The consequences of alcohol on the liver


Technically, this involves taking 5 or more drinks in boys (or more than 4 in girls) in a very short time interval (from 15 minutes to 1-2 hours). This is because concentrating your alcohol intake in a short time gives you a much stronger ‘high’ than consuming the same amount of alcohol throughout the evening.

  1. If all this happens on an empty stomach, the toxic effect of alcohol is even greater and naturally more dangerous.
  2. A side effect of children’s hedonism - who care a lot about their physical appearance and not gain weight - is the so-called ‘drunkressia’.
  3. You drink a lot and don’t eat, to compensate for the many calories (7.1 per gram) consumed with alcohol.

“A study that we carried out some time ago in the Roman high schools, supported by the Rome Foundation and published in Scientific Reports - remembers prof. Sorrowful - highlighted that in binge drinking our teenagers have surpassed their ‘masters’ in Northern Europe, given that 60% of the capital’s high school students practice it, compared to 35% of the others “.

A ‘fun’ that unfortunately translates into many broken young lives: alcohol abuse, according to data from the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, is the leading cause of death in children up to 24 years of age (see Saturday night incidents).

How much ‘too much’ is too much?

“The amount of alcohol ‘tolerated - explains prof. Sorrowful - is 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink for women. Always with meals and never on an empty stomach. By ‘drink’ we mean the international unit equal to about 12 grams of ethanol and which corresponds to a 33 ml can of beer or a glass of wine or a glass of spirits “.

But even this ‘moderate’ quantity becomes excessive (and this is also reported in the guidelines of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism-NIAAA of the American NIH) in all those conditions in which there is a physical contraindication (for example minors and elderly, people who already have chronic diseases, such as liver damage, in chronic drug therapy, pregnancy, etc.).

Psychological or social or occupational

  1. Psychological or social or occupationalAnyone who abuses alcohol has fatty liver disease, but if he keeps abstaining from alcoholic beverages, he will see this damage completely regress.
  2. On the contrary, if it continues well the damage progresses; in 40-60% of these people chronic inflammation of the liver cells (‘hepatitis’) will appear; even in this case, by stopping drinking, the damage can still be reversed.

Conversely, continuing to drink, 20-25% of patients pass from chronic hepatitis to liver cirrhosis; at that point, stopping drinking (which is still desirable in order not to worsen the situation), although it does not allow you to go back, is still essential to stop the progression of the damage.

Diagnosis is made on the basis of imaging: abdominal ultrasound and elastography (which determines the degree of fibrosis, that is, scarring of the liver). In severe cases, histological diagnosis is used, i.e. liver biopsy.


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