What liver diseases does alcohol cause

The effect of alcohol on the liver cannot be underestimated. Almost half of the diseases associated with this organ are the result of excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. Another danger is the influence of alcohol on the course of other diseases, which may be chronic in nature.

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Effects on the liver

The effect of alcohol on the liver is especially strong in women. To form a stable dependence in them, only 20 ml of any alcohol-based drink daily is enough. In a man, this dependence is formed only after 60 ml/day. Even more caution should be observed in people with chronic illnesses, whose development the influence of alcohol can accelerate and provoke an acute attack.

The effect of alcohol on the liver is as follows:

  • After entering the organ and in the process of processing, it breaks down the membranes of hepatocyte cells and leads to the death of hepatocytes, that is, the main liver cells responsible for the complete processing of food that has entered the body, storage of proteins and excretion of harmful substances. Accordingly, their regular destruction harms the body and reduces its ability to perform its functions normally.
  • People who have been exposed to alcohol for a long time gradually lose the ability to completely process it. Crude ethanol enters the bloodstream, which is more dangerous for the body than ordinary alcohol.
  • As a result of how wine and other alcohol affects the liver, fatty seals begin to develop in it. Metabolism collapses.
  • The effect of alcohol is also expressed in the fact that all the damaged cells of the organ are gradually replaced by connective tissue.

The problem of the effects of alcohol on organs and how much the body has suffered from regular use is often especially acute due to the absence of obvious symptoms. A slight pain under the ribs on the right or bitterness in the mouth is usually not a reason to see a doctor.

In no case should you ignore the bitterness in your mouth after beer or the fact that your liver hurts after drinking vodka.

What diseases can provoke

Alcohol and liver are initially incompatible concepts. By itself, its frequent use can cause serious consequences. When the liver hurts, throbs, or a person regularly experiences heaviness after drinking alcohol, this can all be a sign of one of the alcoholic diseases:

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  • toxic hepatitis (which can also provoke drug use),
  • hepatosis (the appearance of fatty seals),
  • cirrhosis (destruction of liver cells).

In turn, each of these diseases, developing, can become fatal.

Which alcohol is less harmful

Speaking about which alcohol affects the liver the least, first of all it is necessary to rely on the level of its strength. The safest option, according to the recommendations of experts, is with the lowest alcohol content.

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It is best to drink light beer or dry red wine whenever possible – their effect on the liver is relatively small. It is often believed that wine is good for the body – although in fact it is harmful, like any alcohol.

However, if you still have a choice of which wine to choose and what is better to drink, it is not recommended to take semi-sweet. Dry good wine will do less harm.

To the question of whether you can drink alcohol with liver disease, the answer is unequivocal – no. For an alcoholic, there is no alcoholic drink that is harmful to a greater or lesser extent. Any alcoholic drink that he drinks will bring serious problems to the body.

How to protect your liver from alcohol

The first rule of how to protect the liver from alcohol is, of course, to choose the safest types of drinks for the feast. If possible, if you already know about the problems in this area, you should choose options that do not contain alcohol at all – juice, a variety of teas and other similar drinks.

But here, however, there is a nuance – juices and cocktails used for health problems should not contain synthetic components or be too acidic. Ideally, you shouldn’t choose anything based on sour fruits or berries.

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And when taking it, strictly observe the permissible dose.

The norms are as follows:

  • up to 60 ml of spirits,
  • up to 200 ml of semi-sweet wine,
  • up to 300 ml of white wine, champagne or dry red wine,
  • up to 700 ml of beer.

This will avoid a high concentration of ethanol in the body, and it will not enter the bloodstream.

If you exceed the allowable dose during chronic liver disease, an acute attack may be triggered, and you will need to call an ambulance for the liver.

Before eating, you should eat foods rich in fiber and not fatty. You should not eat anything spicy, sour or fried – this increases the load, and does not help protect the body from alcohol. It is better to avoid sweets as well – all these types of dishes also create problems with digestion and strike the body. If you really want a dessert, something based on fresh fruits, without adding synthetic elements, will be optimal.

Another possible option is marshmallow, but it is better to refuse halva and the like – they are based on sunflower seeds containing a high percentage of fat.

After taking it, you should drink a medicine – a hepatoprotector, which will help get rid of acute pain in the liver and better cope with the effects of the drink. Then there will not be such a problem as the fact that the liver has increased, or there are pains in the hypochondrium on the right.

Compliance with this regimen and reducing the frequency of drinking drinks will improve the state of the body and achieve the restoration of affected cells. At those stages when irreversible damage occurs in the structure of the organ, it will not be possible to cure it again, but it is possible to fight against malfunctions, reduce the manifestation of symptoms, and temporarily “lull” the disease.

In this case, the patient can return to normal life if he refuses to continue drinking alcohol and begins to adhere to the necessary diet.


The consequences of drinking alcohol, the liver and heart of an alcoholic.

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Svetlana Borszavich

General practitioner, cardiologist, with active work in therapy, gastroenterology, cardiology, rheumatology, immunology with allergology.
Fluent in general clinical methods for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, as well as electrocardiography, echocardiography, monitoring of cholera on an ECG and daily monitoring of blood pressure.
The treatment complex developed by the author significantly helps with cerebrovascular injuries and metabolic disorders in the brain and vascular diseases: hypertension and complications caused by diabetes.
The author is a member of the European Society of Therapists, a regular participant in scientific conferences and congresses in the field of cardiology and general medicine. She has repeatedly participated in a research program at a private university in Japan in the field of reconstructive medicine.