You should have blood testing done to be sure how your liver cells
are functioning and if the liver cells are damaged.
It is true that alcohol is one cause of fatty liver disease...but weight gain, obesity,
diabetes, insulin resistance, high cholesterol/triglyceride levels, certain
kinds of medications are a few more and there are others.
You need to find out for certain, the cause. The doctor will give you
advice on how to reverse this problem depending on all the causes.
1 People who overconsume alcohol in short time periods, doesn't give
the liver cells time to make the necessary enzymes to convert the
alcohol to acetaldehyde, then to acetate, and then to carbon dioxide and
water. If not converted completely, it is toxic to the liver cells.
2 People who consume alcohol over long time periods can develop
fat inside the liver. At first this fat may not cause a problem..however,
as the fat build up in the liver (which is surrounded by a tight membrane
capsule) it causes pressure there which will damage the liver cells.
When the liver cells become damaged, the immune system of the body
will respond and cause inflammation to develop inside the liver, also.
This will cause the liver to enlarge in size.
3 Some people are more sensitive to alcohol and others are allergic
to it. That is why it doesn't take a person long to develop a problem
with the liver and for others...they may never have one.
4 Taking medications with alcohol can cause an interaction between
them that can instantly damage the liver cells.
The doctor may refer you to either a dietitian or nutritionist to develop
a diet to meet all your medical needs. Just stopping the cause is good,
but you may need medications also to help your liver heal and help
remove the inflammation that has developed.
It depends on the doctors tests, where he can tell about how far advanced
in this disease you really are..then he will inform you of his opinion on
how long it may take to recover. This can be done only when the cells
are damaged...if the cells die off and form scar tissue inside the liver,
it is a progressive and irreversible disease known as Cirrhosis of the liver.
I will tell you that most Transplant Centers have a rule that a patient
has to be detoxed from alcohol for a period of six months prior to
being referred to a Transplant Center for the evaluation process of
being placed on the transplant list. Many patients die during this time
period. Patients should also be aware of the serious side effects that
occur with coming off this drug...they should be under a doctors care
when they do this to be monitored and also the doctor may have
drugs to help relieve some of the symptoms so they are not so serious.
I hope this information has been of some help to you. Best wishes
caregiver to a liver transplant patient