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Protecting Your Liver from Alcohol: Tips and Strategies

Protecting Your Liver from Alcohol: Tips and Strategies

If you've been drinking alcohol for a while, you might be noticing some negative health effects.

If you've been drinking alcohol for a while, you might be noticing some negative health effects like a lower immune system (feeling sick more often), or memory problems (trouble at school or work). Although most parts of the body are affected by alcohol consumption, the liver tends to suffer the most damage. As the body's primary filtration system converts toxins into waste, so it is a critical organ. 

Stages of Liver Damage

Liver damage from alcohol use happens in stages. Some relatively mild damage may happen after a single binge-drinking episode. But this damage actually reverses itself if the heavy alcohol use stops. 

However, if heavy drinking continues, liver damage can progress to several more advanced stages, including cirrhosis, which scares the liver. Once the liver damage progresses to the more advanced stages, a reversal becomes much more difficult, if not impossible. In the more advanced stages of liver damage, the only treatment is a liver transplant.  

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Avoid Liver Damage

The best way to avoid damaging your liver is by not drinking altogether of course, but if you do drink, to limit consumption in both frequency and intensity. If you already have liver damage, stopping drinking could prevent progression to more serious liver disease. Your medical provider can offer specific guidance and support you if you suspect or know you have liver damage from drinking.

This article has been medically reviewed by
Erin Hillers
Erin Hillers
Erin Hillers
Nurse Practitioner

Erin is a Nurse Practitioner with 8 years of experience in midwifery and women's health. She has spent the past 5 years specializing in the treatment of opioid and alcohol use disorders.

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