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Alcoholism is a condition that affects millions of citizens. It has many adverse effects on different organs in the body, including the liver.
People with alcoholism also tend to suffer from alcoholic liver disease, a chronic disease seen in people who drink heavily. Alcoholic liver disease is one of the major causes of liver injury globally.
If you drink alcohol regularly, you may already have this condition, so your liver might struggle to carry out its detoxing role. Supplements give your liver that extra push. They help rejuvenate the liver so it can perform its role.
Even if you are not a regular drinker, liver supplements are a great way to protect your liver from damage and promote overall health. This article will look at liver supplements and how they can help people who take alcohol.
What are liver supplements?
Liver supplements are a type of dietary supplement that helps cleanse the body and protect against damage done by toxins. Liver supplements contain ingredients that detox the liver and protect it from oxidative stress.
Liver supplements come in different forms, including pills, capsules, tablets, liquids, powders, and even teas.
Because of their health benefits, liver supplements are also used to complement the treatment of other health conditions like hepatitis C, cirrhosis, and other liver diseases.
Why alcoholics need liver supplements
People who consume alcohol tend not to consume the required amount of dietary nutrition for optimal health. The nutrients they manage to take are not utilized properly by the body because alcohol abuse affects the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients.
The implication is that alcoholics tend to suffer from malnutrition and nutrient deficiency. Malnutrition is a leading cause of liver inflammation and damage.
Indiscriminate consumption of alcohol and the struggle by the liver to metabolize them can cause major harmful effects on the body. It can lead to a series of liver conditions known as alcoholic liver disease (ALD).
Unfortunately, alcoholic liver disease is not the only problem alcoholics have to deal with. Continuous drinking, even after diagnosis with alcoholic liver disease, will cause further deterioration leading to liver cirrhosis and liver failure. Cirrhosis is permanent scarring of the liver.
Once a person develops alcohol-induced cirrhosis, a liver transplant is the only way to fully recover. However, you can prevent these conditions and keep your liver healthy by taking proper care of your liver, limiting alcohol consumption, and using dietary supplements. There is no better time than now to start protecting your liver.
What is Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (AFLD)?
Alcoholic fatty liver disease (also known as ALD) occurs when you consistently drink an unhealthy amount of alcohol. Because of the high level of alcohol consumption, your body starts producing excess fat.
Alcohol-induced liver disease is reversible, which means that if you stop alcohol consumption and take the necessary liver supplements, your liver should return to normal. However, the fat deposition will continue if left unchecked, ultimately leading to alcoholic liver disease.
Because it doesn’t come with symptoms, most people do not know that they have this condition and continue consuming high levels of alcohol, leading to irreversible damage.
Signs & Symptoms of AFLD
There are no general signs and symptoms of alcoholic fatty liver disease. Most people with this condition are asymptomatic. However, some people might experience some of these symptoms:
- Pain in the upper right abdomen
- Tiredness and weakness
- Weight loss
If alcoholic fatty liver disease is detected on time, you can prevent further deterioration by stopping alcohol consumption and taking supplements.
Why are milk thistle supplements good for alcoholics?
Milk thistle is a flowering herb related to the daisy and ragweed family native to Mediterranean countries. It is considered one of the most effective liver supplements in the world.
The active ingredient in milk thistle extract is silymarin, which is a compound known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Milk thistle offers the liver a level of protection against alcohol-related liver disease. It helps prevent the accumulation of fat and improves liver function. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the milk thistle mean they aid in the repair of damaged liver cells.
Furthermore, studies have shown that milk thistle can reduce the symptoms of alcoholism and prevent alcoholic cirrhosis. Milk thistle is great for protecting the liver, aiding cell repair, and promoting liver health.
The Germans recommend it for liver protection.
In Germany, beer is a staple. It is consumed almost as much as water. Germany’s Commission E, which has the same role as the FDA in the United States, found a way for Germans to enjoy the beer they love so much while protecting their liver. The commission recommends consuming milk thistles to protect your liver. This should be enough to convince you of the protective properties of milk thistles.
Supplements need to be accompanied by a healthy lifestyle
Supplements are great, but they will not protect your liver from the effects of alcohol if you do not take the necessary steps to help it. Several lifestyle modifications can help reverse the effects of alcohol on your liver.
- It takes as small as two drinks per day to lead to liver damage. So, the first thing to do is stop heavy alcohol use, especially if you have been diagnosed with an unhealthy liver. Alcohol cessation is crucial because alcohol will cause more inflammation as long as it is consumed. If you are experiencing alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS), you might want to try an alcohol detox program.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Avoid processed foods, a high-fat diet, and sugars. These foods stress the liver into working overtime. A healthy diet will keep your liver healthy.
- Next to alcoholism, obesity is a leading cause of chronic liver disease. Exercise regularly to maintain ideal body weight. A high-fat diet and a sedentary lifestyle can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
So if you’re struggling with alcoholism or social drinking, then you should definitely consider taking liver supplements and modifying your lifestyle to keep your liver healthy.