Why? You ask
It’s because we are going to talk about mankind’s favourite drink – alcohol, and the depressing effect it has on the liver, the largest internal organ that processes and detoxifies everything that goes into the body.
Alcohol on its own is a central nervous system depressant. The danger is when taken in larger amounts, as you may already know, does the following:
- Slows down mental function
- Causes memory loss
- Induces poor judgement
- Induces dizziness
- Poor co-ordination
- Slurring of speech
- Induces vomiting
- Blurred vision
And overtime, a more serious health condition including heart disease, cancer, nervous system disorder, pancreas damage, and liver damage.
Now I expect that a lot of people will come forward in defense of this beverage. Take note that the above consequences results when huge amounts of alcohol is consumed on a regular basis.
One of the healthiest alcohol available is red wine and 1 glass a day is all you need, nothing more. However, when it comes to consuming other alcoholic beverages like Beer and the rest fermented alcoholic beverages, apart from the alcoholic content, Beer contains yeast which upset the balance of bacteria in the colon.
But the real issue with alcohol intake is its toxic impact on your liver.
What Is The “Job” of The Liver?
The liver basically acts as a filter in the body. Like a filter does, it traps all the dust, particles, debris and pollution out of the air and sends out a cleaner air. However, overtime, as more pollution builds up, the filtering cells of the air gets blocked as a result of trapped debris which could not get through the filter, thus making the job of the filter becomes ineffective as more air is required to get purified.
If you have ever cleaned out a real filter, I’m sure you will understand the type of dirt you will clean out. In the same vein, the liver is a filter to humans, the more pollution and toxins it has to deal with (i.e chemicals, alcohol, processed foods, medicines etc), the more
“dirty” it becomes.
And that is why there is a need for constant detoxification to take place once in a while because the liver is the most important organ when it comes to detoxifying the system.
Here are the duties of the liver. It performs over 500 functions, among which are:
- Regulation of blood sugar levels
- Processing nutrients from all the foods entering the body
- Maintenance of over 2,000 enzyme systems found in the body
- It produces over 13,000 different chemicals for metabolism
- It stores energy after conversion from foods
- It’s a filter for dangerous chemicals and bacteria
- It helps with blood clotting
- It processes all the medicines
- It helps in bile production which enables digestion of dietary fats.
The above is just a short list of the functions of the liver out of the 500 duties. The role of the liver in the detoxification process is to change and convert harmful toxins into safe substances that can be eliminated from the body through urine and faeces.
Above all, the liver is the primary arena where all alcoholic substances are broken down.
What Happens After You Drink Alcohol?
Here is exactly what happens when you drink alcohol. After you take alcohol, 25% of it is absorbed straight to your blood stream, the rest 75% is absorbed by your small intestines.
The absorption of this alcohol depends on the following factors:
- The volume or concentraion of alcohol in your drink (More concentration, quicker absorption)
- Whether it is carbonated or not
- If your stomach is full or empty (Full stomach means slower absorption)
- Your liver’s ability to breakdown and metabolize alcohol
About 90% of the alcohol you drink is broken down in your liver. The rest is removed via your urine, sweat, and breath.
Under normal circumstances, when alcohol is broken down, through complex metabolical processes using the liver as the medium of this transaction, the end product is carbon-dioxide and water and this is passed out from the body.
However, when there is plenty of alcohol in the body, the liver’s ability to process all the alcohol is tasked. The remaining alcohol that can not be processed is passed through another medium using a different set of enzymes known as “microsomonal ethanol-oxidizing system” (MEOS).
MEOS is induced when regular drinking of alcohol becomes a habit. The danger is that this secondary alcohol breakdown pathway in the liver results in the generation of highly reactive oxygen–containing molecules known as oxygen radicals.
The overall effect of oxygen radicals and MEOS is that they impede the function of the original enzymes and proteins participating in the liver’s metabolism of alcohol. This further creates harmful immune responses which results to alcoholic liver diseases from damaged liver.
Symptoms of Liver Damage
This excess toxins can build up quickly and cause inflammation in the body. The consequence of this is that your body becomes gradually damaged at the cellular level from free radicals which is a by product of inflammation.
The free radicals are actually toxins that will “idle away” and move to places they ought not to. They circulate and gets stored up in fat tissues (including the brain and the central nervous system).
The slow release of these toxins into the bloodstream is a major factor in the development of chronic liver disease!
Symptoms arising from liver damage include, but not limited to:
- Loss of appetite
- Skin problems
- Jaundice (Yellowing of the eyes and skin)
- Lowered resistance to infections
- Mood swings
- Pain at the right side
- Swelling of the abdomen
- Internal bleeding
- Kidney failure
The bad news is that you may not notice any of these symptoms till the liver is 75% damaged and when that happens, it is usually very late to do anything about it.
However, the good news is that if you start early enough, minimal liver damage can be reversed if you can abstain completely from drinking alcohol and provide nutritional support for your liver.
When there is no alcohol in the bloodstream, and proper nutrients are provided, the liver cells will be able to return to normal because the liver has a tremendous capacity to regenerate itself.
Learn From The Experiences of Others
I’m going to relate two life experiences here, that of myself and that of a popular music director who suffered kidney problems due to liver damage.
In my own case, it is the experience I had while my mother was still alive and on admission in the hospital, she had a ward mate who was suffering from Kidney failure.
She was required to travel abroad for a kidney transplant which will cost the family about N5million in India.
Unfortunately for this woman, her husband doesn’t have that type of money. So she was subjected to Dialysis every week. And this weekly dialysis was costing the family N25,000 per week , beside the cost of medicines, just to keep her alive.
Dialysis is the processes of passing out the entire blood in a person, and passing it through a machine filter to separate all the toxins and dangerous chemicals in the body, while passing back the filtered “now clean” blood into the body of the patient.
It’s a very expensive procedure and it does the work of the kidney, for those who have failed kidneys.
Unfortunately, for this woman, even the N25k that was used for dialysis every week for her ran out and after staying in the hospital for 9 months, she passed on right in front of my mother after an agonizing painful cries for help.
This event severely affected my mother that I had to move her to another ward, as she was thinking it was her own turn next.
Stories of this woman had it that she loved alcoholic beverages a lot, and most likely, she took way too much and destroyed her kidney in the process.
Do you remember the story of the popular Nigerian music producer who had similar problem and who was required to travel out for a kidney transplant? (I’m not calling names)
Celebrity, clubbing, partying goes hand in hand. No doubt this also affected this producer so much so that he “enjoyed” himself with lots of booze and overtime, the end result was a kidney transplant.
Luckily for him, he has the financial capability and from donations of well wishers, he had a successful kidney transplant.
Truth is, some people who drink a lot of alcohol may seem to escape the liver/kidney disease problem that is induced by excess alcohol, it’s always a matter of time before the symptoms start manifesting.
So if you are in the habit of drinking alcoholic beverages daily, you may well review that habit now and limit it greatly. If you have a healthy kidney now, it’s always a good thing to detoxify it periodically because it does you a lot of good.
You may start that this month with The 4 Week Detox Diet, It will go along way in helping you maintain the health of your kidney. You’ll also learn EXACTLY how to detoxify your liver and restore its optimal function – without supplements or special detox kits!
Cleanse your LIVER and your body – with natural foods! Click Here To Start!
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