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Advanced liver damage tied to binge drinking

Category: Liver Diseases

The more alcohol a person drinks, the more likely they are to sustain liver damage, but some scientists say binging on beer, wine or liquor could amplify this effect. With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showing alcohol- and liver-related diseases on the rise, research in this vein could show how liver testing can help doctors isolate those at the greatest risk of developing lifelong problems due to drinking.

Researchers at the University of Missouri School of Medicine looked  various studies on liver disease and alcohol consumption in patients. The authors tried to correlate binge drinking characteristics, short periods of heavy drinking, with increased prevalence of symptoms of chronic liver problems. These issues include immune deficiencies, metabolic problems and enhanced presence of liver illnesses like fatty liver, hepatitis and cirrhosis.

The study indicated that alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is strongly linked to binge drinking behaviors, reducing key autoimmune responses and slowing down the body as a whole. What's more, the results showed that specific cell bodies and internal agents were drastically reduced in the wake of binge events, with significant negative effects on the liver. Those with consistent alcohol consumption in the past could see amplified injury if binging and steady levels are mixed.

Studying consumption and deterioration patterns
"Chronic alcohol consumption renders the liver highly susceptible to binge-induced liver damage. Binge abuse is on the rise globally," said author Shivendra Shukla. The results of the study showed that nearly half of all college-age individuals reported a binge drinking episode within the last month prior to participating in various studies, indicating that liver testing may reveal higher levels of organ damage than individuals with consistent, lower levels of alcohol consumption.

The CDC reported that about 100,000 people are diagnosed with chronic liver disease each year, and about one-third of them die annually. Of that number, half are directly the cause of alcohol consumption, the source wrote. What's more, about half of all Americans over 18 told the CDC they drink on a regular basis, though no information is available as to how many of these are simultaneously binge drinking as well. Conducting regular liver tests on professed drinkers could help doctors detect chronic issues and signs of distress earlier, helping people change negative behaviors or treating illnesses before they get out of hand.

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