Alcohol has significant short-term and long-term effects on the body’s organs, including the liver. The liver plays an important role, and its main role is to help break down substances and remove toxins from the body. Excessive and long-term consumption of alcohol suppresses the liver, inhibits the ability to filter alcohol, and makes it impossible for liver cells to regenerate. Alcohol is one of the most common causes of liver disease.
The liver can normally regenerate lost cells, but the scarring caused by alcohol-induced liver disease prevents the liver from regenerating itself. Heavy alcohol consumption for a few days can cause fat to accumulate in the liver and damage the cells. If a person has fatty liver disease and continues to drink alcohol, the disease will progress and cause further damage due to permanent scarring.
Avoiding alcohol and limiting alcohol consumption is essential to prevent liver disease and treat existing cases. Alcohol use disorder increases the risk of liver disease because it impairs a person’s ability to stop drinking. Getting help for alcohol addiction can help you avoid alcohol and prevent and treat liver disease.
What does the liver do in the human body?
The liver is located in the upper right part of the abdomen, below the ribs. It is an important and complex organ that serves several purposes. It secretes bile to aid in digestion, removes toxins from the blood, and helps remove waste from the body.
The liver also stores sugar, which the body uses for energy, and helps regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It helps the body fight disease and infection and makes proteins throughout the body, including proteins that help blood clot.
How alcohol affects your liver
The liver is flexible and can regenerate itself by making new cells. Every time you drink alcohol, the liver filters out the alcohol, causing liver cells to die and new ones to form. However, long-term overdose can gradually reduce the liver’s ability to regenerate, leading to permanent liver damage. A variety of substances can damage the liver, but one of the most common causes of liver damage is alcohol.
How alcohol consumption affects your liver
Drinking too much alcohol can damage the liver and cause liver disease. Alcohol contains ethanol, which has a caloric value. However, unlike fats and carbohydrates, the body cannot store alcohol for later use. Alcohol remains in water until it is excreted from the body, and the liver’s job is to oxidize and remove alcohol.
Alcoholic liver disease occurs when a person consumes too much alcohol for a long time, and there are three types of liver disease. Alcohol-related liver disease is manifested by one of the following disorders.
Fatty liver disease
The first stage of alcoholic liver disease is fatty liver disease. Alcoholic fatty liver disease causes fat to accumulate in the liver. It occurs when an individual has consumed large amounts of alcohol and can occur even if someone has been drinking heavily for a few days.
Fatty liver disease can indicate that a person is consuming harmful amounts of alcohol, but it’s rare and often goes unnoticed. Symptoms may include mild discomfort in the upper right side of the abdomen caused by an enlarged liver.