Most times, the causes that a person is eventually seeking treatment for alcohol liver damage are more severe physical issues like cirrhosis and liver cancer. However, in some cases, a patient may have a milder alcohol problem but is still suffering from a liver condition that could be corrected with a simple change in diet. It is also possible to reverse the damage caused by alcohol consumption by simply stopping drinking all together. When most people quit drinking in time, the consequences from the liver usually can be corrected in several instances.
Liver cancer is one of the most serious physical conditions that can result from alcohol liver damage. It is possible for the condition to develop slowly over many years or it can quickly develop once alcohol consumption increases. In either case, if it is discovered in the course of cancer treatment, the patient may not survive. Alcohol abuse and liver cirrhosis both require drastic lifestyle changes to prevent death. Binge drinking, too, requires immediate treatment to avoid further complications.
One of the most common results of binge drinking alcohol is fatty liver. The liver produces acetaldehyde, a substance that partially explains why so many people feel drunk after having just one drink. Acetaldehyde actually has a sedative effect and the body starts to retain more water and fat around the fat pad of the liver. Over time this fat pad can enlarge and protrude, which causes a variety of health problems. Most of these problems begin with simple nausea and vomiting, but they often do not get treated until they progress into more serious conditions like gallstones and cirrhosis.
Alcoholic hepatitis is caused by damage to the liver cells, and is often fatal. This is often caused by repeated exposure to alcohol over a long period of time. It is believed that this is a disease of the liver that is genetic, but there is no evidence to prove this.
Another severe symptom of this disease is cirrhosis or liver failure. When this happens, all or most of the liver cells are lost. Since the liver is the primary detoxifying organ for the body, failure means that toxic substances from the bloodstream have flooded the system. When this happens, there is no longer a way for the body to eliminate these toxins.
One of the other conditions caused by alcohol abuse and liver cirrhosis is inflammation of the tissue surrounding the alcohol glands. This is called fatty liver, and it is caused by damage to the liver tissue. This often leads to the production of fatty deposits in other parts of the body, such as the neck and the legs.
Alcoholic liver failure can also be caused by damage to the kidneys. If the filtering organs for the kidneys, called the hepatic acinar zone, are damaged, then they cannot eliminate toxins. As a result, these toxins can build up and cause damage to other parts of the body, such as the brain, lungs, heart, or fingers and toes. Other symptoms include lethargy, fever, and abdominal pain.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention. A doctor can perform a physical exam and check the patient’s general health and liver damage symptoms. He may perform blood tests to measure things like protein, sugar, and cholesterol. Once the doctor has determined that alcohol use has caused these symptoms, he will be able to prescribe the appropriate treatments, which should take care of the liver damage right away.