An Overview of the General Pattern of Liver Damage

Liver damage resulting from drinking and alcoholism is associated with three main stages or conditions in which liver degeneration is seen to occur:  Fatty Liver Disease, Alcoholic Hepatitis, and Cirrhosis of the Liver.  These three conditions or stages do not necessarily occur in order, nor is one symptom a requisite for another to develop.  For example, cases have been reported in which individuals consistently drinking heavy (e.g., five to six drinks per day over a twenty year period) develop Cirrhosis of the Liver without any other intervening conditions.  By the same token, other cases have been reported in which patients succumbed to Alcoholic Hepatitis in the absence of Cirrhosis.  The symptoms of liver damage are extensive and will vary among individuals.  Not all conditions of liver disease occur as a direct result of drinking and alcoholism.  Cirrhosis of the liver, however, is most closely associated with the problem of drinking and alcoholism.

Three Conditions of Liver Damage:  Fatty Liver Disease, Alcoholic Hepatitis, and Cirrhosis of the Liver

Fatty Liver Disease is a condition in which fat is deposited into the liver with the consumption of alcohol.  Fat is deposited into the liver regardless of whether the individual consuming the drink is dependent upon alcohol or not.  Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease include yellowing of the skin and eyes (e.g., jaundice condition), abnormal swelling in the abdomen due to fluid retention, coma, and death.

Alcoholic Hepatitis develops as healthy liver tissue becomes inflamed and is replaced by scar tissue.  As alcohol is consumed, liver tissue can be severely burned, scarred, and is often perforated with holes.  The presence of scar tissue does not allow the blood to circulate normally through the liver, thus diminishing the blood supply needed by the liver to clean the blood of toxins and produce valuable nutrients and hormones required for optimal health.  Symptoms of Alcoholic Hepatitis include intense abdominal pain, yellowing of skin and eyes, and fever.

Cirrhosis of the Liver is the most advanced stage of damage to the liver and it is also the condition most commonly associated with prolonged alcohol abuse.  Symptoms may remain undetected until after it is no longer possible to successfully treat the disease.  Individuals with Cirrhosis of the Liver are frequently underweight, experience loss of appetite, vomiting, abdominal pain and swelling, and have poor circulation due to the hardening of blood vessels.

Long Term Rehab Can Stop the Cycle of Relapse from Alcohol

Maybe you or someone you love has tried and failed a short-term rehab program without understanding why that process didn’t work.  If this sounds like you, please keep reading.  Short-term rehab centers are not equipped with the expertise, programs, or time to help you resolve all of the issues that are standing in the way of your recovery.  You didn’t fail the program.  Short-term rehab failed you.  At Burning Tree, we know that time makes all the difference in recovery.  Our unique, long-term rehab program treats you as a whole person.  We take the time you need to break the chains of addiction and learn new life skills that will help you find healthier approaches to solving problems.  Healing is a journey that we walk out one day at a time.  Come and be part of our community.  Burning Tree will change your life.