Author: Gary Jackson

Alcohol-related Liver Disease > Fact Sheets

However, with ongoing use, these capabilities can be impaired, sometimes irreversibly. When you drink more than your liver can effectively process, alcohol and its byproducts can damage your liver. This initially takes the form of increased fat in your liver, but over time it can lead to inflammation and the accumulation of scar tissue.

how much alcohol to damage liver

It can also lead to the production of abnormal levels of fats, which are stored in the liver. Finally, alcohol ingestion can also cause liver inflammation and fibrosis (the formation of scar tissue). However, in advanced alcoholic liver disease, liver regeneration is impaired, resulting in permanent damage to the liver. The liver is responsible for metabolizing or processing ethanol, the main component of alcohol. Over time, the liver of a person who drinks heavily can become damaged and cause alcoholic liver disease.

Alcoholic Hepatitis vs. Viral Hepatitis

Second of all, this is studying the deaths of people between 1976 and 1988—who are going to be undoubtedly healthier than Americans in 2020 and onwards. While I cannot find the average height and weight of Danes in their studied time period, I can find it for Americans. Outside medical treatment, patient education is the key to treatment for patients with alcoholic liver disease. In addition to asking about symptoms that might indicate ALD, the doctor will ask questions about the patient’s consumption of alcohol. The patient may need to fill out a questionnaire about his or her drinking habits.

how much alcohol to damage liver

While beer, for example, contains about 4% or 5% alcohol, wine contains around 12% and distilled spirits around 40%. The effects of alcohol on the liver can change with short-term and long-term use. One standard drink is equivalent to 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of spirits.

Patient Instructions

However, when the intake is increased to over 30 g per day in men and 20 g in women, there is not only an increased risk of fibrosis but also an increased risk of progression to cirrhosis. The results suggest that relatively short periods of excessive drinking can lead to liver damage. It remains unclear whether these changes to the liver are completely reversible. If the damage is so extensive that the liver is no longer able to service the body’s needs, you are said to have decompensated cirrhosis, which leads to liver failure. If the liver is healthy, fatty liver disease can be reversed, and hepatocytes can start to regenerate themselves over a relatively short period.