Alcohol abuse is something that not only takes its toll on someone’s personal life but it can also cause very serious damage to the body. Alcohol is a dangerous toxin that, when consumed in large amounts over a period of many years, can lead to physical health problems. The liver is one of the areas of the body that is most damaged by alcohol and many alcoholics even develop cirrhosis.
Cirrhosis is a liver disease that is most often linked with alcohol abuse and the effect that drinking has on the liver. The liver’s job in the body is to filter out toxins, break down proteins, and create bile to help absorb body fat. Heavy alcohol consumption taxes the liver and starts to replace healthy tissue with scar tissue resulting in cirrhosis.
Over time and with continued alcohol abuse, cirrhosis can cause the liver to stop functioning properly due to the increasing scar tissue. Cirrhosis typically develops when the person is between the ages of 30 and 40 as they start exhibiting symptoms such as jaundice or yellowing of the skin, hypertension resulting in increased blood pressure, and skin itching. An alcoholic will start to develop cirrhosis after drinking heavily for about eight years or so.
Cirrhosis can lead to complications such as a buildup of fluid in the stomach, encephalopathy or mental confusion, internal bleeding and other problems. Although cirrhosis cannot be completely reversed, the progress of the disease can be slowed so that some of the more severe symptoms don’t appear. The first step in treating cirrhosis is for the individual to stop drinking alcohol and detoxify their body from their dependency.
Some types of medication and better nutrition can improve some of the symptoms of cirrhosis but the most important thing is to stay sober permanently for better health.