Every alcoholic person knows that alcohol causes damage to the Liver. Very few people would have gone ahead in trying to understand the exact causes of this damage. When a person consumes alcohol, it is absorbed into the blood through the tongue, stomach and intestine. The alcohol is absorbed by water also. Through the water and the blood, the alcohol goes into every cell of the body. Some organs which have higher water content and higher blood supply, like brain would be affected more by alcohol consumption. As soon as the alcohol goes into the body, the liver starts the process of excreting it from the body. More than 95% of the alcohol in the body is excreted through the liver and the remaining through sweat and urine.
There are three types of damages which are caused by alcohol to the Liver – Fatty Liver, Alcoholic Hepatitis and Liver Cirrhosis.
Liver damage is not only caused by alcohol but there are other reasons also. Some children also develop fatty liver and liver cirrhosis. This does not mean that adults can continue to indulge in binge drinking without bothering about the consequences. Women have lesser capacity when it comes to alcohol consumption and therefore the safe limit for women is one peg of whisky per day while men can safely consume 2 pegs of 30 ml each. Drinking on empty stomach causes more damage to the liver as alcohol absorption is high on empty stomach. One must eat lots of salads and raw vegetables with alcohol. Avoid fried stuff like tandoori chicken, chips, peanuts, namkeens etc while consuming alcohol.
The safe limit is only for those who do not have alcohol related liver disease. It is therefore extremely important to get your liver checked regularly. Ultrasound of the abdomen alongwith Liver Function Tests would not cost more than 2 bottles of whiskey and should be done atleast once a year to check the health of your liver. If you have any alcohol related condition like fatty liver then abstaining from alcohol alteast 5 days in a week would help you recover.
Not every person who drinks heavily would have a liver condition which is caused by alcohol consumption. Other factors which work in tandem with alcohol consumption in causing damage to the liver are obesity, malnutrition, genetics, race, ethnicity, gender and hepatitis. Regular exercise plays a very important role in mitigating the effects of alcohol on the liver. People who drink heavily are less likely to be doing regular exercises and the vice versa. People who stop eating cooked food and go on a complete raw diet of vegetables, fruits, seeds and dry fruits would be able to reduce the impact of alcohol on liver.
If you have been diagnosed with Fatty Liver, Alcoholic Hepatitis or Liver Cirrhosis, you should immediately consult a Liver Specialist and start the treatment. If the treatment is done at an early stage then medication and lifestyle changes would do the job. If the treatment is delayed then surgery might be the only option.