Common signs of liver damage from alcohol abuse

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From the hard-drinking heroes of pulp detective novels to the booze-soaked lyrics of so many blues and rock tunes, writers and other artists have done a good job of romanticizing alcoholism and self-destruction. In reality, alcohol-related liver consumption has taken the lives of scribes such as O. Henry, Truman Capote, and actor John Barrymore.

Over time, alcohol consumption takes its toll on many of the body’s vital organs. It can cause heart disease and it can affect the health of the mouth, throat, colon, and rectum. Liver cancer is one of the most common conditions that has been linked to alcohol.

Twenty percent of the annual alcohol-related deaths in America are due to cirrhosis. People who consume excessive amounts of alcohol often experience hepatitis of the liver.

Functions of the Liver in Your Body

Your liver is critical to keeping your body working properly. It builds protein in your system and makes cholesterol. It also stores vitamins and eliminates toxins and processes sugar and fat.

Symptoms of Liver Disease

If you have experienced unexplained abdominal swelling or nausea and vomiting, it could be a sign of liver disease. If you notice a yellowish color in your skin or eyes, it is possible that you are suffering from jaundice.

People with liver disease will often experience unexplained weight loss. They might have dark urine or pale stools. It is not uncommon for them to feel tired or suffer from sexual dysfunction. Itchy skin and swollen ankles are common. A person with liver disease will usually bruise more easily than they did previously.

You should always make an appointment with your physician if you experience any of the symptoms associated with liver disease. If you have severe abdominal pain you should treat it as an emergency.

Getting Treatment

Your doctor is likely to run blood tests and imaging tests to determine if you have liver disease. In some cases, they take a biopsy of the liver if they suspect cancer.

Treatment may include medications, steroids, and even surgery. The doctor is likely to recommend a low sodium diet. The main thing you must do is to stop drinking alcohol immediately. Even if a person thinks they are not an alcoholic or an excessive drinker, cessation is imperative to recovery from liver disease.

Finding a Rehab Facility

In spite of movies and books mythologizing alcoholism, there is nothing particularly sexy or intriguing about impotence, yellow skin, and nausea.  The best way to treat alcoholism is by checking in to a treatment facility.

A good treatment program will include detoxification as well as behavioral and talk therapy. It should employ both medical doctors and psychotherapists. It should also provide aftercare treatment such as sober living, 12 step meetings, and regular check-ups.

Privacy is very important to the recovery process. You should find a facility that treats your medical records and your recovery with the utmost care. Be sure to ask how the facility stores its records and what kind of security they provide. Take a walk around the grounds and make sure that you feel safe and secure. Your treatment facility should be a clean and comfortable place, where you can discuss anything that may bother you. Learn more

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