Treatment programs like the ones offered by Vertava Health can help a person overcome alcohol use and addiction and possibly reverse the damage done to the liver.
What Impact Does Alcohol Have On The Liver?
Alcohol has long been known to have a detrimental effect on the liver. The liver is one of the major organs in the body and is responsible for ridding the body of toxins and other dangerous substances.
When someone consumes large amounts of alcohol over an extended period of time, the liver begins to prioritize metabolizing alcohol over other substances. This can place extensive stress on the liver and require it to work extremely hard to rid the body of substances.
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When the liver is constantly working hard to keep up with an individual’s alcohol intake, it can become damaged as a result of fatty deposits and scar tissue. Fatty deposits can form when the liver cannot handle the amount of alcohol ingested and begins to form fat buildup. This fat can lead to scarring and inflammation, which can ultimately result in liver disease.
Fatty liver is often the first stage of liver damage as a result of alcohol use. Many people do not experience symptoms at this stage unless the liver becomes enlarged. Reducing alcohol intake or quitting entirely will often reverse this condition.
Alcohol hepatitis is typically the next stage of liver disease caused by alcohol. This condition is when the liver swells and can cause symptoms such as jaundice, vomiting, and fever.
The last and most severe stage of alcohol-related liver disease is cirrhosis. This condition occurs when scar tissue builds up in the liver and affects the liver’s ability to function properly. Alcoholic cirrhosis can have a number of severe symptoms and can even lead to liver failure which can be fatal.
How To Reverse Liver Damage Caused By Alcohol Use
There are a number of things a person can do to potentially reverse liver damage caused by alcohol use. More severe liver damage may not be reversible; however, if a person is not experiencing symptoms of liver damage, he or she will likely be able to restore the liver to health.
Steps a person can take to potentially reverse alcohol-related liver damage include:
- Quit Drinking — The most important step a person can make to heal his or her liver is to give up alcohol. This is especially true if a person has been abusing or addicted to alcohol for a long period of time. It’s important to note that simply cutting back on alcohol intake is not enough – even small amounts of alcohol can cause the liver to work harder than usual and prevent it from healing.
- Eat A Healthy Diet — Avoiding processed food can prevent the liver from having to work hard to rid the body of toxins. Healthy and whole foods can improve liver health as well as increase a person’s overall wellbeing.
- Exercise — Exercising can provide many benefits, including reduced risk of liver problems and liver cancer. It can also help to reduce the risk of obesity, which can contribute to fatty liver disease.
- Be Mindful Of Medications — Some medications, such as Tylenol, can be especially harmful to a person with liver damage. Checking with a doctor to ensure a medication is safe to take is the best way to prevent worsening a liver condition.
- Stop Smoking — Smoking cigarettes can negatively impact the liver’s health as well. When combined with alcohol, smoking can increase a person’s risk of liver cancer. Quitting smoking is an important step in healing the liver.
Damage caused to the liver as a result of alcohol use is often reversible by either self-help remedies such as the ones mentioned above or with medical treatment. However, if liver damage is severe, it may not be reversible. Speaking with a doctor is the best way to determine how to heal the liver after chronic alcohol consumption.
Treatment For Alcohol Use And Addiction
Struggling with alcohol use or addiction is never easy, and many people are unable to quit on their own. Luckily, Vertava Health provides a number of different alcohol addiction treatment programs at our various alcohol rehab and detox facilities throughout the nation. Each program is catered to fit the needs of each individual and works to help people reclaim their lives and health in sobriety.
To learn more about whether long-term liver damage caused by alcohol can be repaired, contact an Vertava Health’ treatment specialist today.