It is estimated that alcohol-related fatty liver disease develops in 90% of people who drink more than 40 g of alcohol (or four units) a day. That is approximately the equivalent of two medium glasses (175 ml) of wine with 12% alcoholic alcohol or less than two pints of beer of regular concentration (4% ABV). Liver disease caused by alcohol is preventable. Most reputable sources cite moderate alcohol consumption as 1 drink per day for women and 2 for men.
In general, there is no type of alcoholic beverage that is safer for the liver. The high-risk threshold for alcoholic hepatitis is generally considered to be 3 to 4 drinks a day for an extended period. People who develop cirrhosis usually drink more than 6 servings of alcohol a day. Binge drinking more than 4 to 5 servings of alcohol in a 2-hour period can also cause liver damage.
Women are more vulnerable to liver damage caused by alcohol, even after making adjustments to reduce their body size. Women are at risk of liver damage if they drink about half as much alcohol as men. In other words, drinking more than ¾ to 1½ ounces of alcohol a day puts women at risk. The risk may increase in women because their digestive system may be less able to process alcohol, increasing the amount of alcohol that reaches the liver.
If you have an alcohol addiction and have symptoms of liver damage, it's important to seek help as soon as possible. Consuming 1½ ounces a day involves drinking about 3 cans of beer, 3 glasses of wine, or 3 shots of hard liquor. However, if people continue to drink alcohol, liver damage progresses and can eventually result in death. If alcohol isn't the primary cause and you don't have liver damage, it may be OK to drink in moderation once the problem has been resolved.
Above this threshold, in certain individuals, the balance between disease mechanisms and these defense systems favors the development of tissue damage. Symptoms include fatigue, jaundice, ascites (fluid buildup in the abdomen), nausea, vomiting, severe itchy skin, and even brain damage (hepatic encephalopathy). Excessive drinking puts pressure on this vital organ, which can cause inflammation and damage cells. Women absorb more alcohol from each drink compared to men, so they are at greater risk of liver damage.
Peripheral nerves (nerves outside the brain and spinal cord) can be damaged and cause loss of sensation and strength. With the support of Grant IGA MZCR NT 11 247 (The role of protective mechanisms, oxidative stress and inflammatory reaction in the progression of liver damage in patients with metabolic syndrome and the possible influence of antioxidant factors in the prevention of liver damage in an experimental model of NAFLD); UK SVV 3362 (Regulatory parameters of the pathogenesis of inflammatory and oncological diseases). In general, the amount of alcohol consumed (how much, how often, and for how long) determines the risk and severity of liver damage. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines a standard beverage as 11 to 14 g of alcohol, which corresponds approximately to a 40% alcoholic beverage, a glass of wine or a beer of 0.33 l (12 oz).
Next, we'll address frequently asked questions about alcohol and the liver, patterns of alcohol consumption that increase risk, and early signs of liver damage from alcohol consumption. A liver biopsy can confirm liver disease, provide evidence that alcohol is the probable cause, and determine the type of liver damage present. A study suggests that even seven weeks of occasional binge drinking can cause liver damage in early stages. .