Alcohol abuse is a widespread problem across countries all over the globe.
Alcohol abuse is defined as the consumption of more than 15 standard drinks every single week, with many consuming much more than this. Alcohol abuse can stem from various environmental, genetic, and psychological problems, and the damage can be devastating. Alcohol abuse regularly leads to financial difficulties due to an inability to hold down a job, homelessness, relationship problems with friends, partners, and family and of course, significant health problems. Health issues that arise from alcohol abuse are well documented, making it easy to understand the first signs of damage. The liver is the organ responsible for ‘cleansing’ anything that is ingested and removing toxins. As alcohol is a toxin, the liver takes the brunt of the damage from alcohol abuse. It is, of course, the first to show signs of wear from consistent alcohol abuse.
Unfortunately, there are often no symptoms regarding the early signs of liver damage from alcohol, so it can be difficult to notice if you are hurting yourself.
If symptoms do present, they can appear in the form of:
Swelling of Your Liver
The liver takes the main brunt of any damage when it comes to alcohol, as it is tasked with removing it from your body through the use of enzymes. As the liver is damaged, it may swell up in size leading to discomfort in the upper right side of your body.
Fatigue is another good indicator of early liver damage. Fatigue is defined as feeling tired, exhausted, and feeling weak constantly. If you are sleeping enough and eating well yet still feel very tired and lethargic, this may be a sign. While fatigue can present due to various factors such as not getting enough sleep, nutrition, or mental disorders, if you are living a lifestyle that involves heavy consumption of alcohol, then fatigue may be an indicator of early liver damage.
Unexplained Weight Loss/Loss of Appetite
Unexplained weight loss is another indicator of early liver damage. Unexplained weight loss is defined as rapid weight loss in a short time for no discernible reason. While many people may experience this if they are on an extreme diet or suffer from a form of the disease which can cause malnutrition, this should generally not occur for no reason. When you take the lifestyle of heavy alcohol consumption regularly and experience unexplained weight loss, it could be a sign of early liver damage. The loss of appetite could come into play which could explain the weight loss; however, you must also think about why you do not desire to eat. Again, if heavy alcohol consumption is a regular activity for you, and you lose your appetite and subsequently lose weight rapidly, this is a sign of an unhealthy lifestyle.
Do any of the above apply to you? For example, do you regularly indulge in heavy alcohol consumption? Are you concerned that you may be damaging your liver? At Moonee Valley Specialist Centre, we house a leading gastroenterologist and hepatologist and registered nurse who use the latest liver scan technology to determine the health of your liver. This quick and easy non-surgical test will provide you with the guidance you need to set you on a path to a healthier lifestyle.