alcohol

What is Cirrhosis?

A person with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) is at risk for many negative consequences to their physical health including cirrhosis of the liver. Cirrhosis is one of three types of Alcoholic Liver Disease. The other two are fatty liver and alcoholic hepatitis. Cirrhosis occurs when normal liver function degrades due to excessive consumption of alcohol over a period of time and a result is a form of hypertension and liver failure. 

If you or someone you care about is drinking to excess, consider reaching out for professional assistance before permanent and irreparable physical damage is caused. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a serious condition that has dangerous long-term consequences. Reach out to Oasis Recovery today to speak with a specialist about risks associated with AUD including cirrhosis.

Cirrhosis and Long-term Alcohol Abuse

A person that abuses alcohol over an extended period of time is at greater risk for serious physical health consequences including cirrhosis. Cirrhosis affects the liver as this is the organ that has the most burden of processing and metabolizing alcohol. 

According to a World Health Organization study conducted in 2014, it was estimated that 50 percent of deaths caused by cirrhosis were directly related to alcohol abuse. 

At this time, there are no FDA-approved pharmacological or nutrition-based therapy interventions for managing the effects of cirrhosis. 

The most important choice a person can make if they are beginning to have liver-related physical health problems is to cease drinking as soon as possible. This is an essential part of therapy and recuperation. 

Liver transplantation can be a life-saving choice for those with end-stage alcoholic liver disease. That being said, this is not an outcome that should be relied upon. Live transplants are not always available and success rates vary for a wide variety of medical reasons including overall health and wellness. 

Signs Drinking Is Out of Hand

There are many indications that a person’s drinking has shifted from occasional to a dependency or alcohol use disorder (AUD). A person who exclusively socially drinks and does not drink at home is unlikely to form an alcohol addiction. An exception being, of course, if they are going to events where drinking is permissible on a near-daily basis. 

Often, developing an alcohol addiction happens over a period of time. This is part of the reason why certain addictions can be insidious. A person may be able to go years having a drink with dinner and a couple of drinks on the weekend, or just a few drinks each night. Long-term use of alcohol is itself a factor in developing alcoholism. Once you’ve formed a habit of regular drinking, you are at risk of developing AUD. 

One strategy to avoid developing an alcohol dependency is to make rules for yourself about when you will allow yourself to drink and stick to them. An example might be that you only let yourself have a few drinks on the weekend. Another example could be that you ensure that there are at least two or three days each week when you will not allow yourself to have any alcoholic beverages. Daily drinking creates a slippery slope that can easily lead to addiction. 

Breaking the cycle of abuse is difficult once it’s already in motion. Part of the reason is that withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant. Common withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol use disorder include:

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Irritability 
  • Nervousness
  • Fatigue 
  • Shakiness or tremors
  • Sweating 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Mood instability 
  • Inability to focus or concentrate 
  • Headaches 
  • Changes in appetite 
  • Sleep issues 

Life changes, behaviors, and symptoms associated with AUD can include: 

  • Changes in behavior
  • Mood instability
  • Negative attitude 
  • Lack of energy
  • Lack of enthusiasm 
  • Lack of interest in hobbies 
  • Changes in appetite 
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Difficulty staying asleep   
  • Sadness
  • Despair
  • Low self-worth
  • Feelings of hopelessness 
  • Crying without a clear reason

Treatment for Alcohol Abuse Disorder (AUD)

It’s recommended that clients consider inpatient treatment for safe detox. Those who have relapsed and previously been through a treatment program may be good candidates for an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). This depends on a person’s particular life circumstances. If their home, work, or community life contains a lot of high-risk triggers then it may be a more sensible and practical option to take time to take care of yourself in a residential treatment program. Taking care of yourself is not selfish. Once you return home, you will be much better suited to properly fulfill your personal, family, childcare, and work responsibilities.

Outpatient Treatment (OT) is often a preferred choice as clients are able to continue to fulfill their family, childcare, and work responsibilities. Some clients say they prefer outpatient treatment because they are able to return home at the end of a day of treatment and sleep in their own bed with the comforts of home. 

Reach Out to Oasis Recovery for Recovery Options Today

Oasis Recovery offers programs and services to help clients break the cycle of abuse. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a serious problem that can lead to devastating consequences like cirrhosis of the liver. Reach out to us today to speak with a specialist about a personalized treatment plan that can help you quit drinking and get your life back on track.  

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