The liver, a triangular shaped organ, is located in the upper abdomen. Being a main organ, the liver has a lot of important jobs from metabolizing medicines to forming the clotting proteins needed to stop bleeding. After an individual consumes alcohol, starting from the lining in the mouth down to the small intestine, alcohol is being absorbed into the blood stream.
What is the liver’s job with alcohol?
The liver is highly vascularized, meaning the organ has a lot of blood vessels. With many blood vessels, the majority of the alcohol consumed will pass through the liver. The liver will metabolize the alcohol by releasing an enzyme (a molecule that can break a substance down). However, alcohol is declared a toxin that can aggravate the liver and cause damage to the cells before the liver can break down alcohol. The liver can regenerate new and healthy cells to replace the cells that were damaged by alcohol.
What happens when it’s too much alcohol for the liver?
When an individual drinks more than the recommended amount, the liver is repeatedly exposed to a noxious substance – alcohol. With repeated damage to the cells, the liver cannot keep up with regenerating healthy cells and ends in liver damage, or also known as cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is brought on by many forms of liver diseases and chronic alcoholism. There are stages of cirrhosis, but some common symptoms are jaundice, easy bleeding, fatigue, and weight loss. It is important to drink in moderation and if displaying any of these symptoms, to make an appointment to see a doctor.