When people talk about the effects of long-term alcoholism, they often talk about one major problem–cirrhosis of the liver. What is cirrhosis? While this condition is deadly, some are at a greater risk of developing it than others. As cirrhosis becomes worse, the liver will have less healthy tissue. If left untreated, the liver will fail and will not be able to function well or at all.
If liver cirrhosis is diagnosed early and the cause is treated, further damage can be limited. The liver is normally able to regenerate damaged cells. When the factors that damage the liver, such as alcohol and chronic infections, are present over a long period of time-cirrhosis develops. When the liver is damaged, you won’t ask “what is cirrhosis”. You will know. Your liver becomes injured and scarred and cannot function properly. In cases where cirrhosis cannot be treated, a liver transplant is needed.
Cirrhosis of the liver and its many associated conditions kill more than 30,000 people every year. Most who die from cirrhosis get the disease from alcoholism. But experts estimate that only 8–22% of alcoholics actually develop cirrhosis. But why are some people more likely to get this deadly disease than others?
It all comes down to five risk factors:
- Genes can play a major role in the likelihood that you will develop cirrhosis because our genes decide how well we process alcohol. If you don’t produce enough of the chemicals that break down alcohol, you will be more likely to do damage to your liver by heavy drinking.
- Women are more likely to develop cirrhosis of the liver than men for a number of reasons. Women produce less of the chemicals that break down alcohol. They also tend to have a higher percentage of fat than men, which hinders alcohol absorption.
- Your diet can make any damage done to your liver by alcohol much worse. Much can be said on this topic, but a bad diet coupled with alcoholism can lead to malnutrition. Malnutrition can increase liver damage, not to mention harm a number of other organs.
- The amount of alcohol you drink and the frequency at which you drink can decide how bad your liver disease gets. Are you drinking too much? Experts believe regular heavy drinking is worse than occasional binge drinking. If you drink more than five drinks a night, you are substantially more likely to develop cirrhosis.
- Diseases that compromise the immune system can make things much harder for your liver. People with HIV/AIDS or hepatitis C already have to work harder to stay healthy. Adding alcoholism to the mix can lead to serious consequences for your liver.
Many Reasons to Get Treatment for Alcoholism
While not every person with an alcohol addiction will develop cirrhosis, any alcoholic can develop it. If you are an alcoholic and, cirrhosis might not be the most pressing issue in your life. Legal troubles, relationship problems, and financial crisis are just a few of the horrible consequences of living in active alcohol addiction.
But if you’re asking “what is cirrhosis” and if you need help controlling your drinking, Serenity House Detox may be the best choice for you. Located in sunny Florida, Serenity House Detox provides the perfect environment and high-quality alcohol detox services for you to get sober and stay healthy. Learn more about Serenity House Detox today. Call 866-294-5306.