Liver serves as the body’s liquor control board. When you have a glass of wine, beer or other liquor, the liver is in charge of processing this alcohol and detoxifying the blood. It is a powerful organ and can usually cope with drinking a small amount of alcohol. However the liver can only handle a certain amount of alcohol at any given time, so if you drink more than the liver can deal with by drinking too quickly, or drinking too much, your liver cells struggle to process it.
The regular alcohol consumption or heavy alcohol intake may lead to multiple types of liver damage including:
- Fatty Liver
Too much fat can build up in your liver if you drink more than the liver can handle. This can cause inflammation and fatty liver disease. If you are overweight and drink too much, it increases the chance of damaging your liver.
- Alcoholic Hepatitis
Alcoholic hepatitis is caused by inflammation of the liver associated with long term, excessive drinking. The condition causes the liver to become swollen and tender. If you have fatty liver and continue to drink, you are dramatically increasing your chances of developing alcoholic hepatitis; this condition can develop after many years of heavy drinking.
Cirrhosis occurs when the liver cells are damaged and replaced by scar tissue because of chronic inflammation. The inflammation can develop because of chronic viral hepatitis, fatty liver disease, unsafe consumption of alcohol, some drugs and harmful substances. The scar tissue affects the flow of blood and other fluids through the liver. Without a good flow, together with a reduction in total liver cells, the liver cannot function properly and it becomes lumpy and hard. If you continue to drink at this stage you will accelerate damage to your liver and rapidly increase your chances of liver cancer as well as death.
Here are few tips that may help you to limit your alcohol intake:
- Switch to low-alcohol or alternate an alcohol-free drink with an alcoholic one
- Mix your favorite wine with plain mineral water
- Mix beer or stout with lemonade
- Avoid situations where there is peer pressure to drink in rounds
If you’re having difficulty cutting back, talk to your doctor about getting professional help to reduce your alcohol intake.
So Love Your Liver & Drink in Moderation