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Practical info for the smarter drinker

Liver Regeneration & Damage from Drinking Alcohol

Long Live the Liver

A human liver is pretty amazing for a lot of reasons, but it has one trick that borders on the miraculous: it is the only human organ capable of regenerating damaged tissue.

It’s actually a little more impressive than that. A liver can fully regenerate up to 75% of damaged tissue. And, it can do so in fairly quick order. Size can double in as little as three to four weeks through a process that is very similar to the embryonic stage of liver development.

Scientists are fond of saying this is simple process, but even though they can explain it and identify what triggers it, they’re still unclear on exactly how it happens at the cellular level.

What is important, though, is that it does happen, especially considering the effects of alcohol on the liver after prolonged exposure.

The link between alcohol and liver disease was identified more than 200 years ago. Now, it is further known that alcohol contributes to the development of hepatitis and cirrhosis. These diseases are well-known for damaging the liver beyond repair if steps are not taken to alleviate the damaging effects of alcohol.

The easiest way to achieve this is to strictly monitor alcohol consumption. Large quantities of alcohol have a toxic effect on the liver, and contributing factors such as genetics, gender, weight and general health play a role in the ability of a liver to put up a good fight.

Your liver is amazing, but to keep it amazing – that is, capable of regenerating healthy tissue – it is critical to practice responsible alcohol consumption. That is why we recommend taking a “drinking break” in our healthy drinking tips article.

If you’re looking for products that may help with liver function, have a look here.

Alcohol Liver Damage & Liver Repair

Of course, I should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. Because everyone is different, you should work with your medical professional to determine what’s best for you. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).


12 comments

  1. Reply Gary Apr 18, 2017 10:57 pm

    Drank a half gallon of rum per week for about 15 years. One day, mixed a drink, it tasted horrible. Tried a beer, couldn’t stand the taste. It’s going on seven years without drinking.
    I feel great. One thing changed about six months before I found alcohol repulsive. I accepted Jesus Christ into my life….. the end …. and a new beginning.

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  5. Reply Alcoholic Oct 23, 2016 11:27 pm

    fukn alcohol. everytime is my last time. if i could drink just one; my body says yes, my brain says not again. successive approximations, expect failure, keep practicing.

  6. Reply Johan Oct 20, 2016 7:19 pm

    I drank 3 liters of wine at 12%-14.5% and a bottle of whisky or rum at 40% every weekend for a few years.
    Than a couple of months ago sometimes not always my feet would swelled up. At first I thought it was something wrong with the wine. It wasn’t.
    Two weeks ago the backside of my legs swelled up and was tender when I poked. A little problem walking. Can’t really describe it, like having my pants filled with heavy bags of sand. Had trouble straightening out my legs too. The legs resisted.

    My liver swelled up so much that it felt like having a mild asthma attack. I could see one side were protruding a bit and nearly rolled over the rib-cage like a fat belly rolling over pants. I couldn’t bend down to put on my shoes. Felt fat. If I tried to force it, oh, lets just say I only tried it once.
    Poking the liver were painful. Bumped into it when I were putting on a t-shit, the pain made me bend over.

    According to what I’ve read it were/is liver inflammation, stage 2 upper limit, nearly stage 3, cirrhosis.

    Went with my gut and took a long physical walk to exercise the legs. When I came home and checked the swelling had gone down to pretty much normal, were little tender at some places.

    Then I went to bed. I told myself if the legs had swelled up again or liver hadn’t shrinked a bit in the morning I would go to a doctor.
    And what do you know, the liver did shrink to nearly normal size. Could still feel it though when I poked around and it were less painful, I’d say tender.

    Money saved. Gotten so used to drink in weekends I don’t know what to do with myself now. I’m going back and forth. Should a risk it and drink? Yes..no…yes..no..etc

    Do you or anyone else have any suggestions?
    If you don’t mind:
    How did you solve the sugar/candy craving? Not looking forward to that.
    Did you just quit cold turkey?
    I’m curious, how strong were the alcohol you drank?

    Really thinking on buying some beer at around 3.5% and some that’s alcohol free.
    I know it’s stupid (actually it can be lethal in this state) drinking any alcohol but if you’ve read my story it’s crystal clear that I’m it already. Knew what would happen when I started and said fork it. Thought I’d have at least a few more years before the liver would start to protest. I mean I drank mostly wine but I did drink 6 liters a few time then the last time 3 liters + bottle of rum. Oh well

    If any with a medical degree, nurse, doctor, etc have anything to say, don’t hesitate.

    Sigh… it’s Friday morning now. Wish cannabis were legal here.
    Oh, I used alcohol to relieve the “pressure”, stress, in my head. It builds up over the week and cured on weekend. Doctors couldn’t help. They blamed me because the medicines they gave me didn’t work. Lost all faith in then. Which is how I started to drink.

    Apologize for the long comment. Got to keep my hands busy.

  7. Reply Coltin Oct 14, 2016 8:09 pm

    That’s way more clever than I was exintcpeg. Thanks!

  8. Reply Joe Oct 9, 2016 5:34 pm

    Drank more alcohol that humanly possible 1.75 liters or more per day every day for three years until my liver shut down , I had 9 liters of stuff pumped out of my body , I was diagnosed with cirossis . I had shots for hepatitis . And I have not had a drink for 1.4 years . Will I ever be able to drink again ?

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  10. Reply Mike Mar 22, 2016 2:59 pm

    Hard to say, Pamela. Always best to check with medical experts/doctors specializing in the liver when it comes to something as critical as the liver!

  11. Reply Myo Oct 27, 2015 7:14 am

    Fascinating. I knew about the regeneration but not to this capacity. I’m having a bit of tenderness on the right right now, though binge drink way way too much on Sundays. I’m thinking a couple of weeks off will do it some good. 🙂 Time for it to take a rest.

  12. Reply Pamela Massie Jul 30, 2014 12:40 pm

    I have Cirroshis of the liver. I just had a procedure done, I had stints implanted which should give me a better quality of life.
    I find your article very interesting, Is it possible that I could have a procedure done as discussed here??

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