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What Are the First Signs of Liver Damage From Alcohol?

August 20, 2021 , Agape Treatment Center

What Are the First Signs of Liver Damage From Alcohol?

First Signs of Liver Damage From Alcohol

One of your most important organs, the liver, can be found on the upper right side of your abdomen, just under your ribs. Your liver has many functions that are essential to your health, such as:

  • breaking down drugs, alcohol, and other potentially toxic substances
  • producing bile to aid with the digestion of fats
  • storing nutrients like glucose in the form of glycogen, as well as certain types of vitamins
  • making proteins that are important for blood clotting

There are many substances that can damage your liver. Your liver tissue can indeed regenerate, but continually damaging it with harmful substances, such as drugs and alcohol, can lead to the buildup of scar tissue. When so much damage to your liver is done and scar tissue forms, it replaces healthy liver tissue. This can impair your liver’s ability to carry out its vital functions.

Drinking Too Much Alcohol is One of The Leading Causes of Liver Damage

The liver has over 500 functions in the body, including breaking down about one alcoholic drink per hour.  According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking is considered in the moderate or low-risk range for women at no more than three drinks in any one day and no more than seven drinks per week. It is no more than four drinks a day for men and no more than 14 drinks per week.

What Happens to Your Liver When You Drink Too Much?

When a person drinks too much alcohol at once or over long periods, it can significantly affect their liver and the rest of their body. This is because your liver can’t easily filter out large amounts of alcohol and, therefore, gets overworked to keep up. When the liver gets overworked, it makes scar tissue, like mentioned above.

When there is so much damage done to the liver and so much scar tissue that has accumulated, the liver can no longer function properly. So when a liver’s main function is to filter out toxins, and it can longer do this, and a transplant isn’t possible, it becomes fatal.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NCBI):

Alcoholic liver disease (ALD)—particularly cirrhosis—has long been one of the most prevalent and devastating conditions caused by alcohol consumption and is one of the leading causes of alcohol-related death. Liver cirrhosis is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States. There are many different types and stages of liver disease, and what kind and what stage you are at can determine whether or not it is reversible. 

What Are the First Signs of Liver Damage From Alcohol?

The biggest concern regarding alcohol-induced liver disease is that there are no symptoms until significant damage has been done to the liver. However, the following are some of the symptoms of liver damage from alcohol:

  • general unwellness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • decreased appetite
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain

Sign and Symptom of Liver Damage From Alcohol

What is scary and unfortunate is symptoms of liver damage are the same as many other tummy troubles; therefore, it goes unnoticed, and the individual continues to consume alcohol which speeds up the damage to the liver. As alcohol continues to damage the liver, it will progress through four stages of liver damage: fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis, alcohol fibrosis, and finally, alcoholic cirrhosis. 

Some additional signs of liver damage from alcohol are:

  • low energy levels
  • abnormal sleeping habits
  • emerging skin conditions
  • drinking small amounts of alcohol results in intoxication
  • intense hangovers
  • caffeine effects increase
  • severe reactions from regular medications

You Can Quit Alcohol Addiction and AGAPE Can Help

If you or a loved one have difficulties quitting alcohol, Agape Treatment Center can help get you on the right track. We provide a Day/Night PHP, and Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) in Fort Lauderdale, FL, designed to serve a growing number of clients who are best served in a more structured, nurturing, and managed environment. Our unique “east meets west” approach to healing incorporates treatment, recovery, maintenance, prevention, philosophy, and psychology.

Agape Treatment Center for substance abuse embraces a universal, unconditional love that transcends, that serves regardless of circumstances. As a result, we provide individuals all over the country with the opportunity to achieve the gift of lasting sobriety.