Fatty liver disease symptoms: Three warning signs of a severely damaged liver from drink
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However, with every glass of alcohol you consume over the years, more liver cells perish. As scar tissue builds up in the blood-cleansing organ, symptoms begin to appear. The NHS pointed out the warning signs of a “severely damaged” liver, which has been caused by drinking too much. As the damaged liver struggles to detoxify the blood, toxins begin to build up in the brain.
Consequently, trouble sleeping can occur alongside changes in personality, as well as confusion and memory problems.
Alcohol-related brain damage
Alcohol Change UK stated: “There is clear evidence that regular excessive drinking can increase your risk of developing the most common forms of dementia.”
These include Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and early-onset dementia.
Drinking too much alcohol over time can lead to changes in the physical shape and structure of the brain.
These brain changes are due to alcohol toxicity and a lack of vitamin B1 (thiamine).
A vitamin B1 deficiency is caused by alcohol preventing the body from absorbing nutrients.
There are four symptoms of alcohol-related brain damage, which are:
- Altered personality and volatile moods
- Difficulty thinking, learning and remembering
- Confabulation – filling gaps in memories with irrelevant or inaccurate information
- Problems controlling impulses – leading to inappropriate or offensive behaviour.
Other notable warning signs of a severely damaged liver develop on the skin.
Take, for example, the development of a yellow hue of the skin, the NHS pointed out.
Yellowing of the skin (and the whites of the eyes) could be the result of jaundice, which requires “urgent medical help”.
The skin may become itchy, and red blotches might appear on the palms alongside bruising elsewhere.
Alcohol-related fatty liver disease can also lead to swellings in various body parts, such as the:
The condition may also lead to significant weight loss, fever, shivering attacks, hair loss, and muscle wasting.
Furthermore, a person may pass “black, tarry poo” or vomit blood as a result of internal bleeding.
There may also be frequent nosebleeds and bleeding gums as a result of a damaged liver.
Is it reversible?
Experts at the Mayo Clinic warned that scarring of the liver is irreversible.
However, by going teetotal (by giving up alcohol completely), further damage can be avoided.
Government guidance advises people to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol weekly.
However, the Department of Health and Social Care wanted to point out that “drinking any level of alcohol regularly carries a health risk for anyone”.
Health risks associated with alcohol consumption include fatty liver disease and cancer.
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