Alcohol and Its Impact on Liver Health - Wockhardt

Alcohol and Its Impact on Liver Health

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Are you going overboard on alcohol?

Well, then it is the right time to avoid having it. Alcohol consumption is not only linked to high blood pressure, digestive issues, stroke, or heart disease but also liver failure. A large number of people having alcohol tend to silently suffer from liver problems. In the below article, we aim to create awareness regarding alcohol’s impact on one’s liver.

Currently, a majority of people are stressed and opt for alcohol or smoking to feel lighter. But, these things can do more harm than good. Consuming alcohol can take a toll on one’s overall well-being and impact every organ of the body. Alcohol consumption is commonly associated with various types of cancers, abnormal heart rhythms, alcohol use disorder, and a weak immune system. Moreover, alcohol consumption and liver problems go hand-in-hand. Alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) is common in India and the incidence is rising as a result of increasing levels of alcohol misuse

How does alcohol drinking affect the liver?

Ethanol/alcohol is metabolized in the liver with help of a key enzyme called ADH ( Alcohol Dehydrogenase). Continuous and heavy Drinking creates oxidative stress in the liver. Liver cell capacity to neutralize this oxidative stress with help of antioxidants like glutathione, vitamins A, E, & C will get reduced with time. Increased oxidative stress produces liver cell damage and leads to Alcohol Related liver diseases. These are three of the types of liver disease that occur due to heavy alcohol consumption

Alcoholic fatty liver disease

Alcoholic Fatty liver disease (steatosis): Fatty liver is one of the types of alcohol-related liver disease seen in many patients. It occurs when a person drinks excess alcohol in a short time span. In this condition, excess fat will get accumulated in the liver and will be shown on ultrasonography. Fat accumulation will cause inflammation in the liver tissue. This rarely causes any symptoms. If one stops drinking, this condition is reversible.

Alcoholic hepatitis

Alcoholic Hepatitis is a more severe liver injury in which the inflammation (Swelling) of the liver cells occurs. One with this condition will exhibit symptoms such as poor appetite, abdominal pain, tiredness, jaundice, and even death. The Liver injury associated with mild alcoholic hepatitis is reversible if you stop drinking permanently but an injury in severe alcoholic hepatitis can be life-threatening and require liver replacement.

Liver cirrhosis or scarring of the liver

If you are consuming alcohol on a regular basis then you need to be cautious. Yes, you have heard it right! Too much alcohol can lead to liver cirrhosis. Are you aware? Alcohol changes the chemicals that tend to break down and remove scar tissue. Thus, the scar tissue builds up in one’s liver and replaces normal healthy cells. Hence, the liver will fail to work as it is supposed to and one can lose his/her life. One may only see symptoms such as vomiting blood, swollen tummy, jaundice, excess sleepiness, and muscle cramps only when it is too late. There can be a liver failure and death due to cirrhosis. Currently, A Liver Transplant surgery is the only way to cure irreversible liver failure.

The last word:

It is imperative for each and everyone to limit their alcohol intake and take charge of their health. Apart from that, just adhere to a well-balanced lifestyle. Try to eat well, quit smoking, exercise daily, and stay healthy.

Dr. Manoj Bhambare
Consultant Surgical Gastroenterology, HPB, and Liver Transplantation
Wockhardt Hospitals, Nashik

To book an appointment call: +918669998260

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