Women, Alcoholism and Liver Problems
When you drink, the liver is the organ most involved in processing the substance. As a result, women who suffer from alcoholism or alcohol abuse tend to have liver problems in addition to addiction issues when they head to alcohol rehab. In some cases, liver disease is the wake-up call that lets alcoholic women know that their problem is serious enough to warrant alcohol addiction treatment.
Alcoholism and the Woman’s Liver
Physiologically, women tend to suffer the physical effects of alcoholism more quickly than do men. Even drinking less alcohol per pound of body weight than their male counterparts, women also more quickly develop alcoholism or alcohol addiction and the related health disorders like liver inflammation and liver disease.
If you drink eight servings of beer (about 12 ounces) or the equivalent number of servings of wine and/ or liquor every day for eight months to a year, you will develop alcoholic hepatitis. Alcoholic hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Should you stop drinking immediately, you have a chance of reversing the condition or “clearing it” so that you no longer suffer the effects. Continue drinking at the same rate and you will develop cirrhosis of the liver.
Cirrhosis of the Liver
Cirrhosis of the liver is the second stage of liver problems for an alcoholic. When this issue develops, liver tissue is replaced with scar tissue, inhibiting the organ from processing anything effectively, including alcohol. Since alcohol is a toxin, this means that these toxins are not completely filtered out of the body and instead remain in the system, causing more damage.
Cirrhosis of the liver is deadly. It is one of the most common causes of death in the United States. The only way to survive it is to stop drinking completely and immediately and even then, a sustained recovery is not guaranteed: only about 67 percent of those with a diagnosis of cirrhosis of the liver will survive if they stop drinking. The rest develop liver disease and die as a result of the condition or a complication.
Diagnosing Alcohol Related Liver Inflammation, Cirrhosis of the Liver and Liver Disease
There are a few tests that doctor’s provide in order to give you a definitive diagnosis of liver related health problems. It starts with a basic examination and blood work followed by a needle biopsy of the liver. In general, though, it’s a clear path: alcoholism leads to liver failure and women, especially, should be concerned about the developments of liver inflammation and cirrhosis sooner rather than later.
Alcohol Treatment for Women
If you are a woman and you drink half a dozen alcoholic beverages or more per day, see your physician immediately for more information about liver disease and prevention. The best way to ensure that you don’t develop a full blown liver condition is to stop drinking, and the only effective way to do that is to enroll in an alcohol rehab like the program provided for women and by women at The Orchid. Call today for more information.