Key Signs Your Liver is Healing From Alcohol

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Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV.

Key Signs Your Liver is Healing From Alcohol

When you begin abstaining from alcohol, your body can begin to heal - and your liver is no exception. Your liver is a vital organ that’s responsible for processing nutrients, detoxifying blood, and aiding in digestion.

However, your liver can be greatly impacted by alcohol consumption. When you commit to quitting alcohol, your liver begins the healing process.

But how do you know if your liver is healing? That’s what we’ll be exploring today. Read on for more information about how alcohol can affect your liver - and some of the key signs that you’re on your way to a healthy liver.

How Does Alcohol Affect My Liver?

Before we explore the signs that your liver is healing from alcohol, let’s explore the damage that alcohol can inflict on your liver.

As your liver filters alcohol, some of the cells in your liver will become damaged and die. Although the liver can produce new cells, drinking too much alcohol over time can impact your liver’s ability to regenerate new cells.

This can result in liver problems, including alcohol-related liver disease. Alcohol abuse can increase fatty liver cells - a build-up of fats in the liver. Alcoholic fatty liver disease is the first stage of alcohol-related liver disease/ ARLD.

One of the later stages of ARLD is cirrhosis. This occurs when your liver has become significantly scarred. There may not be clear symptoms even at this late stage.

If you have cirrhosis of the liver and don’t stop drinking, you could die from liver failure. In 2019, 5,840 people died in the UK from ARLD. Although cirrhosis is generally not reversible, stopping drinking can prevent further damage.

How Do I Know My Liver is Healing?

Now you understand how alcohol can damage your liver, let’s explore some of the key signs that suggest your liver has started to heal.

You Have a Clearer Mind

One of the key signs that your liver is on the road to recovery is that you have a clearer mind. Alcohol has a huge impact on cognitive function. As your liver heals, you'll likely experience improved concentration, better memory, and enhanced mental sharpness.

You Are in Less Pain

Chronic alcohol misuse can lead to liver inflammation and damage. This can be uncomfortable and painful - so when your liver heals, you should notice a reduction in abdominal pain and discomfort.

During the healing process, your body will regenerate liver tissue. This will alleviate the stress and strain that alcohol-induced damage may have caused.

Your Skin Colour is Returning to Normal

Frequent alcohol misuse can cause jaundice. This occurs when your liver cannot process bilirubin properly, causing your skin and eyes to turn a yellowish colour.

As you reduce your alcohol intake or stop drinking and your leather health improves, you should notice that your natural skin colour begins to return. This change is a visible sign that your liver is effectively processing bilirubin.

You Have More Energy

One of the key benefits of an alcohol detox and healing liver is that you will have more energy. Alcohol can deplete your body of essential nutrients and interfere with glucose metabolism. This can lead to fatigue and lethargy.

As your liver regenerates, it becomes more efficient in processing nutrients. This means that you should notice higher energy levels and a new lease of life.

Blood Tests Are Showing Better Results

If you notice that your liver has been affected by alcohol, your GP will typically undertake tests to determine the damage.

As you recover from alcohol addiction, your GP may complete blood tests to assess your liver health during the healing process.

Throughout your healing journey, these blood tests should suggest that liver enzymes are returning to regular levels. Having tangible evidence that your liver is healing can give you motivation to remain sober.

How Long Does It Take For My Liver to Heal From Alcohol Abuse?

The timeline for liver healing can vary from person to person. It can depend on factors such as the extent of the liver damage, your overall health, and whether you are committing to a sober lifestyle or not.

It’s important to note that the healing process is gradual, so you shouldn’t expect it to heal overnight. You may notice some improvements in a matter of weeks or months, but it may not be completely healed for several years.

Sobriety is key to healing your liver. However, sobriety can be difficult to achieve alone, which is why so many people seek professional support and undergo addiction treatment programmes.

Rehab facilities offer a safe and structured environment for you to stop drinking and detox safely, receive therapy, and learn essential skills for long-term sobriety.

How to Overcome Alcohol Addiction Safely

The key to repairing your liver is to maintain sobriety. However, overcoming alcohol addiction can be difficult without professional support.

For many, the most effective way to recover from alcohol use disorder (alcoholism and alcohol dependence) is to complete a comprehensive rehab programme consisting of detox, therapy and secondary care.

Detoxification is the first step of addiction treatment. Depending on the severity of your addiction, you may benefit from a medical detox. This is where you are given detox medication to ease the withdrawal symptoms. You may also have the opportunity to detox from home with an at-home detox kit.

Alcohol detoxification addresses physical dependence, whereas therapy (both individual and group) addresses the psychological and social aspects of addiction. This can include behavioural therapy such as CBT, counselling, and other evidence-based approaches.

It’s also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout your recovery. This includes adopting a balanced diet that supports liver health, engaging in regular physical activity, and managing stress through relaxation techniques. These lifestyle changes contribute not only to liver healing but also to overall well-being.

At Help4Addiction, we can connect you with the most suitable addiction treatment for you. Whether you’re looking for outpatient treatment, inpatient treatment or even online rehab treatment, we are here to help.

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