How Alcohol Affects the Liver

Asheville Alcohol Rehab CenterAlcohol abuse happens every day. Even when you don't realize you have a problem, it can affect you in many ways. Just as you rarely think about how much alcohol you are consuming and how unhealthy it is, many people never really consider what consumption might be doing to their liver. This organ is a vital part of your overall makeup. Your body cannot survive without it. This means that you should do whatever it takes to protect this vital organ and maintain your health. It's important to ensure you're doing everything you can for your body. If you have a drinking problem, call Legacy today. Our Asheville alcohol rehab center is number one.

Your liver has a big job. This organ filters anything harmful from your blood. It single handedly stores energy, makes hormones, stores nutrients, makes bile to digest food, and it creates proteins and enzymes we need to function well and ward off sickness. So, as you can see, the liver is very important.

Alcohol can affect the liver in many ways. Drinking too much can cause even more problems. Even those who only drink too much here and there can seriously damage their liver. Regular binge drinkers are putting themselves at an even greater risk. Below, you will find some of the most common ways alcohol affects the liver, and in turn, how we function. For drinking problems, call our alcohol rehab center in Asheville today.

  • Drinking too much can cause us to think clearly. We also lose our ability to coordinate movement.
  • Mood and behavior are completely changed with over-consumption of alcohol.
  • Digestion is disrupted and the process of digesting food becomes distorted. This can lead to weight loss and poor nutrition.
  • Your immune system is compromised in a way that leaves you vulnerable to infections. Excessive drinking increases the risk of developing colon, liver, esophagus, mouth and breast cancers.

Unfortunately, continued use of alcohol and years of alcohol abuse can cause alcohol-related liver disease. There are many complications that can come from this disease. Below, you will find several issues that come with this medical condition.

  • Fluid retention in the abdomen
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Brain disorders
  • Coma
  • Kidney failure
  • Bleeding from veins in the stomach or esophagus
  • Portal hypertension
  • Non-liver, multi-organ conditions

There are three different types of most common alcohol-related liver disease. Below, you will find more information on each type.

Fatty Liver Disease

Excessive drinking can cause fat to build up in your liver. After too much build up, the liver can no longer handle filtering it out. The development of this much fat in the liver leads to fatty liver disease. While you can develop this disease without drinking alcohol, it's most common to develop it through a number of factors including an unhealthy weight, lack of exercise, high cholesterol, poor diet, diabetes, heart disease, and drinking too much. Those that are overweight and drink too much alcohol have a much higher chance of developing fatty liver disease.


Cirrhosis of the liver might be the most common type of disease we hear about when it comes to alcohol related liver damage. Cirrhosis occurs as cells in the liver become damaged and then replaced by scar tissue. This happens due to chronic inflammation. The inflammation develops due to fatty liver disease and high consumption of alcohol. The scar tissue causes a lot of problems, including how the blood flows through the liver. This can result in your liver not functioning properly. Then, the liver becomes hard and lumpy. Continuing to consume alcohol while struggling with cirrhosis can lead to accelerated damage in the liver as well as a much higher rate of developing liver cancer. Don't live a life in crisis, fix your drinking at our Asheville alcohol rehab center. Call Legacy now.

According to, the signs and symptoms of cirrhosis are as follows:

  • Accumulation of fluid in the abdomen (ascites)
  • High blood pressure in the liver (portal hypertension)
  • Bleeding from veins in the esophagus (esophageal varices)
  • Behavior changes and confusion
  • Enlarged spleen

The website also states that "Research has shown that cirrhosis can be reversed, although this may not occur for all patients. Cirrhosis caused by alcohol can be a life-threatening disease. Between 10 and 20 percent of heavy drinkers develop cirrhosis, usually after 10 or more years of drinking."

One last most common type of liver disease due to excessive use of alcohol is viral hepatitis. The correlation between this disease and alcohol consumption is somewhat controversial and there are many varying opinions. However, for those who have viral hepatitis, it is recommended to lower intake of alcohol or cut drinking completely.

Those suffering from hepatitis B or C might worsen their condition or lower the effectiveness of treatment by drinking alcohol while receiving therapy. In any situation, whether you have an alcohol-related liver disease or run the risk of developing one, lowering intake of alcohol or quitting it completely is recommended. For those suffering from alcohol abuse, this might be more difficult than you might think. However, there are ways to quit drinking or drink in moderation.

You can also start substituting alcohol-free drinks or no alcohol drinks with the ones you currently consume. Consider mixing your wine with sparkling mineral water. Alternate between your favorite beer and water or other non-alcoholic drink. Anytime you can lower your intake of alcohol, try to do so. For those that are having difficulty limiting alcohol, feel free to contact us. We are here to help.

Outpatient Asheville Alcohol Rehab Center

Are you suffering from an addiction and not sure where to turn? Don't worry, there is support and help out there.

If you’re suffering from an addiction and need help, consider Legacy Freedom of Asheville's alternative therapy options for alcohol and drug treatment. Our success rate is higher than traditional rehab facilities that require you to stay in-house until the program is complete.

We know how hard it is to beat addiction. That’s why we’ve come up with a better, more successful program that will help. Addiction can leave you feeling sad, lonely, and angry. You are not alone. We can help you get back on track to a healthier, happier life at our affordable Asheville alcohol rehab center. Contact us now to learn more.

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