Alcohol addiction is one of the more serious addictions that an individual can suffer from. In addition to alcohol rendering a person almost completely unable to operate a vehicle safely, there are many other physical dangers that the overuse of alcohol can cause for an alcoholic. Alcoholism can be very dangerous for the heart, liver, stomach, pancreas and kidneys, just to name a few. The overindulgence of alcohol can affect almost all areas of person’s body. The one organ that many alcoholics have a problem with is the liver.

Alcoholic Liver Disease

Alcoholic liver disease is damage that occurs to liver over time from the overuse of alcohol. There are three stages of alcoholic liver disease. The first stage is what is known as an alcoholic fatty liver. This first stage, if caught early enough is completely reversible. The only treatment needed for the person is to quit drinking. The liver is the most regenerative organ in the body. If the person does not quit drinking at this stage of this disease, it will progress to alcoholic induced hepatitis, or stage two of alcoholic liver disease. Hepatitis literally translates into inflammation of the liver. Many people become confused when they hear the term alcohol induced hepatitis and may relate it to the type of hepatitis that is caused by a virus, such as hepatitis C. Alcohol induced hepatitis is not caused by any virus; it is inflammation of the liver that is caused by drinking too much alcohol.

Stage two of alcoholic liver disease is also completely reversible. Again the only treatment needed is for the person to quit drinking. If the person, again does not quit drinking at this point the disease will eventually progress to stage three alcoholic liver disease. Stage three is the most serious stage of this disease and it is irreversible. It is called cirrhosis, which means that the liver has started to have scar tissue grow on it. Eventually this scar tissue will take over the entire liver and the person will no longer have liver function. At this point the person will die unless they receive treatment. There is only one treatment available that will help a person who has cirrhosis of the liver at this time. That is a liver transplant. A person who needs to get a liver transplant usually has to get on a waiting list and wait for a matching liver to become available. If a person gets on one of these waiting lists, they sometimes die before a liver ever becomes available. These livers are taken from a matching donor that has recently died usually.

For a lucky few, there is the option of getting a liver transplant from a live donor. Because the liver is the most regenerative organ in the body, it is actually possible to take a piece of liver out of a live donor and put it into the body of a donee and both pieces will grow into a whole new liver for each person. There is some ethical debate about performing surgery on the donor who is not in need of this surgery and it will only benefit the person who is receiving the liver transplant. If one needs a liver transplant, the country of India has a few very good centers that can provide them and the medical costs are remarkably lower in India than they are in the United States.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Another very detrimental side effect that can occur from the overindulgence in alcohol, specifically in pregnant women is fetal alcohol syndrome or FAS. FAS occurs when a women drinks alcohol while she is pregnant. There is some argument as to whether a pregnant woman should drink alcohol at all while she is pregnant. Some schools of thought say a few drinks in moderation should be alright for the pregnancy, but recently one new study shows that alcohol never safe during pregnancy. Because it is still not totally understood whether a few drinks could have the potential to do harm to the unborn child, Narconon Centers have to recommend staying cautious and completely abstaining from alcohol while pregnant.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a very tragic disorder. It is especially sad because the child who suffers from it does through no choice of their own. People who are born with FAS will suffer from it for their entire lives because there is no treatment available at this time that can reverse it. FAS children often have a lot of physical as well as mental difficulties and below is a list of some of the complications and symptoms that an FAS child may suffer from:

  • · Distinctive facial features such as a thin upper lip, and small and upturned nose, a smooth upper lip area between the upper lip and nose
  • · Smaller than average birth weight
  • · Smaller than average head circumference and brain
  • · Slow growth before and after birth
  • · Vision or hearing difficulties
  • · Impaired coordination
  • · Impaired mental capabilities
  • · Problems with learning and retaining knowledge
  • · Problems getting along with peers
  • · Nervousness and anxiety
  • · Heart problems or defects
  • · Deformed joints

These are not all the symptoms that a child who is suffering from FAS may have. In fact there is no one single symptom that all FAS children have and the way that a doctor can tell if the child does indeed have FAS is by noting all the symptoms together and coming to the conclusion that the child has enough to determine that FAS is the cause. It has been shown that the amount of alcohol that a woman drinks during pregnancy does correlate with the severity of the FAS in the child. The more that one drinks, the worse the child’s symptoms are going to be. The only sure way to prevent FAS is to not drink while pregnant and Narconon International recommends no alcohol at all during pregnancy.

If you or a loved one are having problems overcoming a drinking problem or are concerned that you may be drinking too much and feel unable to control yourself, please call Narconon of Georgia today. There are informative and caring counselors that are waiting to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

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