Tag Archives: Alcoholic

“My name is Dan and I’m an alcoholic”: State Rep. Dan Huberty confronts addiction after DWI arrest

Author: Shawn Mulcahy
This post originally appeared on The Texas Tribune: Main Feed

Fatty liver disease: Alcoholic drinks to avoid which are increasing your risk of condition

When it comes to the worst culprits for alcoholic beverages and fatty liver disease, Hussain said: “Many people believe that beer is a milder drink due to its lower alcohol content in comparison to spirits.

“However, beer is very high in calories and people will often drink more than two pints in one sitting, meaning that their alcoholic and caloric intake is quite high.

“Opting for a lighter beer can make a difference to the calorie count, but that should not be an excuse to drink twice as much as you normally would.

“Pina coladas are the worst alcoholic drinks for your body.

“Containing rum, coconut cream and coconut milk, a pina colada can add up to more calories than a hamburger.

“The pineapple juice contained in a pina colada also adds to the sugar count.

Alcoholic fatty liver disease: The five earliest warning signs of organ damage

Dr Sarah Jarvis acknowledges the liver’s “amazing” capacity to regenerate itself. However, each time it filters alcohol, “liver cells die”, which can become a problem “if you keep drinking”. When the liver is unable to keep up with how much a person drinks on a regular basis, permanent liver damage occurs. Alcohol is believed to damage the liver in two ways, through oxidative stress and toxins.
Drinkaware explained further: “When our liver tries to break down alcohol, the resulting chemical reaction can damage its cells.

“This damage can lead to inflammation and scarring as the liver tries to repair itself” – known as oxidative stress.

As for toxins, alcohol can damage the intestines, enabling toxins from gut bacteria to move into the liver; this too causes inflammation and scarring.

Drinkaware warned: “People can spend 20 years damaging their liver and not feel any of the effects this is doing to them.”

READ MORE: Fatty liver disease symptoms: Swollen veins and other signs your condition has progressed

Yet, when symptoms of alcoholic fatty liver disease do emerge, there are five warning signs to be aware of, which are:

  • Abdominal pains
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Dr Jarvis commented: “Now, if you stop drinking, you can help reduce damage to your liver.”

If you don’t, signs that the disease has progresses include the following:

  • Easy bruising
  • Bleeding in the gut
  • Jaundice (yellow skin)
  • Increased sensitivity to alcohol
  • Itching
  • Liver cancer
  • Swelling of the legs, ankles, or abdomen
  • Vomiting blood
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite

“If you drink too much alcohol, particularly over a long period, it’s a major cause of cirrhosis of the liver,” added Dr Jarvis.

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Cirrhosis of the liver – when scar tissue builds up – is not reversible, and it can stop the organ from working effectively.

Anyone at this stage of the disease are highly recommended to become teetotal, which is complete abstinence from alcohol.

What if I have no symptoms?

“Evidence about how much and how often you need to drink to increase your chances of developing liver disease is unclear,” said Drinkaware.

“But all the research shows that the more alcohol you drink, the more likely you are to develop liver disease.”

Current evidence suggests that other factors can increase a person’s likelihood of developing fatty liver disease.

For example, around seven in 10 people with alcoholic fatty liver disease have an alcohol dependency problem.

In addition, being overweight can “exacerbate many of the mechanisms of liver damage caused by excessive drinking”.

Am I at risk of a fatty liver?

Alcohol interferes with the way liver handles fat, so drinking more than four pints daily for two weeks straight will lead to a fatty liver.

Drinkaware stated that this will be the case for women if more than two 175ml glasses of wine is consumed daily for a fortnight.

When a fatty liver emerges, you might feel a vague discomfort in the abdomen as the liver swells.

However, if you stop drinking for two weeks, the liver should start shedding the excess fat.

“But if you don’t change your drinking pattern, that fatty liver is the first stage of developing liver disease,” said Drinkaware.

Alcoholic fatty liver disease symptoms: A doctor warns of two of earliest warning signs

When the liver breaks down alcohol, it generates additional toxins within the body. Over time, excessive consumption of alcohol can result in liver cell injury and inflammation, leading to signs of fatty liver disease. Dr Scot Thomas confirmed: “For many people, fatty liver disease could point to signs of alcohol abuse or addiction.” The medical expert also highlighted those at most risk – “heavy drinkers who are obese, women, or [those who] have certain genetic mutations”.
This condition can be exacerbated by malnutrition, a poor diet, limited exercise, high blood pressure and obesity.

Why is alcoholic fatty disease dangerous?

The NHS warn of “portal hypertension” as a potential health complication of alcoholic fatty liver disease.

“It occurs when the blood pressure inside your liver has risen to a potentially serious level,” said the national health body.

A scarred liver makes it difficult for blood to travel through the organ, forcing blood to use smaller blood vessels instead.

As a result, these small blood vessels can weaken, split and bleed inside the body.

In addition, another danger of alcoholic fatty liver disease is the development of hepatic encephalopathy.

This is when the liver is unable to remove toxins from the body, which can lead to:

  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Muscle tremors
  • Difficulty speaking
  • In very serious cases, a coma

Furthermore, a build-up of fluid can develop in the tummy area, known as ascites.

A risk of infection in the fluid is linked to kidney failure and even death.

Fortunately, those who stop drinking completely can reverse the condition with the help of healthy lifestyle changes.

This includes eating a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Moreover, it requires regular exercise which can help reduce fat in the liver and help you to lose weight.

If you need support to cut down or to stop drinking, please call Drinkline’s confidential helpline on 0300 123 1110.