The First Signs of Alcoholic Liver Damage Are Not in the Liver

My father died of alcoholic liver cirrhosis four years ago. It came as a surprise to all or any folksalbeit it had been clear he had a severe drinking problem for many yearsit had been especially surprising to me, as a former nurse and a recovering alcoholic.

you’d think I’d know more about liver problems and alcohol use than the typical person. But the reality is, within the months before his death, I had no idea my father’s liver was struggling in the leastmost people realize cirrhosis, but few people skills a liver goes from early damage to end-stage liver cirrhosis.

The combination of my father’s death and my personal background lit a fireplace in me to understand more. He was admitted to the hospital on Midsummer Day, 2016, and he died on July 18. Only 24 days passed between the primary sign there was a drag and his subsequent death.

Now, hearing that he was in end-stage cirrhosis didn’t surprise me, given his heavy drinking. What did surprise me was that he’d visited several doctors and specialists within the months before his death, and nobody knew his liver was struggling either.
So what happened? Does end-stage liver cirrhosis really creep up that fast? Were there other signs that might have alerted someone to his failing liver?

As for why the doctors and specialists didn’t know what was happening, that mystery resolved reasonably quickly. The plain truth is that alcoholics rarely divulge the quantity and frequency of their drinking to their doctors. This was the case for my dad. He had many health issues that he was trying to unravel, but he protected his drinking habit fiercely. So he refused to spill the beans, even when it mattered.

The problem is that liver damage has numerous multifaceted symptoms that are confusing and related to many other illnesses. Unless a doctor knows that the patient is an alcoholic, they’ll not skills to interpret what’s happening until it’s too late.
As he was dying, my father told me that he didn’t think to inform the doctors what proportion he was drinking. He said it had been as if he blanked out and “forgot” to say it. As crazy as that sounds, this strange “forgetting” may be a common part of the alcoholic mindset. it’s going to even be thanks to the metabolic and physical changes of cirrhosis itself.

There are many signs of liver problems, but oddly, none seem to point to the liver initially. And actually, many of the primary signs of liver damage occur in other parts of the body. Knowing these signs may help educate alcoholics and their families if they need to know their risk of developing liver cirrhosis.

Liver damage has numerous multifaceted symptoms that are confusing and related to many other illnesses. Unless a doctor knows that the patient is an alcoholic, they’ll not skills to interpret what’s happening until it’s too late.

Digestive signs
The liver plays an enormous part in our digestive process. It filters out all toxins from food also as helping to interrupt down fats and glucose.

When a liver starts to hamper thanks to significant damage, it’ll reduce its digestive work. Instead, it’ll divert its energy toward vital functions like metabolizing medications and filtering toxins.
This means that symptoms like bloating, nausea, vomiting, gas, and diarrhea will start to extend. Over time, eating becomes tougherwithin the later stages of liver cirrhosis, toxins that can’t be filtered out begin to create within the bloodstream, which causes more nausea.

Cognitive signs
Although confusion and brain fog happen in end-stage liver cirrhosis, they will even be early signs.
The liver is liable for filtering dangerous substances within the blood. It also helps regulate hormones, blood sugar, and vitamin absorption. within the early stages of liver damage, these processes are often interrupted. Inevitably, this affects our brain and systema nervosum. This means that early liver problems can cause you to feel tired, confused, slow, and foggy. you’ll have some memory issues also.

Neuromuscular signs
The liver stores vitamins required for the functioning of the many organs and systems within the body — one among them is vitamin B1 or thiamine. A deficiency during this particular vitamin has been documented in many alcoholics with or without liver damage.

Unfortunately, alcohol inhibits the absorption of thiamine within the intestine. Over time, because the liver becomes damaged, it can not store thiamine in enough quantities. Thiamine deficiency is liable for many neurological issues in people with alcoholism.
Symptoms of thiamine deficiency range from mild to severe and include things like: confusion, mental fog, lack of balance, pain and numbness in hands and feet, muscle weakness, rapid pulse, digestive problems, flushing, and involuntary eye movements.

Thiamine deficiency happens in almost every alcoholic who consumes frequent and enormous amounts of alcohol. And if thiamine deficiency thanks to alcoholism is discovered, you’ll make certain the liver is suffering damage at an equivalent time.
Many of the primary signs of liver damage occur in other parts of the body.

Vascular signs
All alcohol consumption can cause vessel dilation, causing flushing within the face and hands. Over time, this will cause damage resulting in permanent redness within the face.
They’re circular and have a central point called a spider angioma that’s darker than the remainder of the lesion. Spider angiomas are a symbol of disease and may be present within the early stages. They often reach more extensive and more numerous lesions.
Spider angiomas are caused by increased estrogen levels within the blood. When the liver becomes damaged, it can’t properly metabolize estrogens, which causes them to create up within the body.

Many women who are pregnant or taking contraception pills may have a couple of spider angiomas. However, in alcoholic disease, these lesions are often more frequent and amid red palms and varicose veins within the esophagus.
These are a couple of the most signs of alcoholic liver damage that happen outside of the liver. It’s important to understand this because most folks haven’t any idea how the liver functions and the way it communicates distress.

The liver itself doesn’t show signs like pain or swelling within the early stages of liver damage. This contrasts with other organs just like the heart or stomach, where any damage will emit pain or symptoms directly from these organs.
Unfortunately, patients with alcoholism are rarely educated about these issues. this is often because they often don’t reveal their drinking, to start with. And albeit they are doing, the symptoms are widespread and sophisticated, which makes patient education challenging.

My goal in writing articles like this is often to assist educate regular people about alcoholic disease to know their health and make better decisions.
It’s hard to mention if my father would have changed his drinking habits if he knew more about his vague and sophisticated symptoms. But I feel having proper education would have certainly helped him understand his risks and health problems better.

[ps2id id=’page-intro’ target=”/]