Legacy Healing Center Blog
Is it Possible to Repair the Liver from Alcohol Damage?
Alcohol addiction can wreak havoc on the body’s liver but repairing the liver after alcohol abuse is possible with the proper addiction treatment. The sooner you stop drinking alcohol, the better chances you will have of regaining your health in the long run. You can also take action to improve your overall health and wellness, like proper diet and exercise, to help aid the process of repairing the liver after alcohol abuse.
How Alcohol Affects the Liver
When you drink large amounts of alcohol, or if you drink for an extended period, it can cause long-term damage to the liver, first, by accumulating fat, leading to inflammation, which causes scarring. Once your liver is scarred, it cannot “heal” and can cause long-term health effects that can be fatal. To avoid death from liver cirrhosis, you must stop drinking entirely before this damage occurs.
Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (AFLD) is when drinking alcohol causes fat to build up within and around the liver. This fat damages the liver cells and can move to other parts of your body. Symptoms during this stage of liver disease are mild and may include discomfort in your upper right abdomen, yellowish-colored skin, and eyes, and feeling tired. It can be challenging for a doctor to diagnose AFLD without blood tests showing abnormal liver chemical imbalances, so sometimes liver issues go unnoticed until they are more serious.
To treat AFLD, you should:
- Be 100% abstinent from alcohol
- Lose weight if you are overweight
- Exercise to help remove fat from the liver
- Eat a healthy diet
Alcoholic hepatitis is the next stage of liver disease caused by drinking, in which the liver becomes inflamed, dangerously disrupting normal liver functions. Symptoms can range from barely anything to deadly and may include:
- Issues with blood clotting and bleeding in the throat
- Swelling of the abdomen
- Confusion due to an ammonia buildup in the blood
- Yellow skin and whites of the eyes, also known as jaundice
Alcoholic hepatitis treatment may involve:
- Quitting drinking immediately
- Anti-inflammatory medication like steroids
- Eating healthy foods and exercising regularly
Cirrhosis of the Liver
Cirrhosis is the scarring of the liver, where liver cells no longer function correctly or at all until eventually, the liver ceases to function, causing serious health issues and lifelong effects. Symptoms of cirrhosis include:
- Jaundice in the skin and eyes
- Swelling in the abdomen, feet, legs, and ankles, called ascites
- Increased bruising and bleeding due to issues with blood clotting
- Weakness and fatigue
- Muscle atrophy
- Pain in the upper right abdomen
- Itchy skin
- Hair loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weight loss
The scarring caused by cirrhosis cannot be reversed, but stopping drinking can stop the condition’s progression. You will need to eat a lot of protein and a high-calorie diet and exercise regularly to keep the remaining portions of the liver healthy. A liver transplant is the only way to fully recover once this stage of alcoholic liver disease has been reached.
How to Repair the Liver from Alcohol Abuse
If you are worried that your drinking may be affecting your liver, there are things you can do to work on repairing the liver after alcohol abuse. These include:
- . Stopping drinking immediately
- Work out and eat right, keep your weight down
- Watch which medications you are taking, as some can affect the liver
- Keep other toxins out of your system, including quitting smoking and other drugs
Alcohol Rehab and Detox at Legacy Healing Center
Contact us at Legacy Healing Center for help with repairing the liver after alcohol abuse. Even if you have been drinking for a long time and are worried about how alcohol detox will affect you, our medical team, along with other psychiatric care professionals, will work with you to ensure you are safe and remain as comfortable as possible as you get through your detox and transition into rehab.
We have a variety of rehab programs, including inpatient and outpatient care, so you can heal and rehabilitate and then have all the support and strategies you will need to get through the triggers and alcohol cravings life may throw at you. We will help you rebuild your life while reaching your health and wellness under control, so you can look forward to the future and live a self-directed, alcohol-free life. Contact us at 888.534.2295 today to discover how our treatment programs can work in repairing the liver after alcohol abuse.