Alcohol and the Liver
People in today’s society should be more cautious and aware of the adverse side effects that come with the lifestyle decisions they choose to make. Alcohol is one of those significant lifestyle choices that people should consider the consequences of when deciding to use it. There are three general classes that are in relation to alcohol: beers, wines, and spirits. Several alcoholic beverages are extremely popular; however the most consumed is beer. It has been around as far back as 95000 BCE. Overtime, alcoholic beverages have been found to be consumed for a variety of reasons due to hygienic, dietary, medicinal, religious, or recreational purposes. With drinking an alcoholic beverage, there are several consequences that may occur, most significantly within your liver. The liver is an essential organ within the body that performs various functions, such as detoxification, protein synthesis, and production of chemicals required for digestion. After alcohol is consumed and travels through your digestive system, it is metabolized by the liver. In my opinion, I believe it is crucial for people to know how alcohol affects the most vital organ of their bodies due to the lifestyle decisions they make. I chose to research this topic due to the reason of my belief in stressing the importance of people becoming aware of what damage they are doing to their body as they intoxicate it. People are becoming exposed to this influence, making decisions that risk their own organs and lives unknowingly.
The organ within the human body that receives the most abuse from alcohol consumption is the liver. ALD (Alcoholic Liver Disease) consists of three stages ranging from mild through severe levels. It can develop from damaging the tissue of the liver due to the toxic substances released from alcoholic beverages. Survival rates vary from 0-80%, whereas death rates average 60-90% depending on the intensity of the disease. The first stage of ALD is steatosis, more commonly known as fatty liver disease. This form of ALD occurs when there are excessive fats formed in the liver, which makes it difficult for the organ to operate and function at a lower efficiency. It causes yellow discoloration of the liver due to fatty degeneration of the parenchymal cells and the accumulation of certain fats, such as triglycerides. This stage of liver deterioration, typically in heavy drinkers, interferes with the distribution of oxygen and nutrients to the liver cells. Symptoms of this disease include weakness, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and nausea. If the condition of fatty liver persists long enough, it causes the liver cells to die. This forms fibrous scar tissue known as alcoholic hepatitis, the second stage of ALD. This disease is the development of dangerous inflammations due to excessive alcohol intake. If a person is diagnosed with either fatty liver or alcoholic hepatitis, they are still eligible to obtain a healthy, normal functioning liver by simply reversing their lifestyle with the method of resistance, called abstinence. If abstinence is maintained, the chances of reducing the dangers brought about by these diseases within the liver are extremely high. By maintaining abstinence, some liver cells are able to regenerate with good nutrition. Symptoms of this disease include yellow eyes or skin, fatigue, and a visible appearance of blood vessels on the skin. However, the third fatal stage of ALD is cirrhosis, caused by after years of drinking. A person who is diagnosed with alcoholic hepatitis has the potential to an irreversible destruction and scarring of liver tissue, which disable the proper functioning of the liver. General symptoms of this disease include itchy skin, liver failure and weakness. Early symptoms include insomnia, whereas later symptoms include hair loss, gastrointestinal tract bleeding, dark urine, memory loss, loss of sexual desire, and vomiting of blood. All three stages of ALD have the ability to...
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