The liver is an important part of the body, filtering blood, detoxifying chemicals and metabolizing drugs. It also creates bile that the intestines use in digestion. In total, the liver has over 500 functions in the body, including breaking down about one alcoholic drink per hour.

As one of the most important organs in the body, the liver is usually low maintenance, operating quietly and efficiently. The only time the liver becomes noticeable is if something of serious concern happens, like a serious condition or illness.

About one in ten Americans have liver disease, including alcohol related liver diseases (ARLD) such as fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis and alcohol related cirrhosis.

What Does Alcohol Do To The Liver?

When a person drinks alcohol, the liver is responsible for filtering the alcohol out of the bloodstream. Moderate amounts of alcohol usually will not affect a normally functioning liver, or lead to alcohol related liver disease (ARLD).

Moderate drinking is considered one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. One alcoholic beverage is considered 12 oz beer, 4 oz wine, or 1 oz liquor. Drinking more than this can damage the liver.

Too much alcohol, either at once or over time, can have a significant toll on the entire body, but especially the liver. The liver cannot easily filter out large amounts of alcohol, which means that it needs to overwork in order to process the alcohol in the body.

Overworking the liver results in an accumulation of fatty tissue, inflammation, and eventually significant scarring on the liver. Scars on the liver will continue to accumulate as heavy or binge drinking continue.

Eventually, the scar tissue overwhelms the liver and it can no longer function properly. Once this happens, the body loses its filtration system. Without a liver transplant, this disease eventually turns fatal.

Noticeable Signs of Liver Damage From Alcohol

The biggest concern regarding alcohol induced liver disease is that there are no symptoms until significant damage has been done to the liver. However, the following are some of the symptoms of liver damage from alcohol:

  • general unwellness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • decreased appetite
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain

Because these symptoms are very vague and could indicate any number of illnesses or gastrointestinal issues, many people disregard these warning signs. Continuing to consume alcohol can speed up the damage to the liver. Take proganic herbs for liver for prevention.

Alcohol Induced Liver Disease

There are four stages of alcohol induced liver disease. As alcohol continues to damage the liver, it will progress through fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis, and finally, alcoholic cirrhosis. The symptoms of these three diseases may overlap.

Some additional signs of liver damage from alcohol are:

  • low energy levels
  • abnormal sleeping habits
  • emerging skin conditions
  • drinking small amounts of alcohol results in intoxication
  • intense hangovers
  • caffeine affects increase
  • severe reactions from regular medications

Fatty Liver Disease

Consuming large amounts of alcohol over a short period of time can cause fatty liver disease. People with fatty liver disease may feel extremely tired or weak, or feel pain or discomfort in the upper right side of the abdomen.

If a person stops drinking at this point, the symptoms of fatty liver disease may subside. Liver disease at this stage is not permanent, if the person stops drinking.

Alcoholic Hepatitis

Continuing to drink can result in alcoholic hepatitis. The liver becomes inflamed and scar tissue begins to form. This impacts the blood flow in the liver, preventing it from working properly. Any form of alcoholic hepatitis requires the person to stop drinking completely. The more severe the case of hepatitis, the more life-threatening it can become.

As alcoholic hepatitis progresses, a person may experience:

  • low fever
  • jaundice (yellowing of skin or whites of eyes)
  • vomiting
  • extreme tiredness
  • weight loss
  • blood in vomit or stool
  • Clubbing (excessive curving) of fingernails
  • swelling of lower limbs
  • tenderness in the abdomen

Severe cases of alcoholic hepatitis can result in fluid accumulating in the abdomen, organ failure and changes in behavior and cognition.