By James Madeiros
It should be noted first that this article should not be confused as a guideline on how to tell if you have liver disease. It’s designed more as a way to get you to consider how awesome it will be to never even have the symptoms.
Johns Hopkins University doctors report that 75% of drinking-aged Americans indulge in fermented beverages and that alcohol kills an average of 100,000 of them every year. Of those people, 20% of them will have died of cirrhosis, arguably the most serious form of liver disease.
That’s 20,000 people a year, which is another way of saying that it’s very real and that it can happen to you. So, what does it take to arrive at this unfortunate state?
Basically, it takes years of alcohol abuse. There is little evidence of cirrhosis developing rapidly without some type of preexisting living condition that makes it more susceptible to the ravages of alcohol. And make no mistake – alcohol can ravish it if given enough of a chance.
Liver disease occurs in three categories known as fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis and, finally, cirrhosis. The first two are the result of acute alcohol ingestion. Established alcoholic cirrhosis does not have to stem from the previous two conditions, but it is possible. Regardless of the pattern of progression, cirrhosis may be identified by:
• Pruritus (red, itchy and swollen skin)
• Severe high blood pressure (hypertension)
The best indicator, however, is when the doctor diagnoses you with it after you’ve arrived, which will undoubtedly happen because people don’t hang out with jaundice for too long before they decide it’s a good idea to get a check-up.
Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. Our multivitamin, drinkwel, is not intended to cure alcoholism, but can be useful for those that choose to drink alcohol. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).