How Does Alcohol Affect The Liver – Alcohol abuse is a growing problem in the United States that is negatively affecting people’s physical and mental health. For example, the incidence of alcohol-related liver disease continues to rise. Furthermore, a University of Michigan study reported that alcohol-related cirrhosis deaths increase the most in the 25- to 34-year-old age group. Alcohol-related liver disease is a serious problem that can lead to serious and life-threatening consequences if left untreated.
Alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) is often caused by heavy drinking, which damages the liver. Just two years of drinking can cause liver damage and inflammation. This damage eventually leads to liver scarring known as cirrhosis, which is the final stage of liver disease. Although liver disease is only one of the serious consequences of alcoholism, it is very serious because liver failure can be fatal. As a result, it’s important to know what ARLD is and how you can prevent it from happening to you.
- 1 How Does Alcohol Affect The Liver
- 2 Fatty Liver Disease: Muscle Weakness Is A Key Sign Of Fatty Build Up In The Liver
How Does Alcohol Affect The Liver
The liver is responsible for breaking down and filtering harmful substances in the blood. It also makes proteins, enzymes and hormones that the body uses to fight infection. Overall, the liver is responsible for cleaning our blood, producing bile for digestion and storing glycogen for energy. All these functions together make the liver an important organ that enables the body to function smoothly.
Alcohol Related Liver Disease Soared During Pandemic
When someone drinks alcohol, their liver is responsible for processing and filtering the substance. However, if someone consumes large amounts of alcohol, their liver cannot work fast enough to filter and process it successfully. As a result, unprocessed alcohol circulates in the person’s blood. That is why alcohol is an addictive substance. Chronic alcohol use damages liver cells, leading to liver cirrhosis (cirrhosis), alcoholic hepatitis, and/or cellular mutations leading to liver cancer. Heavy drinkers can have alcoholic cirrhosis without developing hepatitis first, and it is common for these conditions to progress from fatty liver to alcoholic hepatitis and then to cirrhosis.
There are three stages of alcoholic liver disease. Also, each stage has different symptoms to watch out for. If you catch the signs and symptoms of alcoholic liver disease early, treatment is usually successful. However, many people don’t realize they have alcoholic liver disease until it’s too late. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the early symptoms of liver disease if you are suffering from alcoholism.
Some people with ARLD have no symptoms until the disease progresses. On the other hand, other people may start noticing the symptoms already. If you or someone you love is addicted to alcohol and experiences any of the following symptoms, contact a medical professional as soon as possible.
Also, ARLD symptoms may be more frequent or prominent after heavy drinking. People with a family history of alcohol-related liver disease, frequent heavy drinkers, heavy drinkers, or people with poor nutrition are at increased risk for alcohol-related liver disease. Untreated ARLD can cause irreversible liver damage, sometimes leading to death. If you or a loved one is concerned that your alcohol consumption is causing liver disease, it is important that you seek alcohol detox treatment immediately.
What You Need To Know About Liver Damage From Alcohol Abuse
Treatment for alcoholic liver disease has two goals: treating alcoholism and improving liver health. If you are affected by ARLD, the first recommendation is to enter an alcohol addiction treatment program to help you stop drinking. Also, most treatment centers have the ability to either treat liver problems or connect you with someone who does. In general, treatment for early alcoholic liver disease involves taking vitamin supplements and stopping drinking. More severe cases may require a liver transplant.
Many types of liver disease can be reversed if you attend alcohol rehab and receive medical care. For example, fatty liver disease and alcoholic hepatitis are usually preventable from alcohol. However, cirrhosis and liver cancer are usually irreversible because they are advanced forms of liver disease. If you’re struggling with symptoms of alcoholism and liver damage, it’s important to treat both problems. Call us today.
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Liver Disease Stages: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment
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Fatty Liver Disease: Muscle Weakness Is A Key Sign Of Fatty Build Up In The Liver
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Tomoko Tadokoro Tomoko Tadokoro Scilit Preprints.org Google Scholar 1, Asahiro Morishita Asahiro Morishita Scilit Preprints. Organization Google Scholar 1, *
Received: 29 January 2023 / Revised: 9 March 2023 / Accepted: 9 March 2023 / Published: 10 March 2023
Malnutrition is common in alcohol use disorders and is associated with prognosis in patients with alcoholic liver disease (ALD). These patients often show deficiencies in vitamins and trace elements, which increase the risk of anemia and alter cognitive status. The etiology of malnutrition in ALD patients is multifactorial and complex, including inadequate nutrition, abnormal absorption and digestion, increased skeletal and visceral protein catabolism, and abnormal interactions between ethanol and lipid metabolism. Most dietary measures are derived from standard chronic liver disease recommendations. Recently, many ALD patients have been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, requiring individualized treatment to avoid malnutrition. As ALD progresses to cirrhosis, it is often complicated by protein-energy deficiency and sarcopenia. Nutritional therapy is also important in the management of ascites and hepatic encephalopathy as liver dysfunction progresses. The purpose of the review is to summarize the main nutritional therapies for the treatment of ALD.
Fatty Liver Disease
Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are among the leading causes of preventable morbidity and mortality associated with liver disease in the United States and worldwide. However, the prevalence of AUD and alcoholic liver disease (ALD) has increased significantly over the past few years [ 1 ]. ALD is caused by an average consumption of ≥60 grams of pure alcohol per day for at least 5 years. The onset and progression of ALD is influenced by many factors, including age, sex, presence of underlying disease, genetic predisposition, immune function, obesity, and overnutrition. Complete abstinence is the cornerstone of treatment and improves clinical outcomes in all stages of ALD [ 2 ]. About 50% of outpatients with ALD and almost all inpatients with ALD are malnourished. Importantly, it negatively affects treatment response and patient outcomes [ 2 , 3 ]. The degree of nutritional impairment varies with the stage of progression of ALD, and nutritional therapy should be individualized according to the type of disease. As shown in Figure 1, ALD is histologically classified into three stages : (i) alcoholic fatty liver or steatosis, in which fat accumulates in the liver parenchyma; (ii) Alcoholic hepatitis (AH) in which the liver cells become inflamed and the clinical consequences depend on the severity of the damage. and (iii) alcoholic cirrhosis, in which liver damage is irreversible, leading to complications of cirrhosis and portal hypertension.
Alcohol-induced hepatocellular damage has different mechanisms . Ingested alcohol is oxidized by alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) and converted to acetic acid by aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). Acetaldehyde causes hepatocellular damage. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated during alcohol metabolism inhibit antioxidant activity in hepatocytes [ 6 ]. Markers of oxidative stress include serum NADPH oxidase (NOX2)  and urinary 8-isoPGF2α.
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