The best thing to do, right now, is to go to the doctors and
ask that liver enzymes and liver function blood tests be done to
check your liver. The doctor can tell from these tests how bad
your liver cells have become damaged and how well the liver
cells are still able to do the necessary functions to keep the
body well. He can also tell if this is a liver or biliary problem
depending on which blood tests are high.
Alcohol can damage the liver in different ways. The liver
takes toxins from the blood and converts them to non toxic
forms that the body can easily dispose of.
Over consuming alcohol in a short time period doesn't
allow the liver time to convert the alcohol to acetaldehyde,
acetate, and then to carbon dioxide and water. Not
converted completely can cause it to be toxic to the liver
cells. Consuming alcohol over long times periods can
lead to a fat build up inside the liver. This usually starts
out as simple fatty liver and as it continues to build up,
it leads to Steatohepatitis. Steato is fat, hepat is liver,
and itis is inflammation. This inflammation inside the
liver causes the liver to enlarge in size. Another way
it can cause damage is if the person is more sensitive to
alcohol than others are or are allergic to it...they are
more prone to liver disease than others are, if this is
the case. One more way is to take alcohol with
medications which can cause an interaction that will
immediately damage the liver cells.
If the inflammation has develop in the liver because of
the alcohol itself, or fat build up in the liver...and it causes
the liver to enlarge in size...then it can lead to where the
liver cells die off and form scar tissue inside the liver
that can block the flow of blood. This is then an
irreversible, progressive disease known as Cirrhosis of
Stopping alcohol is the best to do. Finding out how much
the liver is damaged from this is necessary if you want to
be sure it hasn't reached the point of the liver cells dying.
It depends on how much liver cell damage there is, how
long it will take you to completely recover from it...as
long as the liver cells haven't reach the point of dying off.
Stopping the alcohol, even if it has passed this point will
slow down, considerably, cirrhosis advancing.
You should be under doctor care when coming off the alcohol.
The side effects of doing so can be reduced by the medications
the doctor can provide. He can also monitor you to be sure
that your body is able to adjust and handle what is taking place.
It can be dangerous if this isn't done.
Best wishes to you. It is hard to come off the alcohol and you
seemed strong willed enough to do it.
I hope this information has been of help to you.
caregiver to a liver transplant patient