One study found that just 21 binge-drinking sessions could potentially produce early-stage liver disease.
In this study, a binge drinking session is classified as more than five drinks in two hours, and a drink is classified as 0.6 ounces of alcohol.
0.6 ounces of alcohol is equivalent to:
• 12 oz of beer
• 8 oz of malt liquor
• 5 oz of wine
• 1.5 oz shot of liquor
When you drink about 25 % of the alcohol gets absorbed in your stomach into the bloodstream and then the rest gets absorbed in your small intestine as it goes through the bloodstream. It goes through your liver and your liver is going to break it down and deal with this toxic material.
In this process of the stages of breakdown of alcohol the first stage is pretty toxic to your liver cells. That is where you are going to get inflammation and eventually you are going to be getting scar tissue. That is called cirrhosis. On average when you drink just one drink it takes about an hour with all the different enzymes in your liver to break it down into a less toxic material.
What happens over time when you continue to do this is you start to lose the enzyme network that breaks down this toxic material and then the toxic material builds up and it creates a lot of damage within your liver, your pancreas, etc. What initially happens is that you start developing fat in your liver and then that fat can create inflammation, which can then lead to scar tissue.
Also, the fat can create insulin resistance, which can now increase inflammation. It is never ending cycle. Inflammation in the liver is called hepatitis that usually starts within five years of heavy drinking on a regular basis.
Cirrhosis or scar tissue that usually takes between five to ten or more years because if we keep that liver in a constant state of inflammation the body is going to start healing with scar tissue because we also now have the immune system involved.
There also is a condition called ascites, which is not necessarily fat but it is a protruded belly because your liver is so bad it is leaking fluid into a sac around your stomach. That situation is a fluid-filled sac in your gut because your liver is very sick. That is a very advanced stage of liver disease.
Inflammation in the liver usually starts within five years of heavy drinking on a regular basis. Cirrhosis typically takes 5 to 10 years or more to develop. During this whole period of time you do not have many symptoms you might have some fatigue. You might look down and see your belly but not necessarily all the time because you also can have skinny fat where it is throughout the organs. If your belly is sticking out that usually means that your liver is fatty.
The first symptoms of liver damage:
• Belly fat
Symptoms of advanced liver damage:
• A spike in estrogen and a drop in testosterone
• Bad breath
• A loss of muscle
Here Are Some Other Variables That Affect How Alcohol Affects Your Liver:
- The concentration of alcohol that you are drinking – diluted drinks vs. more concentrated or stronger alcohol.
- Is it carbonated or not. Apparently carbonation increases the negative effect on your liver.
- If you are consuming any food with that alcohol. The food buffers the negative effect of alcohol on your liver but what happens is you have a tremendous amount of oxidation in the liver and you are getting a lot of free radical damage and the ability to counter that with all these enzymes becomes less and less and less then we lose the liver function and now we cannot detoxify and now we cannot digest like we should.
- DNA damage and even risk of liver cancer. People with cirrhosis used to be diagnosed maybe in their 40s or 50s or 60s but now a days it is younger and younger. 25 year olds are now being diagnosed with Cirrhosis. In fact between 1999 and 2016 the deaths from cirrhosis have increased by 65%. More and more younger people are drinking and experiencing the negative effects.
Consuming sugar has roughly about the same effect as consuming alcohol especially if you are drinking fructose as in high fructose corn syrup. If someone is drinking a lot of alcohol they are probably on a high sugar diet at the same time.
Just because someone is not drinking alcohol does not mean they can end up with any type of problem with the liver and that is called non-alcoholic liver disease.
The top things that can destroy the liver are: alcohol, sugar, some medications and viruses.
Important: Consumption of alcoholic beverages as a known human carcinogen.
There is a strong scientific consensus that alcohol drinking can cause several types of cancer (1, 2). In its Report on Carcinogens, the National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services lists consumption of alcoholic beverages as a known human carcinogen. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/alcohol/alcohol-fact-sheet#what-is-the-evidence-that-alcohol-drinking-can-cause-cancer
Eventually, you can lose liver function. This can cause an inability to detox, leading to digestive problems, DNA damage, and a higher risk of liver cancer. But, you will not experience many symptoms until things progress.
The good news about the liver is that it is the only organ that can completely 100% regenerate. If you stop doing the things that are causing the destruction. In fact, you have a fatty liver you can remove 50% of that fat from the liver just within two weeks of avoiding those things that cause the fat however there is going to be a point of no return where you have developed so much scar tissue that it is going to be irreversible so hopefully you are not in that situation yet.
But, there is a point of no return where there is too much scar tissue, and the damage is irreversible.
If you want to know how to reverse the liver damage and turn things around watch this video.
How To Repair Liver Damage After Alcohol? – Dr.Berg on Liver Cirrhosis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdQ-2m-czIc
This Post has been condensed from Dr. Berg’s video, How Much Alcohol Would You Have to Drink Before Liver Damage https://www.drberg.com/blog/how-much-alcohol-would-you-have-to-drink-before-liver-damage
Dr. Berg is a chiropractor who specializes in Healthy Ketosis & Intermittent Fasting. He is the author of the best-selling book The Healthy Keto Plan, and is the Director of Dr. Berg Nutritionals. He no longer practices, but focuses on health education through social media. He has taught students nutrition as an adjunct professor at Howard University.
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