Man has long discovered the temporary effects that alcohol can allow them to feel. Most individuals take refuge in drinking alcohol when they want to feel numb and not feel the weight of problems that they have to endure in everyday life. However, it is also known that by choosing to seek refuge with the temporary effect that drinking alcohol can provide, a much serious health problem may develop. That health problem is the development of alcoholic fatty liver disease.
What is Alcoholic Fatty Liver?
Alcoholic fatty liver is a type of liver damage in which the main cause is too much intake of alcohol. There are many symptoms and conditions associated with fatty liver disease. This kind of disease generally shows the symptoms unless the liver is already seriously damaged. When it comes to that point, the symptoms that will be felt and experienced include nausea, loss appetite, jaundice or turning the color of the skin and eyes into yellow and weight loss. Feeling drowsy and getting confused, and swelling of the abdomen and ankles are also symptoms of the disease. This type of fatty liver disease is only diagnosed if the person is being checked for other conditions related to a damaged liver.
How Alcohol Can Affect the Liver
It is long a given knowledge that alcohol can highly affect the liver and the way it functions. Liver is basically the one of the most complex organ next to the brain. It serves as the organ that filter toxins present in the body. It regulates the cholesterol level in the blood, and it is the organ that helps in fighting disease and infection. This organ is very capable made possible because if its ability to regenerate. That function is only affected if it usually filters alcohol, which causes the liver cells to die. When that happens, the liver will regenerate new cells but, too much and continuous alcoholic intake soon results to damaging the organ. Thus, alcoholic liver disease is developed.
Heavy Drinker and The Development of Fatty Liver
A lot of individuals suffer from fatty liver disease. It is said that 9 out of 10 heavy drinkers has a huge possibility of developing this disease.
Heavy drinker is defined as someone who drinks regularly and is taking more than the limited amount per day. When stated in quantity, it will be equivalent to consumption of 3 to 4 units of alcohol for men and 2 to 3 units of alcohol for women. The population rate with an alcoholic fatty liver is continuously rising, which is why alcohol is now considered as one of the leading cause of death now.
The Three Stages of Fatty Liver Disease
Alcoholic fatty liver has three stages, which are the alcoholic fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis.
1. Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
It is the first stage that a person with the disease will experience. Even a few days of drinking heavy amount of alcohol can already cause fatty acid build-up in the liver. Although the a fatty liver disease usually does not involve any symptoms, it is still warning that, in that situation, a person is already taking the amount of alcohol considered as dangerous to one’s health. At this stage, the disease can still be prevented from getting serious by stopping from drinking for at least two weeks until the liver has returned to its normal. However, it is mostly recommended to stop drinking alcohol completely so that further development will be prevented.
2. Alcoholic Hepatitis
It is the stage in which liver tissue inflammation already starts due to too much intake of alcohol for several years. The stage can also be described at times as the one that occurs once a person drank too much alcohol in just a short span of time. The same as the first stage, it can also still be reversible by stopping from drinking alcohol.
It is the last stage of alcoholic fatty liver disease. It occurs when inflammation taking place for a long time has already caused the liver to be scarred and it ceased from functioning properly. Once that happens, the life of the person is already put at risk. If the case is just mild, stopping from drinking alcohol can still help the liver to recover. However, in serious cases, the only way a person can be saved is through a liver transplant.
The most effective way of treating a fatty liver disease is by completely stopping from drinking alcohol. Generally, the kind of treatment a person has to undergo depends on their choice of stopping from drinking and changing their lifestyle. However, it is also helpful if a person will be responsible in taking only the limited amount of alcohol whenever they prefer to drink. Other than that, medication and nutritional therapy can help in treating the disease.
Developing an alcoholic fatty liver is very dangerous. So, for it to be prevented, it is highly recommended for a person to be as responsible as possible about their health.