The liver is one of the most essential organs of the body. While many associate the liver with producing bile to enhance digestion, it has many more responsibilities for assuring optimal body function. Your liver plays a role in keeping your hormones balanced, blood clotting, and removing threats to your immune system like viruses and bacteria. It also assists in managing fluid retention and inflammation. If you suspect you have liver damage, you’ll want to take action quickly. Ignoring symptoms can worsen your condition and lead to a negative outcome.
Substance Abuse and Liver Damage
One of the most common reasons for liver damage is substance abuse. In fact, people in North America are most likely to suffer liver damage due to the overuse of alcohol and drugs.
Individuals who drink alcohol too often are more susceptible to organ damage. Usually, the damage starts small, with few to no symptoms. However, if the person continues to drink or use drugs excessively, the liver incurs more damage and doesn’t have the necessary time to repair itself.
Types of Medical Conditions That Impact the Liver
Many medical conditions can cause damage to the liver, and not all involve excess drinking or drug usage. A few of the most common types of conditions leading to liver damage include:
- Hepatitis A, B, and C
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Primary biliary cholangitis
- Primary sclerosing cholangitis
- Liver cancer
- Bile duct cancer
- Liver cell adenoma
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- Acute liver failure
Each condition varies in severity. Some diseases go away independently, while others require advanced medical treatment.
Early Signs of Liver Damage
It’s essential to look out for signs of liver damage, especially if you regularly consume alcohol or use drugs. A few of the first symptoms of liver damage include:
One of the first symptoms of liver damage is fatigue. You will feel exhausted if the liver can’t rid the body of toxins and bacteria. Your liver will be in overdrive, trying to eliminate unwanted toxins from the body.
2. Forgetfulness and Lack of Concentration
The inability to concentrate and difficulty remembering important matters is a hallmark of a compromised liver. Like fatigue, cognitive problems arise because of a buildup of toxins. If you notice increased difficulty concentrating, you may want to have a physician check your liver function.
3. Lack of Appetite
If you find that you’re not hungry, even after skipping a meal or eating less than usual, liver damage may be to blame. Often, a lack of appetite occurs in tandem with other digestive issues, like nausea or vomiting.
4. Odd Bruises
Bruising is another sign of reduced liver functioning. Someone with liver disease will bruise easily, even after a minor bump into a stationary object. Since the liver produces certain enzymes and proteins for blood clotting, a low-functioning liver will result in more bleeding and bruising than normal.
Can Liver Damage Be Reversed?
It is possible to reverse cirrhosis of the liver in cases brought on by excess drinking or drug usage. However, the patient must abstain from drinking entirely. If you need help quitting drinking, Providence Treatment can assist you. Our treatment center will provide a safe environment where you can address your problems and learn healthier habits.
Visit Providence Treatment Today
Providence Treatment offers comprehensive services for drug and alcohol addiction. Our newest office, in Boston, MA, opened on September 1 to professionals seeking recovery from drug and alcohol problems. Contact our treatment center to learn about your recovery options.