How Long Does it Take to Repair Your Liver From Alcohol Abuse?
How Long to Abstain From Alcohol for Liver Repair?
Alcohol is one of the top leading substances that affect Americans each day and brings them down through the cycle of addiction. Alcohol is commonly one of the first substances that young Americans will try as they go through adolescents and the experimenting stage with high-risk behavior. For some, early alcohol exposure becomes a lifelong battle with alcoholism as you become accustomed to using alcohol as a means to cope with challenges that life throws your way. At the same time, others may turn to alcohol after a traumatic incident or emotionally painful memory to escape the complex emotions and situation. As alcohol becomes your crutch in these times of need, it often leads to dependency as you try to manage life and the rollercoaster of emotions that can ensue after a challenging situation or hardship. The longer alcohol becomes a regular part of your routine, the higher the risk of damage occurring within your body and specifically your liver. While this can sound scary, there is hope to recover from your alcoholism and its effects, but how long does it take to repair your liver from alcohol abuse? Through effective alcohol treatment, you will understand and heal from the root causes of your addiction, but each person’s timeline varies.
While many begin their road to recovery, it is often asked how long it will take to start to repair the damage done from your alcohol use. While this may vary from person to person and your personal routines and habits within alcohol use, it is said that even one day without alcohol will get you on the path to healing your liver. To create a lasting change for repairing your liver, it will usually begin within a couple of days after you last drink up to a few weeks. As time goes on, your liver will continue to improve and regain its normal functioning levels. For those who have drunk for a more extended period or drink in excess each time they consume alcohol, it may take a few months to begin making a lasting change to your liver and its functioning. If you wonder how long does it take to repair your liver from alcohol abuse, the more sober time you have, the higher chance of your liver returning to a functional, healthy state.
How Alcohol Affects the Liver
Your liver is an essential organ that helps maintain your body’s functioning and ability to filter through the toxins that enter your body daily. While it works to weed out the unnecessary and unhealthy substances that enter your body, the liver also promotes growth in enzymes, hormones, and proteins. While creating these essentials, your body will also be absorbing all the proper vitamins and nutrients needed to maintain optimal body functioning. Adding alcohol to the mix can slow down these processes and create barriers in your liver’s ability to process the toxins coming into your body.
As you continue to consume alcohol regularly, you risk entering into alcohol-related liver disease. This disease is progressive, and the longer you engage in alcohol use, the more severe your condition can get. As your alcoholism continues, you run the risk of your alcoholic liver disease turning into cirrhosis. This process can result in patients losing their liver functioning and, in some cases, leading to death.
Short Term Effects of Alcohol on the Liver
Your liver can process 90% of the alcohol that you consume. When you drink and begin to feel the effects of the alcohol, this results from the 10% of alcohol that your liver was unable to process. The longer you consume alcohol in excess, the more difficult it becomes for your liver to function effectively. As you begin to consume an excessive amount of alcohol, your liver will develop a chemical imbalance and create an inability for your liver to process fats effectively. This process can eventually lead to alcoholic fatty liver disorder, the first stage of alcohol-related liver disease. If this is not addressed right away, this can progress further into alcohol-related liver disease and has the potential of becoming life-threatening.
Long Term Effects of Alcohol
The longer you consume alcohol, the higher your risk for developing severe alcoholic liver diseases. Approximately 20% of individuals with an alcohol addiction will develop a fatty liver disease that can turn into alcoholic hepatitis or cirrhosis. These conditions can range in levels of severity, with some symptoms being mild and manageable to some having the potential of becoming fatal.
Common symptoms of alcohol-related liver disease resulting from long term use of alcohol are:
- Itchy, irritable skin
- Severe fatigue
- Abdominal swelling and pain
- Yellowish eyes and skin
- Poor appetite or loss of appetite
- Developing bruising easily
- High fever
- Disorientation or confusion
- Stool becomes discolored
- Legs and ankles begin to swell
- Constant nausea or vomiting
- Pale red blood or tar colored stool
- Dark urine
While these symptoms can sound intimidating and concerning, there is hope for avoiding these unfortunate symptoms by eliminating your use of alcohol. Once alcohol consumption has ceased, your body will begin to regain its strength and normal functioning levels.
Can Liver Damage Caused by Alcohol Be Reversed?
While the damage done by alcohol has the potential to be severe, there are possibilities for you to reverse the damage that your problematic drinking has done. Most patients that have begun to experience alcohol-related liver disease will have a coinciding addiction to alcohol. This makes the “simple solution” of stopping drinking more challenging for patients. One motivating factor for patients facing the potential of developing these liver diseases is that if you continue drinking as your body begins to show signs of alcoholic hepatitis or cirrhosis, your chances of survival become minimal. If you can catch your liver disease early and are committed to stopping drinking (often with the support of alcohol rehab), you will be able to regenerate your liver functioning that was previously lost due to your drinking behaviors and restore its functioning to a healthy, standard level of processing and functioning.
How Long to Repair the Liver From Alcohol Abuse?
Patients often ask how long it will take to regain their liver functioning to an average level. This depends entirely on your history of alcohol use and the severity of your drinking. Factors that contribute to your lives ability to bounce back from the damage created are:
- The level of alcohol consumption you have within a week
- Your current lifestyle and habits outside of your drinking habits
- Your genetic makeup and any pre-existing medical concerns
- If you have been diagnosed with ARLD and how severe your disease has progressed to
So how long does it take to repair your liver from alcohol abuse? If you are someone that has a history of binge drinking on the weekends with two to four drinks at a time, your liver will require less time to repair itself. This is often able to happen within two weeks to a month. At that time, your liver should have regenerated itself to an average, healthy functioning level. With that said, experts have noted that the optimal time for liver healing and repairing will take 30 days to allow your body a slow transition and healing period. It could take anywhere from three months to a year to regain optimal liver functioning for heavy drinkers.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Muse
Alcohol addiction often requires the support of alcohol detox and alcohol rehab programs that will support patients in safely removing alcohol from their routine and learning a new way of life. The use of alcohol creates a physical and emotional dependency within patients that is often hard to break on your own if you are trying to detox from home. At Muse Treatment, we want to provide you with a full-service option for freeing yourself from alcohol addiction. We offer our patients a safe, supportive environment to undergo detox and withdrawal under the medical supervision of our onsite nurses and doctors.
As you begin to feel better and healthier, you will be transitioned into your individualized alcohol rehab program. We firmly believe that no patient entered into an alcohol addiction by accident. Addiction is often a result of unresolved emotional trauma or pain. Through our comprehensive, evidence-based treatment methods, our therapeutic team will work with you to better understand what has been fuelling your addiction. Once we can establish the emotions and situations that have triggered your alcohol use, we will be able to support you with tools and methods to avoid potential relapse behavior through methods of emotional regulation and self-awareness. Our staff is highly trained in providing patients with the necessary life skills to solidify their newfound way of life in sobriety to help them maintain their liver and overall body and mind functioning. If you have more questions on how long does it take to repair your liver from alcohol abuse, contact Muse Treatment at (800) 426-1818 today to discuss the treatment options available to you.