Alcoholism takes a toll on the body. Among the litany of physical and psychological issues that can trace their origin to abusing alcohol, liver cirrhosis may be the most common. Between 10% and 20% of heavy drinkers will develop liver cirrhosis after 10 or more years of heavy drinking, according to the American Liver Foundation. While most people are aware that alcoholism and binge drinking takes a drastic toll on the liver, very few are actually aware of the symptoms of liver cirrhosis and treatment of the disease.
What is Liver Cirrhosis?
Think of the liver as the filter for your body. The liver works to break down protein, absorb fat and filter your blood. However, by constantly consuming alcoholic beverages the liver of a heavy drinker converts the liver’s tissue into scar tissue. This replacement of healthy tissue with scar tissue is alcoholic liver cirrhosis, and if this replacement continues over time eventually the liver will fail.
What are the Symptoms of Liver Cirrhosis?
The dangerous thing about liver cirrhosis is that a young person is able to overcome the symptoms of the disease in the early phases. As an alcoholic with liver cirrhosis ages, they are no longer able to compensate and symptoms begin to show between the ages of 30 and 40. The main symptom of alcoholic liver cirrhosis is jaundice, which is when the skin and eyes begin to look yellow. Another symptom of alcoholic liver cirrhosis is portal hypertension, which is an increase in blood pressure in the vein that transports blood in and out of the liver. A final symptom is itchy skin.
What is the Best Treatment for Liver Cirrhosis?
Unfortunately, liver cirrhosis cannot be reversed, but there are methods of treatment to slow down the disease and the symptoms that come with cirrhosis. The first step for treatment is to immediately stop drinking alcohol. This can be difficult for an alcoholic, so a doctor will suggest a treatment center to help the alcoholic detox and become sober.
After the alcohol is flushed from the system, there are various medications to help manage symptoms. Another treatment method is increasing the intake of protein, as protein is necessary for some patients who suffer liver cirrhosis to prevent the development of a brain disease. If all of these treatment methods do not work, the last resort is a liver transplant. This is a complicated procedure, and will only be considered if the person with liver cirrhosis has not touched alcohol in at least six months.
Avoid Liver Cirrhosis With Alcohol Treatment in San Diego
Alcoholic liver cirrhosis should not be the sign that it is time to stop binge drinking and abusing alcohol. If you have an alcohol addiction problem, the time to stop drinking is now. Reach out to your loved ones for help and assistance, or find an alcohol treatment center that can help you find the path to sobriety. Avoid the pain of alcoholic liver cirrhosis by quitting alcohol and getting sober today.