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Common Signs of Liver Damage Caused by Alcohol Abuse

Common Signs of Liver Damage Caused by Alcohol Abuse

It’s no secret that a lot of adults love to drink alcohol for a lot of different reasons. It can be to unwind after a long day at work, to be more social at a friend’s get together, or simply because they enjoy the taste.

Overall, moderate alcohol consumption isn’t that bad for you and can even have some surprising benefits. However, there is a difference between enjoying a glass of wine at dinner and abusing alcohol – which can lead to a variety of serious health consequences, including addiction and liver damage.

Keep reading to find out the most common signs of liver damage caused by alcohol abuse.

What Alcohol Does to Your Liver

The liver’s job is to filter alcohol out of a person’s bloodstream when they drink. While consuming too much alcohol over a period of time will definitely affect a person’s entire body, it will significantly impact the liver’s ability to function properly.

Large amounts of alcohol means that your liver will have to work overtime in order to filter it. But overworking the liver can lead to a variety of issues such as inflammation, an accumulation of fatty tissue, and eventually scarring. Scar tissue will eventually overwhelm the liver, hindering its ability to perform. This means your body will lose its filtration system and more and more alcohol will end up in your bloodstream.

signs of liver damage

8 Signs of Alcohol-Related Liver Damage

Depending on what kind and amount you drink, the damage also varies. Most Alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) takes years of alcoholic abuse – leaving the liver too inflamed and swollen. This damage can also cause cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is considered the final stage of liver damage.

ARLD is considered one of the major public health problems throughout the world, and commonly 8 out of 10 adults drink alcohol heavily. Most of the ARLD victims are men, and that’s why it’s important to look for signs of liver damage. Here are the common signs of Liver Damages you need to check on:

  1. Abnormal sleeping patterns
  2. Fluctuating energy levels
  3. Skin and eyes are yellowish
  4. Skin conditions like itching, eczema, psoriasis, and acne
  5. Poor and severe reaction to the medications
  6. Drinking small amounts of alcohol intoxicates you quickly and causes extreme hangovers
  7. Severe reactions to caffeine
  8. Flushing from head to torso

When there are visible symptoms of liver damage, you need to go check with your doctor and see what steps you need to do.

How Alcohol-Related Liver Disease is Treated

There are a two main types of liver disease caused by alcohol consumption: fatty liver disease and cirrhosis.

Fatty Liver Disease

As its name suggests, fatty liver disease occurs when there is a build-up of fat in liver cells. While it is normal to have a small amount of fat in these particular cells, if more than 5% of your liver is fat it is considered fatty. Fatty liver develops in 90% of people who drink more than the recommended daily alcohol intake.

Fatty liver disease is typically fully reversible with some lifestyle changes including lowering your alcohol consumption, monitoring what you eat, and increasing how much you exercise.


Cirrhosis most commonly occurs in heavy drinkers who regularly binge drink. It causes your liver to become inflamed and can even lead to the death of its cells. These cells are then replaced by scar tissue, which is what impedes the liver’s ability to properly filter alcohol.

Unlike fatty liver disease, which is reversible, cirrhosis is not. In serious cases of liver damage that has resulted in cirrhosis, a liver transplant is usually the only option to correct the issue.

Alcohol addiction treatment

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

The best way to treat alcohol-related liver disease is to stop drinking, which can be a vital component of treatment depending on what stage you are at. However, in most cases, this is easier said than done. Most people who end up with liver damage caused by alcohol abuse are addicts. In order to stop drinking when you’re an alcoholic involves so much more effort than just saying “I’m done.”

That’s why alcohol rehabs in Toronto and across Canada exist. Freedom From Addiction provides the support that is needed in order to overcome alcohol addiction to stop liver damage in its tracks. If you believe that you or someone you know could benefit from our services, don’t hesitate to contact us today.


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