Alcoholic liver disease is becoming increasingly common in the UK, as a result of alcohol misuse. This type of disease causes a person to feel really nauseous a lot of time, as well as a causing them to have a loss of appetite and a loss of weight, too. The damage caused by alcoholic liver disease is serious and almost impossible to better once a certain amount of damage has come to light.
The liver is one of the most complex organs in the human body, performing over 500 different functions on a daily basis. From filtering important chemicals like hormones, to producing blood-clotting agents to help stop future bleeding, the liver does it all. Although the liver is also one of the toughest organs in the body, it can only remain tough up to a certain point. When a liver stops performing how it should, other organs suffer as a result.
There are three main stages that the liver goes through when it has been diseased by alcohol. These are: alcoholic fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis. Firstly, alcoholic fatty liver disease is when fat builds up as a result of the large amount of alcohol consumed. This acts as a sign that something isn’t right, and that drinking such a large amount of alcohol isn’t healthy. At this stage, liver disease can still be reversed.
The second stage of liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis, is when the disease has become serious. This is also when the liver starts to become inflamed. Again, at this stage the disease can be reversed, although this can only happen if the person stops drinking alcohol for several years, as a result of the livers need to recover.
The final stage of liver disease, cirrhosis, is when liver disease becomes completely irreversible, as a result of prolonged inflammation of the liver and the scarring that has been caused. At this stage point of liver disease, the person’s life is very much in danger, with a loss of liver function resulting in immediate death.
For many people at the final stage of liver disease, their only option is to undergo a liver transplant, simply because their own liver is far too damaged to function how it should. Undergoing a transplant like this, on such an important organ adds approximately five years or so onto the person’s life, although they are unlikely to live beyond this by very much. This is mainly because of the suffering their other organs have undergone as a result of the liver underperforming.