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A man lying on the couch and contending with early signs of liver damage from drinking.

What are early signs of liver damage from drinking? Learn about the signs of a damaged liver by alcohol & discover life-changing addiction help.

The human body is an amazing thing. It has the ability to actually reproduce life while also adapting effectively to a variety of scenarios and climates.

It processes oxygen to optimize overall functionality and enables you to see, smell, and taste everything within your environment. It provides you with a burst of adrenaline when it needs to perform and floods your neurological synapses with calming agents when it is time to rest.

Yet, through all of these amazing feats and functions, your body also displays a sense of fragility when you neglect basic needs and requirements.

The things you ingest have a tremendous impact on the manner in which your body reacts and responds. The daily habits with which you engage can mean the difference between supreme functionality and habitual sickness.

Imagine going on a strict diet consisting of only fast food and ice cream. While the initial onset of this type of nutritional adjustment may seem tempting to some, the reality of fueling your body with such high levels of saturated fat, high caloric intake, and processed sugars would quickly deteriorate your wellbeing.

For those people struggling with an alcohol addiction, the manner in which their substance use disorder systematically erodes their bodies is even more detrimental to both the short-term and long-term functionality of physical health.

Excessive alcohol consumption negatively impacts everything from your blood flow to your neurological functioning, destroying organs such as your heart, brain, and liver. While the first two are obviously necessary to a healthy existence, the liver itself is much less appreciated, but just as significant to your overall health.

Nevertheless, your liver suffers tremendously from your alcohol addiction and its regression has far-ranging ramifications to the rest of your body and overall health.

How Alcohol Affects Your Liver

While many other organs within the body get their due credit for the functions they enact, the liver goes largely unnoticed and often underappreciated. The liver itself is your largest internal organ and is responsible for such tasks as:

  • Breaking down food to convert into energy
  • Helping your body remove waste products
  • Fighting off infections
  • Creating proteins that are necessary for effective blood clotting

While your liver is more than capable of processing small amounts of alcohol, copious amounts force it to work overtime, which begins destroying the various portions and functions of the liver within a very short amount of time.

In particular, excessive alcohol consumption forces your liver to create a toxic enzyme called acetaldehyde, which damages your liver cells and causes permanent scarring within the organ.

Additionally, alcohol addiction dramatically increases your risk of developing liver disease due to the fact that, over time, alcoholism strains the manner in which your body metabolizes alcohol, leading to liver distress and decreased functionality.1

4 Early Signs of Liver Damage from Drinking

Typically, the early signs of liver damage and alcohol related liver disease are preceded by a general feeling of being unwell and sickly. For everyone struggling with alcohol addiction, their physical symptoms and experiences may differ, but for a majority of alcoholics, these early signs of liver damage will hold true across the board.

They include:

1. Abdominal Pain

Excessive alcohol consumption can irritate your digestive system by causing your stomach to produce more acid than usual. This can cause gastritis and trigger a variety of stomach-related medical issues.

2. Physical Fatigue

Progressing liver damage can induce a lingering feeling of exhaustion because of a lack of energy and strength. It is a common symptom of those suffering with liver disease or hepatitis.

3. Nausea and Vomiting

While these symptoms can be attributed to the poisonous effects of excessive alcohol consumption, they are also precursors to liver diseases, such as cirrhosis and acute liver failure.

4. Decreased Appetite

This actually is one of the first signs of liver failure due to the acidic imbalances within the stomach induced by excessive alcohol consumption.2

Why It’s Never Too Late to Work Toward Sobriety

While all of these early warning signs can set in rather quickly within an alcoholic’s physical state, reversing the effects of alcohol addiction is possible.

The first step is to immediately discontinue any alcohol use in order to allow your body to begin repairing the damage inflicted by your addiction. Since this can be a difficult task to accomplish for most people struggling with an alcohol use disorder, identifying a viable treatment facility to guide you through the initial phases of your recovery journey is essential.

This ensures that any medical interventions required to effectively and safely detox your system are available and that you receive the proper clinical treatment and interventions throughout the entirety of your rehabilitative stay.

There is no time like the present to begin healing your mind, body, and soul. The sooner you start the process of recovery, the healthier and happier your liver, and entire life, will be.

Transformative Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Relapse Prevention at Covenant Hills

Your battle with alcoholism can come to a definitive end at Covenant Hills. Much more than traditional addiction rehab, alcohol addiction recovery at Covenant Hills focuses on your whole person – giving your mind, body and spirit the attention and nurturing it deserves to fully heal.

Through our faith-based, individualized alcohol addiction treatment, your psychological, emotional, physical, nutritional, fitness, and spiritual needs will be addressed and supported throughout the entire healing process.

Learn about our gender-specific, faith-based alcohol addiction treatment program, or contact us for a free and confidential assessment. We are available 24/7.


1Love Your Liver. Alcohol. Accessed January 14, 2019.

2Drinkaware. Alcohol-Related Liver Disease. Accessed January 14, 2019.