Liver and Alcohol
Liver and Alcohol
The liver is organ essential for life. The liver is the place where elimination or chemical transformation of a number of waste products take place. Severe damage of the liver may lead to its insufficiency and the development of hepatic encephalopathy and death. Alcohol and medication are the main substances that person receives from the external environment and are processed in the liver. For the degradation of alcohol is necessary to have sufficient liver's chemical compounds which are important for this transformation. These compounds are called enzymes, and for alcohol is it mainly enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase. Ability of the liver to process alcohol genetically differ in many nations. This, in it´s consequence causes that even for Czech citizen can a very small amount of alcohol cause discomfort. Therefore, some nations do not drink alcohol almost at all.
Liver and excessive alcohol consumption
The United Kingdom ranks among the countries with high levels of alcohol consumption, what brings many health and social consequences. It is reported, if it comes to the addiction to alcohol, then this addiction is very strong and quite comparable with addiction to other drugs. According to information from 2008, in the United Kingdom, 71% of men and 56% women regularly consume alcohol. With regular excessive alcohol intake the risk of health problems significantly increases. It was found that persons aged between 45 to 54 years are often exposed to this risk.
Liver and various doses of alcohol
Each of us react to ambient temperature, diseases, accidents, stress, as well as drugs and alcohol differently. Therefore, not every regular consumer of alcohol has the liver impaired. However, there is the calculated amount of alcohol that is likely to cause serious liver damage in most persons. Intake of 80 gram of alcohol per day in men, i.e. approximately 0.7 liter of wine for age of 20 years, causes ligamentous reconstruction of the liver, called cirrhosis. In women, is it still about two-thirds less, thus just over 0.2 liter of wine daily. The other side of coin is fact that regular intake of alcohol in a small amount partially protects our body against many diseases, such as myocardial infarction. A French study showed that daily consumption of wine, 0.2 liter in men and 0.1-0.15 liter in women has protective effect against cardiovascular diseases.
Liver disease and alcohol
Degradation of alcohol takes place exclusively in the liver. A slight amount of alcohol leaves the body in unchanged form by the kidneys, lungs and skin. With excessive alcohol intake comes firstly to so-called fatty liver, steatosis professionally.
Fatty liver is usually asymptomatic disease. Sometimes non-specific symptoms may appear such as nausea, abdominal pain and hepatomegaly. If the liver is severely impaired, steatosis can manifest as jaundice. During alcohol abstinence fatty liver often adjusts itself. However, if the patient continues in alcohol consumption it comes to the rebuilding of liver, cirrhosis professionally.
The liver cirrhosis is very serious and irreversible disease that ends as hepatic failure and can lead to liver cancer. Cirrhosis has often no clear symptoms. It may manifest as abdominal pain, bloating or loss of appetite. Owing to that these symptoms occur in a variety of other diseases, it is very difficult to find it out. In later stages, cirrhosis manifests as jaundice, portal hypertension and brain damage. However, the only way to treat cirrhosis is then a liver transplantation, in to which will patient often not live.
The liver can be affected by the variety of tumors. The most serious is called hepatocellular carcinoma, malignant tumor arising from the liver cells. It is reported that 70% of these tumors arise from liver cirrhosis. It shows as pain in the abdomen, especially on the right side, fatigue, general prostration of patient, high temperature, loss of appetite, weight loss and often as jaundice. Therefore, these are so-called non-specific symptoms, i.e. those which are easily replaced with other diseases. In the event of that hepatocellular carcinoma develops from liver cirrhosis is prognosis very poor.
Lessons in conclusion
Regular and excessive alcohol intake significantly damages the liver. The danger consist in that, patients are not often aware of that they suffer from liver disease. As it has been already mentioned, this is due to presence of non-specific symptoms. It is not uncommon for the patient to get know about disease at the stage of liver failure. Therefore it is very important to avoid excessive intake of alcohol and keep in mind that the liver is organ, without which we can not live.