How does alcohol affect your liver and 20 thoughts that shocked me!
20 There are many health risks as a result of chronic alcohol abuse, ranging from high blood pressure to strokes. People are sometimes least familiar with alcohol’s negative effects on the liver.
However, people tend to ignore it and the mixed messages around a few drinks a day is good for you does not probably help. “It helps with stress and it is good for the heart”.
Now some of these things may be potentially true but the impact of liver and alcohol can be life threatening.
19 If you drink over the recommended amount which in the UK is 14 units per week you need to clock it sooner or later. If you are a heavy drinker you risk the scarring of your liver as well as symptoms that follow include jaundice, cirrhosis, liver failure, liver cancer.
It goes without saying these can have a major impact on your health and lifestyle.
Bear in mind I was an average social drinker with wine and it nearly cost me my life.
18 Heavy drinking is a term thrown around by a lot of people including the term “alcoholic”. In fact, you don’t have to drink that much when it comes to be officially labeled “an alcoholic”.
People who read my blog will know labeling people can often be very helpful as they see it as “who they are” as opposed to a habit or behaviour. .
17 Binge drinking can cause damage even if you don’t spread your drinking over a week. So let park that 14 units.
There are lots of cases where even one binge-drinking night out where it gets out of control can cause serious damage, or potentially death particularly with extreme alcohol poisoning if medical help is not sought.
16 The liver is very powerful, more than you realize until it is not working properly. It is often not understood that it is responsible for getting rid of everything that is harmful to our body and also our mental health. If toxins build up in our body it can hit your brain as I know from experience!
15 The Liver is Crucial to Our Immune System
The liver plays a crucial role in our immune system which many people don’t realize . Proteins, enzymes, and hormones are all created by the liver which we use in our defense of those nasty infections!
14 So when we eat and drink the liver converts it into vitamins, nutrients and medicines into substances we can then make use of so if the liver is damaged by alcohol use we miss out on that. It is why when I first got admitted to hospital I quickly got assigned a high level vitamin drip right into me!
13 –Damage to the liver can inhibit the cleaning of our blood. So it is like one “big filter system” creating bile for digestion and storing glycogen for energy. You need your liver for that boost even if it’s just a swift walk or run.
12- Have you ever thought you were sweating alcohol ? Well you are probably right! The liver disposes over 90 percent of the alcohol we drink! Yes the rest can often come out of your pee, your sweat and even your breath.
Ever had a breath test when being pulled over by the police!
11 Won’t my Liver go faster?
I have written about this many times and people talk about coffee, food and drinking different drinks as a way of helping their Liver.
Of course the liver has no concept of this. The golden rule is 1 drink = 1 hour. That’s how the liver works! So the more you drink the longer it is.
10 So if you are over drinking alcohol your liver cells start to be affected and can result in what they call liver scarring. You may have heard of this liver (cirrhosis), alcoholic hepatitis and a mutation could lead to liver cancer. I now get tested twice a year for this .
9 For whatever reason females seem to take in more alcohol from every drink they have as compared to males. Body size generally can change your BAC Blood Alcohol Level but it still won’t make a difference to how quick your liver processes it. I have written about that here.
8 Even if you are just having up to three drinks per day it can damage your liver. So it is probably why a glass of wine and a few drinks after work caught up with me although thousands of people so this and was the everyday norm.
7 Dry January is great in theory but remember if you then have a “blow out” the day after you could be really damaging your liver. It’s not always constant drinking that can do the damage.
6 Check your medicine. It could have alcohol in it.
In fact some pharmacists will not serve you any cold remedies if you have liver issues. I currently avoid medication at all costs apart from luckily the small amount I have been downgraded to. Taking lots of medicine with alcohol could further damage your liver.
5 What are some the common symptoms of liver disease:
- Yellowish skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Swelling in legs and ankles
- Dark urine
- Nausea or vomiting
- Itchy skin
- Discolored stool
- Tendency to bruise easily
- Chronic fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Pale, bloody, or tar-colored stool
( List courtesy of NHS England UK )
4 Liver disease caused by alcohol is avoidable. Most reputable sources cite moderate alcohol consumption as one drink per day for women and two for men. In general, there isn’t a type of alcoholic beverage, whether it be beer, spirits or wine, that is “safer” for the liver
3 There is plenty of debate about whether liver symptoms can be reversed.
So the general view and this is a generalization which I came across a lot in hospital is that so called Fatty Liver disease can be helped if you stop drinking and maybe reversed. It appears the same might be true for Alcoholic Hepatitis.
However, if like my case it has developed into Cirrhosis stopping any alcohol is literally saving your life. However, it appears it could keep it stable if not reverse it.
Do talk to a medical professional if that is you, get advice.
The danger for me now is the chance of liver cancer but at least my medical consultant said I had “dodged a bullet!” Fingers crossed!
I only say this as I want you to really understand the effect it can have. Get help urgently and switch to zero alcohol and you could be hopefully in the group of people who live with it.
2 Hypnosis has been used time and time again to help addiction and can help you reverse alcohol drinking in excess. One of my best affiliate partners is a guy called Mark Tyrrel who is one of the world’s best therapists and coaches and I have used his material widely.
His course get 5/5 stars here on my blog and if you want to hear what he has to say about it just click the affiliate link below.
If you choose the course which can be used anywhere you pay the same.
1 Drink options with zero alcohol could really help reduce your intake of this so-called poison and you still get to be sober. Now for many people it’s a no in that it can trigger further drinking but for the majority it can be a useful change to enjoy a beer, wine or gin with zero or very little trace alcohol.
Always get medical advice as this is a personal perspective from someone living successfully with liver disease.
What do you think?
It seems even alcohol could be a killer of your liver, we only have one and a transplant even if you get one is no walk in the park.
The one thing everyone agrees on is that stopping drinking even social drinking gives your liver a chance and maybe unlike the heart we kind of ignore it. I know I did.
However, I am alive and living a successful life so self belief and determination is key.
I would love to know what you think about how alcohol affects your liver. I always respond to your comments and we always get some interesting insights and perspectives. If you have liver issue I would love to know your experience or general experience of having an alcohol free lifestyle.