatment at the best liver hospital in Delhi.
Is the liver capable of recovering from damage caused by alcohol?
The liver is a highly resilient organ that can regenerate on its own. Some liver cells are destroyed every time the liver processes alcohol. Even though the liver can regenerate new cells, excessive alcohol consumption over an extended period can impair this ability. In severe cases, the liver is permanently damaged. A liver transplant in Delhi may be necessary for such circumstances.
Can liver damage caused by alcohol be treated?
To achieve a successful outcome in alcoholic liver disease treatment, it is usually necessary for the patient to give up drinking and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Giving up alcohol is the most effective method of treating this condition. Abstinence is understood to be a crucial component of recovery, depending on the stage of the illness.
You may be able to reverse the damage caused by alcoholic fatty liver disease if you refrain from consuming alcoholic beverages for two weeks or more. Typically, moderate drinking is permissible following this period. Those with more severe liver damage caused by alcohol, such as alcohol-induced hepatitis or cirrhosis, are advised to abstain from alcohol for the rest of their lives. You can prevent the progression of liver damage by consulting liver specialists in the best liver hospital in Delhi. But, the ultimate cure would be quitting drinking, which in turn could prevent your death from liver disease.
How to determine when you should consult a doctor?
Talk to your doctor if you have been drinking excessively so they may examine your liver. The symptoms of alcohol-induced liver damage will not typically appear unless the liver is seriously damaged. Consequently, ARLD is detected during testing for other medical conditions or at an advanced stage of liver damage at the best liver hospital in Delhi.
Those suffering from the most severe forms of ARLD will experience irreversible liver damage. Eventually, the liver will fail. The treatment for irreversible liver failure in these cases is a liver transplant in Delhi.