Liver Healing: How to Repair the Liver from Alcohol Abuse – Depending on a person’s level of alcoholism, he or she may have caused damage to their liver. Fortunately, the liver is a regenerative organ, so in many cases, it’s possible to restore it’s prior condition before problematic drinking began.
Can the Liver Repair Itself?
The liver is the body’s only regenerative organ, not unlike how lizards have the ability to regrow tails. If you had as much as 75% of your liver removed, it could still grow back to its full size.
Part of the reason for this special ability is due to what the liver actually does for the body. Because it works as the body’s primary filtration organ, it comes in contact with many toxins and chemicals, some of which can cause severe damage when they are exposed to cells.
For this reason, the nature of the liver’s job requires it to be able to regenerate on its own. Otherwise, our bodies would be much more vulnerable to a variety of diseases.
Liver Healing and Alcoholism
When a person quits drinking, they are often focused on regaining physical health, and for a good reason. It’s a well-known fact that alcohol can completely destroy the liver. As the main organ responsible for clearing toxins from the body, the liver works hard to process alcoholic beverages.
Many alcoholics in recovery discover they have caused damage to their liver or have contracted liver disease during the course of their alcohol abuse. A damaged liver can result in many of the various health problems that alcoholics encounter due to their drinking. By avoiding alcohol use, staying hydrated, and eating a diet beneficial to liver functioning, a person can usually reverse some or all of the effects of alcoholism—even after years of drinking.
Liver Healing: The Liver’s Function
The liver is the largest internal organ in the body and weighs about three pounds. Its primary function is to detoxify blood from the digestive tract before it flows to the rest of the body.
The liver works to filter chemicals that are transferred throughout the body. It breaks down drugs and alcohol and secretes an enzyme called bile, which helps with digestion. Also, the liver produces protein, which is essential for blood clotting.
When this vital organ is not functioning properly, the rest of the body cannot either. It is critical for every person’s health and well-being. When the liver does not effectively eliminate toxins from the body and aid with digestion, a myriad of hazardous health problems will ultimately manifest.
Types of Liver Disease Caused by Alcoholism
There are many forms of liver disease:
- Diseases caused by viruses, including hepatitis A, B, and C
- Diseases caused by substances, such as fatty liver disease and cirrhosis
- Liver cancer
- Inherited diseases, including hemochromatosis and Wilson disease
Aside from cancer, cirrhosis is the most serious disease of the liver. Cirrhosis is an exacerbation of other, less severe diseases, such as fatty liver and hepatitis B and C. It involves the loss of cells and irreversible scarring of the liver. Cirrhosis develops in stages and can result in weakness, loss of appetite, easy bruising, jaundice, itching, fatigue, and, ultimately, organ failure.
Liver Healing Treatment
According to the Mayo Clinic, treatment for liver disease depends on the diagnosis. Some problems can be resolved with lifestyle modifications, such as abstaining from alcohol use, often as part of a medical program that includes thorough monitoring of liver function.
Other liver problems can be treated with medications or may require surgery. Treatment for liver disease that causes or has led to liver failure may ultimately require a liver transplant.
Complications of Alcohol-Related Liver Disease
When an alcohol-related liver disease has advanced to more severe stages, it can lead to many complications, including the following:
- Bleeding disorders
- Kidney failure
- Liver cancer
- Buildup of fluid in the abdomen and infection of the fluid
- Enlarged, bleeding veins in the esophagus, stomach, or intestines
- Increased pressure in liver blood vessels of the liver
- Mental confusion and change in the level of consciousness
Keep in mind that some types of liver damage can be permanent. Many people wait until it’s too late before they focus on liver healing. Long-term effects of drug abuse and alcoholism, liver diseases, and conditions like hepatitis C can leave our liver in a continually damaged condition.
Fortunately, however, this doesn’t mean by making better choices you cannot still live a long and healthy life. People can live with liver damage and once again experience fulfilling lives. But, they need to start taking care of their liver and the rest of their body, and this includes abstaining from drugs and alcohol.
Treatment for Alcoholism
Recovery By The Sea is a specialized addiction treatment facility that specializes in drug abuse and alcoholism. Those who suffer from these conditions often also need integrated treatment, such as care and support for health conditions and mental illness.
We can effectively address all concerns related to health and wellness—including liver healing—while you are in early recovery.
We offer a comprehensive approach to treatment, featuring services essential for the recovery process. These services include psychotherapy, counseling, aftercare planning, group support, medication-assisted treatment, and much more.
If you or someone you love has found themselves unable to quit drinking, contact us today! Discover how we help people liberate themselves from the chains of addiction for life!