How to Physically Heal from Alcohol Abuse

Liver Repair: How to Physically Heal from Alcohol Abuse

Depending on what stage you are in your alcoholism, you may have caused serious damage to your liver. You have heard the expression, “What’s done is done.” This is not always the case with your liver. Because it is a regenerative organ, physically healing your it from years of alcohol abuse is possible.

Can the Liver Repair Itself After Years of Drinking?

The liver is your body’s only regenerative organ. You are probably aware of the chameleon and how it can regrow its own tail. The liver works in very much the same way. It can rebuild itself. If you had 75 percent of your liver removed, it could grow back to its full size. This is good news when it comes to repairing your liver.

heavy drinking destroys the liver

When Alcoholics Get Sober, The Liver is Always a Concern

Focused on regaining physical health, many recovering alcoholics worry about their liver and go get a physical from the doc when they sober up. Rightfully so. It is no secret that alcohol completely destroys the liver. Responsible for cleansing toxins from the body, the liver works overtime to process beer, liquor, and wine.

Not surprisingly, many alcoholics in recovery learn they have damaged their liver or contracted some kind of liver disease during the course of their alcoholism. Frantic to get healthy so they can enjoy their newly found freedom in sobriety, many ask –can I heal my liver?

By abstaining from alcohol, drinking lots of water, and eating a liver-friendly diet, you can reverse some of the effects of alcohol abuse. Yes, the good news is, the liver can repair itself after years of drinking.

What Does the Liver Do

What Does the Liver Do, Anyway?

To give you a brief lesson in biology, the liver is a large organ in the digestive system. It weighs about three pounds. Its number one function is to filter blood coming from your digestive tract before that blood flows to the rest of your body.

The liver works to detoxify chemicals that pass through the body. It metabolizes drugs and alcohol. It also secretes an enzyme called bile, which aids the body in digestion. Additionally, the liver produces protein, which is vital to the clotting of your blood.

When this organ is not healthy, your body can not function properly. It is essential to your health and well-being. When your liver does not effectively rid the body of toxins and assist with the process of digestion, a host of really nasty health problems inevitably come about.  

liver and heavy drinking

When You Abuse Alcohol, the Liver Takes a Beating

Many alcoholics consume large quantities of alcohol for decades and then make the courageous decision to get sober. By then, their liver has sustained years of abuse and has become ill due to the effects of the alcohol.

Most chronic alcoholics have been told just how dangerous alcohol is to the liver at some point during their abuse of alcohol. Nevertheless, alcoholism doesn’t allow the alcoholic to care and the drinking continues. Sadly, the liver sustains a beating and becomes damaged. After years of processing mass quantities of alcohol, it no longer functions properly.

Before we learn about healing the liver from alcohol abuse, let’s take a moment to learn more about some of the most common liver diseases caused by alcoholism – cirrhosis, fatty liver, and Hepatitis C. All three of these conditions can be diagnosed with a blood test.

the effects of heavy drinking

Cirrhosis of the Liver – The Number One Offender

Chances are, if you’ve been abusing alcohol long enough, you’ve been warned about cirrhosis of the liver. This is one of the most commonly diagnosed alcohol-related liver diseases and the most serious. Cirrhosis develops when scar tissue replaces normal, healthy liver tissue. The scar tissue hardens the liver and makes it unable to function properly. This leads to severe complications.

Cirrhosis always shows up as the result of another liver-related disorder. This might be alcohol-related liver cancer, Hepatitis, or fatty liver. Cirrhosis is irreversible, but progression of the condition can be slowed tremendously by following some of the suggestions offered later in this article about how to heal your liver.    

Years of Alcohol Abuse Could Result in Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty liver (also called “hepatic steatosis”) is a common liver disease. As the name implies, this condition develops when too much fat builds up in the liver. When the organ stores five to ten percent of its weight in fat, it is considered a fatty liver.

Fatty liver affects up to twenty percent of the U.S. population, mostly targeting people between the ages of 40 and 60. Although many nondrinkers develop the condition, the most common cause for fatty liver is alcoholism. Alcohol addiction wrecks the liver. Years of alcohol abuse will almost always result in a fatty liver.

Hepatitis C – Death to the Liver

Many alcoholics contract Hepatitis C. This condition attacks the liver and breaks it down slowly over time. Essentially, it causes the body to poison itself. It’s a horrible illness.

For decades, Hep C was a death sentence. If you were lucky enough to have insurance, you could prolong your life and avoid the agonizing death it promised…. for awhile. You could stay comfortable with medication and treatment. But, in the end, it got you.

Thankfully, there have been incredible developments made in the medical community for treating this degenerative liver disease. Modern medicine has finally found a cure for Hepatitis C and there is hope for remission for people with this illness.  Now, there are drugs like Harvoni that can actually cure Hep C and reverse its effects.

Healing the Liver

Healing the Liver from Cirrhosis, Fatty Liver, Hep C, and Other Liver Diseases

When talking about the liver’s ability to heal itself, people are always in a big hurry to know how long it will take. This is understandable, of course, but, it is a difficult – if not impossible – question to answer this question.

Everybody’s body is different. The progression and type of liver disease, a person’s age, weight, and overall health are all contributing factors when it comes to how long it takes the liver to repair itself from an alcohol-related liver disease.

The liver is constantly in a state of regeneration. The moment it stops processing alcohol, it begins the process of healing itself. This process could take as few as four weeks or as long as several years. It really all depends on the health of the individual person.

This might seem like a frustrating answer, but it’s an honest one. To be sure, you cannot heal your liver overnight. You have to implement some new health practices over time and work with your doctor to measure your liver enzymes to measure the upward progression of your liver’s health.

repairing the liver

How to Repair Your Liver Naturally – Drink Water

Taking steps in recovery is about more than working the 12 Steps. It’s about taking steps to heal your physical body from the damage caused by your alcoholism. Want to heal your liver naturally? Drink lots and lots (and lots) of water.

Seriously, the very best thing you can do for your liver is flush it with pure, clean, unadulterated water. This does not mean iced tea. This does not mean juice. We fool ourselves into believing we are drinking plenty of water because we drink things with water in it. We need to be drinking water. Just water. Lots of it.

Enough cannot be said about the benefits of drinking water. Water cleanses the system of toxins. As you know, the liver is responsible for the flushing of toxins. Water aids the liver with this process. It hydrates your body and keeps your brain firing on all cylinders. It helps you stay alert, productive, and in a balanced mood. Water is just awesome!

Switching to water has to be a conscious decision. If you want to improve the health of your liver, you need to drink water.

A Liver-Friendly Diet is Vital to Healing Your Liver

In order to aid your liver in the healing process, you need to be on the right diet. Eating the right foods is essential when it comes to repairing your liver. Equally important? Staying away from the wrong ones.

Here is a quick list of do’s and don’t’s when it comes to a liver-friendly diet:

Do:

  • Eat lots of veggies (broccoli, carrots, and green leafy vegetables especially)
  • Eat acidic fruits like grapefruit, lemons, and oranges
  • Drink coffee. Yes, coffee is good for your liver…. Yay!
  • Maintain a plant-based diet as much as possible
  • Eat foods high in Omega-3, like fish, nuts, and healthy oils
  • Eat foods high in fiber like oatmeal

Don’t:

  • Eat foods high in fat or loaded with grease
  • Eat a lot of processed sugar
  • Drink soda
  • Consume a lot of fatty animal proteins (sorry, this means steak!)
  • Drink alcohol

Another thing to keep in mind as you focus on repairing your liver from alcohol abuse is maintaining a healthy weight. When you eat the right diet, this comes with the territory. Want to spice things up in the kitchen and cook up a good meal for your liver? Get some liver-friendly recipes.

To Heal Your Liver, You Must Stop Drinking Alcohol

Simply put, there is no way to heal your liver if you are still drinking alcohol. As long as you are consuming wine, beer, or liquor, you are continuing to damage your liver. There is just no way around it. If you want to regain physical health, you must make the decision and subsequent commitment to abstain from alcohol. No matter what.

If you have a problem with alcohol, help is available. You may need to go a detox to safely withdraw from alcohol. You might need to stay at an inpatient facility and get professional addiction treatment services. Or, you may be able to find freedom from your alcoholism at Alcoholics Anonymous.

Whichever path you choose, if you want to help your liver, please make the decision today to get the help you need to stop drinking alcohol.  

The Good and Bad News When It Comes to Healing Your Liver

The liver is quite magical really. We destroy it with drunken binges. Then, we get our act together and make better choices, and shazam! We can bring healing to our poor, tired, overworked liver.

That being said, please keep in mind that some liver damage is irreversible. Many people wait until it is too late before they focus on repairing their liver. Long-term effects of drug and alcohol abuse, liver diseases, and untreated conditions like Hepatitis C can leave our liver in a perpetually damaged state.

This does not mean you cannot start making better choices today and live a long and healthy life…. even if your liver is a little under the weather. Doing the next right thing in terms of taking care of your physical body goes a long way when it comes to health and wellness.

Yes, your liver can heal itself….. but you are going to have to help.

Remember, to help repair your liver from years of drinking alcohol, follow the three simple suggestions offered in this article. drink water, don’t drink alcohol, and eat a liver-friendly diet.

Do you have experience with healing your own liver? What health tips can you share?

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Liver Repair how to Physically Heal from Alcohol Abuse Info

Liver Repair: How to Physically Heal from Alcohol Abuse
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October 19th, 2017|101 Comments

101 Comments

  1. Blacky March 26, 2018 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Very informative and positive article.

    Thanks!

  2. Jim June 4, 2018 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    Scared here , I have raised liver enzmiems 124 and was just sent for an ultrasound where music called two weeks after the ultrasound to give me the results ( actually had his nurse call me ) to say that I have a fatty liver. Beside that everything else is fine . They were very matter of fact. I am frustrated because I know I need to get my health together and drop drinking. I made an appt to see my doc but I may change my family doc now since I am not pleased with how they are handling this and I an a wreak

    • Ashwood Recovery June 15, 2018 at 5:00 pm - Reply

      So glad that this article resonated with you. Wishing you the best as you work on your health.

  3. Daryl June 16, 2018 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    Gave a blood sample last Wed 13/6/18 was told results would be back following Wed 1 week
    Received letter today 16/6/18 letter dated the day after I gave blood sample asking me to get an appointment at doc to discuss blood test
    Gave up drinking a month ago worried about how Kwik they have asked me to make an appointment what do you think

    • Ashwood Recovery July 26, 2018 at 4:08 am - Reply

      Wishing you the best!

  4. Leon mccrae June 19, 2018 at 4:35 am - Reply

    Thank you for the information.

    • Ashwood Recovery July 26, 2018 at 4:07 am - Reply

      So glad that this article resonated with you.

  5. Drew June 21, 2018 at 5:12 am - Reply

    To anyone reading this: I drank until I bled out internally. Blood replaced twice from bursting varices, parecentesis, life support 4 days. Woke up with horrible HE. ALL of it. End stage liver disease meld score 32. I kicked the vodka, put in the emotional and physical work, went to meetings, changed my diet. It’s been 15.months and I am a new person. Life is so much better. My liver is damaged, I have cirrohsis amd I still have some symptoms but I can live with it. My meld is 9 now, no transplant. Whomever is reading this and is worried, do whatever it takes, no matter what, and it will slowly get easier. I couldnt go 1 hr in any day without a drink. It’s possible. Yea for you too. Put in the work and you will be rewarded. God bless

    • Ashwood Recovery July 26, 2018 at 4:04 am - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your story! Wishing you the best as you continue your sober journey!

    • Shae July 30, 2018 at 3:42 pm - Reply

      God bless you and thank you for sharing… I’m 5 mos sober after drinking daily for 15yrs…i fell like a new person with a new life… the program definately is working for me…. stay strong and fighting the good fight, my friend!!!!

    • Kyle September 1, 2018 at 6:08 pm - Reply

      I had the exact thing happen to me, it has been 4 years now

    • Sonja Casaldi September 10, 2018 at 3:32 pm - Reply

      Oh my goodness I am so glad to be reading this….It gives me hope..I dont even know my Meld score yet but the doc thinks Im in end stage liver disease and I have been scared to death now for a week….I am making some drastic changes but I thought it was still too late….this gave me some hope…Thank you for sharing

      • Ashwood Recovery September 16, 2018 at 4:27 pm - Reply

        So glad that this article resonated with you. Wishing you the best as you continue on your recovery journey!

    • Pmc October 4, 2018 at 4:09 am - Reply

      Do you recommend any special supplements or foods?

    • Sandy October 9, 2018 at 3:50 am - Reply

      Thank you, Drew! You give me hope that my liver will heal itself. Today is day 1 for no alcohol. So far so good. I’m not craving a drink at all. I have a little nausea and a slight headache. No shaking – – hopefully tomorrow won’t show more symptoms. God Bless
      you all!.

    • gale November 2, 2018 at 4:14 pm - Reply

      thank you i have 90 days today liver is way down to 278 from the thousands .

    • Shannon December 4, 2018 at 2:31 pm - Reply

      God Bless you, good luck on your path to being healthy. Thank you for posting, you are sure to inspire others.

  6. Michelle June 23, 2018 at 1:07 am - Reply

    Long time drinker here , it us to be as soon as the clock reached 12:00 I had to start drinking ( vodka) then a couple years go by then I made a decision to after 5 :00 then to were before bed to help me sleep and then I quit the vodka, rum and now to wine for a couple months now with the help with menatolen .. I’ve worked my way down and I really do need to take care of my self for my family …thank you for the ad and this helped me to start to work on my health and were to start,,, thank you for that ounce of kindness and understanding

    • Ashwood Recovery July 26, 2018 at 3:59 am - Reply

      Wishing you the best on your journey!

  7. Theresa jack July 7, 2018 at 3:01 am - Reply

    I was diagnosed with end stage liver disease may 24 2016. I was told the amount of ammonia in my brain which was at 224 I was a day away from expiring, so they flew me to another bigger hospital which I know now as a hospice last day alive hospital. I looked like I was pregnant with 5 babies and yellow as the sun. I was given 19 banana bags full of vitamins cuz I was dehydrated like a cactus in Arizona. I stayed in the hospital for almost a month recovering. Now 2 yrs later I’m alive because I decided to get sober. I stopped cold turkey with no addictions and no suffering. During those 2 yrs I’ve drank pickle juice as a remedy for salt and hydration, believe me Now I’m happy I chose to stop because I made it to owning my own car a job I had for two years and I got my youth back. I feel good and glad that I got a second chance. I was scared cuz I knew I was dying now I’m full of life and living it sober

    • Ashwood Recovery July 26, 2018 at 3:51 am - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your personal story. Wishing you the best as you continue your sober journey!

    • ziga December 2, 2018 at 10:53 am - Reply

      Thanks a lot,I felt lifted can’t stop crying,I will be strong

  8. Laarni Lim August 4, 2018 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    Had been dringking almost ten years. Hard drinks. 2 months ago i had always have these persistent allergies. Last night i had weird stomach pains. I really hope i can stop drinking. I havent seen my doctor yet.
    My dad died of liver cancer two years ago

    • Ashwood Recovery September 8, 2018 at 6:30 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your story! You can stop if it something you want to do! If you need help stopping alcohol we can help you https://www.ashwoodrecovery.com/contact-us.php

    • Patrick Brouwer September 20, 2018 at 10:22 pm - Reply

      Curious of your progress. My family drinks daily so i followed suit. Weird allergies and now right abdo pain qith right shoulder ache.

  9. Jenn August 13, 2018 at 5:01 am - Reply

    Almost 6 months sober. It seems like an entire new life. I had some liver damage at the time I quit, now going back for follow up testing. I have high hopes, but am still a little worried.

    Today, I had bad cravings, which is rare for me. I didn’t drink….though I stared at the bottle on the shelf. Your blog helped me with a little inspiration from the other posters. Thanks!

    • Ashwood Recovery September 8, 2018 at 6:23 pm - Reply

      So glad that this article resonated with you. Great job on resisting the temptation! Wishing you the best as you continue your sobriety!

  10. Laura August 25, 2018 at 1:53 am - Reply

    Feeling pain in my right lower rib area. Im sure it is liver problems. Ive cut back to 2 nights a week of drinking, but after reding this Im gonna stop. Might not be for ever, but I will make sure to put my health first.
    Thank you all for your above comments. I really heard all of you, loud and clear

    • Ashwood Recovery September 8, 2018 at 6:05 pm - Reply

      So glad that this article resonated with you. Best of luck on your sober journey!

    • gale November 2, 2018 at 4:18 pm - Reply

      hope you find AA I DID AND I LOVE IT VERY MUCH,i even ran into friends from school and I’m 61

  11. Cj August 27, 2018 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    I started feeling sickly like just weird, I looked like hell, my legs and feet would swell and then go down so would my abdominal section I decided to go to the hosp where they pumped me full of IV fluids, but all that did was make me swell all over, they put me in a dounut shaped thing to take pics of my abdominal section which I was then told was full of ascities, they said I had internal bleeding too, they wanted to do a blood transfusion I said no to that, I went home and quit drinking right then havent touched a drop since.
    I was swelled up for many months after that and had to keep getting drained which I did, I was put on iron pills and water pills, FINALLY I stopped swelling up because I started on a all protein diet and I bought Super Albumin tabs which I still take now, they work to stop your ascities.
    I am now back to weight lifting an jogging again like I used to do before I became a heavy beer drinker and I feel great again !! So do your own research on liver probs because had I not done that I wouldnt be as well as I am now, thats how I found out that having low albumin levels will give you ascities, so you have to switch to a high protein diet to get your liver to start making albumin again and the super albumin supplement will also help with that, one you get that under control your ascities will go away and only then can your liver begin to heal itself. The docs wont tell you all this stuff but I wil beause I lived it. And for Gods sake never drink again once you get back to normal,

    • Ashwood Recovery September 8, 2018 at 6:02 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much for this insightful information. Best of luck as you continue on your sober journey!

    • Parthiban November 12, 2018 at 12:03 am - Reply

      Thanks for the hope CJ, can i go job? Am habving mild to moderate asitice and dr told me to take high protein diet….

  12. ks September 11, 2018 at 12:10 am - Reply

    my brother just died of this at 62, he had quit drinking but perhaps not soon enough or he did not cleanse his diet. It is sad Glad some of you pulled through to have another chance

    • Ashwood Recovery September 16, 2018 at 4:26 pm - Reply

      Sorry to hear about your loss. Wishing you and your family the best.

  13. Veritas September 14, 2018 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Drank daily for 25 years, towards the end of this decades long binge I was drinking from the minute I woke up til the minute I went to sleep. Problem was I only slept 2-3 hours a day so that’s a lot of drinking. I am very athletic and have a high pain tolerance so I never felt any pain but one day I stared having tremors, they got so bad I had to hold a drink with two hands. Finally the drinking ended when I collapsed in seizures. I bit my tongue so hard and also gave myself a concussion from falling so hard. I was in intensive care for 5 days at 2 different hospitals. Woke up finally at the second hospital two all sorts of tubes and wires coming out of me. Never saw it coming. I was always very fit. Ran or walked 7 miles a day, lifted weights anything to stay fit so I thought I was safe. The weirdest thing about sobering up is now my balance and coordination is worse, I have to re learn everything. That and now I have to face my own mortality rather than laugh at it.

    • Ashwood Recovery September 16, 2018 at 4:17 pm - Reply

      Wishing you the best as you continue on your recovery journey!

  14. Lynn Pafford September 30, 2018 at 4:43 am - Reply

    I just found out I have liver disease. And the funny thing about it all is I don’t drink. I have a hard time getting comfortable day and night cause I feel like I’m 9 months pregnant. Also everytime I stand I have to a go to the bathroom. I have a dr’s appointment on the 2nd. And will find out what stage I’m at. I will fight to get better

    • Ashwood Recovery October 16, 2018 at 3:18 am - Reply

      We hope that things are well for you. Best wishes!

  15. jamie October 3, 2018 at 2:28 am - Reply

    this is good news im changing my life thank you

    • Ashwood Recovery October 16, 2018 at 3:11 am - Reply

      Thank you, Jamie, for working on changing your life today for a healthy tomorrow!

  16. Susie October 6, 2018 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    I have drank daily for about 20 years or more, my father was an alcoholic, died of heart failure at 70. I was diagnosed with stage 2 liver disease. I am on Ursodiol 2ce a day and vitamin E. My drinking is off and on. I can stop for weeks and then start up for weeks befor I stop again. I worry a lot about it but not enough to stop completely. I have a cyst on my liver that is slowly growing.. I pray for the strength to stop completely. I love my family. I know it’s hard but so worth it, pray for me…

    • Ashwood Recovery October 16, 2018 at 2:59 am - Reply

      Stay focused on your family, and stay focused on yourself! Best wishes!

    • Jesus October 26, 2018 at 10:12 pm - Reply

      I have no trouble at all quitting cold. but not everyone has willpower I guess. This would be a good time to get a medical marijuana card if I were you.

    • Tony December 9, 2018 at 7:09 pm - Reply

      Susie, i will pray for you

  17. Monica L Hurst October 14, 2018 at 1:20 am - Reply

    I just found out my liver enzymes are elevated Im 47 I do not drink I am diabetic Im worried I go back for blood work in 4 weeks

    • Ashwood Recovery October 16, 2018 at 2:45 am - Reply

      Stay strong, Monica! Best wishes.

  18. erik villanueva October 15, 2018 at 3:29 am - Reply

    wow thank you all for sharing i been getting lower right rib pain and i been drinking for 10 years i quit a few weeks ago hope i can get out of this one

    • Ashwood Recovery October 16, 2018 at 2:41 am - Reply

      Opening up and joining the discussion is greatly appreciated. Wishing you a solid recovery!

    • Ashwood Recovery October 16, 2018 at 2:44 am - Reply

      Joining the discussion is greatly appreciated. Wishing you a solid recovery!

  19. Keli Nelson October 22, 2018 at 11:52 pm - Reply

    Well I just found out today that my liver enzymes are elevated 64 and 54. I drink a bottle of wine everyday for the last 3 years. Plus I started drinking when I was 18. I’ve had many years with alcohol. I see my doctor tomorrow. I know I have to quit drinking and that scares me. I hope I can do it. The thought of being at a bad stage of liver disease is really scaring me. I hope it hits me like a brick, and I will have 2nd thoughts about drinking.

    • Ashwood Recovery October 31, 2018 at 5:30 am - Reply

      We hope things are going well for you, Keli! Take care, and you can do this!

  20. Nell October 25, 2018 at 6:00 am - Reply

    I’m very concerned. Blood work said ast 615 and alt 135. I don’t think I drink a lot. Now I’m scared I have liver damage.

    • Ashwood Recovery October 31, 2018 at 5:27 am - Reply

      Wishing you the best, Nell. We recommend communicating with your care giver to ensure there is nothing to worry about.

  21. Christine October 28, 2018 at 9:22 am - Reply

    I have been drinking at least a bottle of red wine every day. Been doing this for over 30 years! Never had any tests for liver damage but my face is very ‘tanned’. I just put some wine down the sink and have decided to get clean. I know I have liver disease and finally have decided to do something about it. I’m off to the supermarket to buy some healthy vegetables! Wish me luck. I really cannot continue like this. I never feel ‘normal’.

    • Ashwood Recovery October 31, 2018 at 5:18 am - Reply

      Not only do we wish you luck, we wish you the best we have! You’ve got this!

  22. Dean Michaels October 28, 2018 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    Hi there
    I have been drinking for the last 30 years – initially just beer and an occasional vodka (but drinking almost everyday) Slowly my alcohol consumption kept increasing till for the last 5 years its pretty much been 6-8 measures of vodka or 3-5 pints of beer everyday. One day i woke up with a pain in my lower LEFT ribcage which I ignored as a bruise – but it did not go away. it kept coming and going sporadically till it became a bit painful and when i felt myself up, found that the pain was towards the back of the rib-cage. I started reading up and realised it was an enlarged spleen. Further reading on causes of that made me realise that i might be at the early stages) of liver disease – i had no swelling in my abdomen, no pain or swelling in the RIGHT lower ribcage, no bleeding, no blood in vomit or stool. But I did realise that i could be suffering from liver damage as i was suffering from other symptoms like loss of appetite, weakness, a bit of muscle loss, itchiness and insomnia (could not sleep when i stopped drinking). I was afraid to go to the doc lest my family find out – so i took charge of things in my own hand. I have stopped drinking completely based on will power alone and changed my food habits to include a protein rich diet. I drink 4 liters of water a day and not a drop of alcohol for the last 10 days. I am going to join a gym but am waiting for a month so that at least some bits of the liver might be better and help can someone advise me that if i have stopped drinking completely and lead a healthy lifestyle for the next six months, do I still need to get a full diagnosis? Now or wait till my liver improves a bit? I hope to get to full recovery in the next 6 months or so

    • Ashwood Recovery October 31, 2018 at 5:17 am - Reply

      Dean, we would definitely recommend contacting your care provider for advise regarding whether a checkup is necessary. It couldn’t hurt! Best of luck to you, thank you for sharing your experience, and thank you so much more for your work towards a healthier you!

  23. Dora October 30, 2018 at 10:22 pm - Reply

    Hi, I get a yrly physical every year and everything comes back normal except my cholesterol Always a little high but this time was my liver that came high, I get a call from dr office to stop drinking and taking Tylenol which I rarel take, and to go back in a month for more blood work, should I be worried? As I use to be a heavy drinker 10 yrs ago.

    • Ashwood Recovery October 31, 2018 at 5:12 am - Reply

      Dora, only your care adviser can tell you whether something is going on. We wish you the best with your blood work, and try not to worry! You’ve got this, take care!

  24. Heather October 31, 2018 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    It has been inspiring reading all your comments. I am on day 3 being sober. I started as a casual drinker but have been a daily drinker (rum and cokes about 5 every night) for more than 15 years. I haven’t come clean to my doctor yet but know I need to on my next visit. I’m hoping there isn’t too much damage done to my liver. I have to say even on day three, there are no more shakes when I wake up, I can think clearer and am able to say good night to my son vs being passed out. Only issue so far is headache. Thanks for sharing your stories

    • Ashwood Recovery November 5, 2018 at 8:54 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your story, as well, Heather! You’ve got this!

  25. gary MacMullen October 31, 2018 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    I’ve read about many vitamins a person can take to help restore the liver.
    Milk thistle
    Oregon grape root, Artichoke, Angelica
    Yellow dock root
    Red root
    Dandelion root
    Fringe Tree Root Bark
    Ginger Root
    Chanca Redra

    • Ashwood Recovery November 5, 2018 at 8:54 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing, Gary. Love ginger!

  26. Lee October 31, 2018 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    I’ve been drinking for 30 years. Every year a bit more. Weekend binge, weekday evenings. The past 5 years I’ve been drinking much more and far too much every day.

    6 weeks ago, I started having right abdominal pain and knew immediately it was from drinking and stopped, cold. Saw the doctor, liver function is normal but ultrasound showed mild fatty liver. After reading all the comments here, I feel like the wake up call didn’t come too late. I hope I can reverse some of the damage or at least it doesn’t get worse. I’m sure I’ll stay sober but regret not being able to have a social drink, now and then. But, I’d rather live.

    • Ashwood Recovery November 5, 2018 at 8:53 pm - Reply

      Lee, thank you for adding to the discussion, and thank you more for your commitment to life, and a healthier you!

  27. Joy November 1, 2018 at 11:45 am - Reply

    Thank you for this article. I’m bookmarking this discussion as people’s stories give me hope. I’m drinking turmeric in coconut milk with cinnamon, ginger & black pepper – the black pepper helps the body absorb the turmeric more readily. I hope that will start to reverse the damage I’ve caused. Oh, the recipe is 2 cups coconut milk, heat with 2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger & 1/4 tsp black pepper. Don’t boil! Just heat slowly. I strain it in my cup, otherwise you get a mouthful of spices! You can add a tsp of honey to sweeten it if you like.

    • Ashwood Recovery November 5, 2018 at 8:52 pm - Reply

      You are most welcome, Joy! Thanks for the recipe.

  28. Greta VF November 2, 2018 at 8:58 am - Reply

    It’s just not working anymore. 35 years and counting, many of my friends have no idea how much alcohol a 5’3′ 58-year old woman like me can pound back. A bottle of wine a day was nothing, so I started adding vodka to my alcohol diet. It just kept taking more and more to not even get to where I was trying to go. In addition to starting to drink earlier in the day, my tolerance level is what scared me. Today is the one-week abstinence mark, and it’s do or die as far as I am concerned. I am going to get my blood work done this month and will pray for a miracle. Because at the rate I had been going, it would surprise me if there is no damage done.The time has come to stop the insanity because time’s a wastin’. Fate brought me to this site because I am going to a concert tomorrow night and I was already wrestling with the demon spirits in my head about exactly what I was going to drink, when I was going to start, and how much. Thank you for the impetus for staying sober..

    • Ashwood Recovery November 5, 2018 at 8:48 pm - Reply

      So glad that this article resonated with you! Congratulations on your commitment to a healthier you!

  29. gale watts November 2, 2018 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    all i can say is read bills story in the BIG BOOK OF AA

    • Ashwood Recovery November 5, 2018 at 8:46 pm - Reply

      Thanks for sharing, and adding to the discussion!

  30. Todd November 5, 2018 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    I have been drinking heavily my whole life since the age of 16. I am currently 45. About 9 months ago my doctor informed me that my liver enzyme count was slightly elevated (57ALT / 77AST). I had an ultrasound and was diagnosed with fatty liver and was told I should quit drinking. I struggled for awhile and finally quit drinking 3 months ago. Zero alcohol. I feel completely better, although, I did notice that I started to crave eating junk foods. I just went in again today for a 2nd blood test and my liver count was still slightly high (46ALT / 64AST). I think maybe I need to give it more time and keep doing the right things(not drink alcohol). Its heading in the right direction, but not as quickly as I would like it to. Maybe I need to make changes to my eating habits as well

    • Ashwood Recovery November 10, 2018 at 9:29 pm - Reply

      That is definitely significant improvement, Todd. We are glad you are working towards a healthier life one step at a time.

  31. Dave November 11, 2018 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    I binge drink on the weekends generally. Some weekends I just have a few beers and are ok others not so good. I’m trying to cut back, I drink lots of water and have a very healthy diet. I’m 49 and will get a full check up when I turn 50. Great to hear the power of the liver to regenerate. I started binge drinking regularly when I was 26 so looking to make some changes.

    • Ashwood Recovery November 14, 2018 at 8:36 pm - Reply

      We are excited to see this desire to make changes for the better, Dave! So glad that this article resonated with you.

  32. Rusty Deweese November 14, 2018 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    Hi I’m Rusty I’m 35 years old and I have cirrhosis of the liver. I drink hard liquor for about 15 years and it took a major toll. I’ve been sober for about 2 years now. About 8 months ago eye doctor said that going by the numbers that I only had 1 to 3 years left to live without a transplant. I have a son that’s 15 in and a daughter that’s 14. And it doesn’t look like I’m going to get one. So I want to eat healthy and live longer if possible

    • Ashwood Recovery November 14, 2018 at 8:30 pm - Reply

      We are grateful to know that you have been focusing on a healthier you, Rusty. We wish you and your family happy holidays.

  33. Mark Atkinson November 17, 2018 at 9:27 am - Reply

    Hi ive got cirroses of liver had it for 16 year now my bloodtests come back normal now ive nevertouched a drink for 16 year some times at the right side of rib cage i feel like a small pain some times as though some 1 is poking me had scans said its just muscle docter said if i stay alcahole free i should live a normal life only thing people got to worry about with alchol cirhosis is that cancer doesnt set in you just keep your fingers crossed and hope

    • Ashwood Recovery November 18, 2018 at 1:34 am - Reply

      We are glad to know that you are doing well, Mark! Thank you for your best wishes, and happy holidays.

  34. Valerie November 24, 2018 at 6:05 am - Reply

    My problem is I am in a wheelchair and mostly bed ridden can not walk for 15 years now! I DO NOT DRINK first of all so a lot of this information does not concern me! But I have MS/ Lupus / Fibromalagia/ I am diabetes/ I have badly advanced Osteoprorosis that my bones are crystalized/ because of this I have ribs and 17 vertebrates fractured they repaired 4 but now it is to dangerous to do more! I broke and fractured my right hip/ My left leg is paralyzed because of the MS. I have had 4 Myocarditis and Pericarditis in 4 years. I had a Pulmonary etubulation and went into a coma for 1 month went to the other side and they resuitated and brought me back but hospitalized for 3 months! I was on Immunoglobin for 10 years twice a week from 7:00am to 8:00pm and prednisone 100mg for 10 years and no calcium pills! But I was prescribe 65 pills PER DAY YES PER DAY! Plus 150mg of fentanyl and 2 Statex of 20mg every 4 hours on top of the 65 pills and Methertrexate every week! Now I have an infection they do not know where I have been on 3 times of Antibiotics very sick! / The Doctors are scared the infection will go into my blood. They say I have a medicated liver! What can I do because the information that the website is saying stop drinking! I got the Doctors to bring down the pills as much as possible the best they could do is down to 16 per day it has been 2 years. I lowered the Fentanyl to 50 and 2 Statex of 5 mg every 2 or 3 days when I can not bear the pain no more. Thank you for your help! Sorry for the misspelled words! Valerie

    • Ashwood Recovery November 28, 2018 at 2:21 am - Reply

      Valerie, please feel free to contact us at the information provided on the page, and we would be happy to speak with you regarding your questions. Alternatively, we recommend contacting your care provider for recommended treatment paths. Best wishes, we look forward to hearing from you.

  35. Dat November 25, 2018 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    Besides from alcohol affecting the liver. Everyone should also check for hemochromatosis. Where the body stores too much iron, specifically in the liver. Good luck to all and thanks for sharing your story.

    • Ashwood Recovery November 28, 2018 at 2:17 am - Reply

      Thank you for sharing that tip.

  36. Joe November 30, 2018 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    Inspired article. Was l had moderate liver damage has been on and off alcohol but for some days now have stayed off. Scared to go for blood tests. Hope to stay off for ever. Any advice.

    • Ashwood Recovery December 1, 2018 at 6:33 pm - Reply

      We are here for you, Joe! If you need a helping hand, please reach out to us at the contact information provided on this page. Look forward to hearing from you.

  37. William December 2, 2018 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    I’ve been drinking (scotch vodka rum gin bourbon beer anything you put on the table is fine wine to me) since I was 8yrs old. My dad died Nov. 1968 of a brain aneurysm, he was 36yrs old. His death blew my mind, I couldn’t bear the loss! My mother’ sister had a husband named Bobby and Bobby and my dad were two peas in a pod tight as buddy’s could be! Bobby would pick me up and we’d cry together (and cry and cry). Until one day Bobby and I were sitting in his car, a 1968 Buick Electra 225 4door with the Buick rims, tinted windows, aluminum mud flaps and, curb finders, that car was a real low rider! He pulled out a bottle of Smirnoff vodka, orange juice and these little plastic cups. He poured us both drinks, handed me a cup and said “Sip it and swallow slow”. It tasted good and it felt even better! It numbed the dull throbbing pain in my head ever time I thought about my father.. And so Bobby and I became drinking partners. It didn’t take long to figure out that Dad and Bobby were drinking partners and now that Dad was gone Bobby took me under his wing. Bob was a two fisted drinker, liquor glass in one hand beer bottle in the other, yeah I followed suit. By the time I was 13yrs old I could drink with the best of them and no one said anything about my age because I was “Billie’s son, Bobby’s nephew”! Joined the USMC in 1979 at 19 did 4 yrs there and got out 1983 Honorably. In 1985 I joined NYC Dept of Correction and retired in 2007 at 47yrs old! God has been good to me but I never put that bottle down. 3 weeks before my 50th birthday my girlfriend had my one and only child, a little girl.. I was so scared of being a father that I drank a whole 5th of Johnnie Walker Black and passed out.. Being a dad changes everything though and I didn’t want my daughter to see me drunk so I started slowing down.. I stopped buying 5th’s and only bought pints. When she turned 4yrs old I enrolled her in school so, I had to be presentable to the principal and teachers, I’d only drink on the weekends or take a few sips really late at night.. My daughter is 8yrs old now in 3rd Grade doing great! But thoughts about me and my dad haunt me and I don’t want her to be like me so on Sept 5, 2018 I tried to quit! On my birthday in Oct I slipped up.. Got drunk and fell and hurt my knee! Went to the doctor and my blood pressure was 160/108! The doctor put me on meds and did blood work, she said “My liver enzymes are elevated” so if I’m drinking I need to slow down. I laughed, this lady don’t know what I’ve been doing the last 50yrs! But, it’s no laughing matter.. Bobby is 83yrs old and the doctors had to cut both his legs off at the knees because of diabetes! I thought I’d loose my mind again seeing him in that hospital bed with no legs but the responsibility of my daughter made me snap back! It’s Sunday Dec. 2nd 2018 and I’m sitting on the side of the road pondering my life. God has been so gracious and merciful to me! Through many dangers toils and snares I have already come! ‘‘Tis Grace has brought me safe thus far and Grace will lead me home. I don’t think I’ve drank enough to fill a 5th bottle since school started and I’m grateful for the strength to fight it but sometimes the taste in my mouth is overwhelming! It’s like my own body is fighting with my mind to drink when I don’t want to! Anyway, I’m going to buy something to eat and go to bed. If I can make it to bed, I’ll be okay I won’t drink and tomorrow is a new day! Thank you for this website and for the opportunity to bend your ear.. I feel better!

    • Ashwood Recovery December 4, 2018 at 3:57 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your experiences, William! We are happy you stopped by, and happy holidays!

    • Harry December 9, 2018 at 7:02 am - Reply

      Merry Christmas William! Interesting to read about certain events,Two of my drinkin buddies have passed on and ones still alive at 68 years old, and recently had his foot cut off and he still drinks with his son under their carport, he won’t stop drinking. I retired from alcohol as I developed a yeast infection, Doc said no beer, nothing! No! No bread, potatoes, rice, no fruit, except raspberries. The good lord gave me the strength and will and I don’t drink anymore, it took 6 months of diet, no alcohol, meds and vitamins including milk thistle,Dandelion to get my liver readings back in the good. Enjoy that daughter, one day grandkids will follow, Hang tuff when that devil jumps on your shoulder and sys lets get a drink, tell him to go to hell.

  38. Sean December 5, 2018 at 10:57 am - Reply

    Hi All ……………..

  39. Sean December 5, 2018 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    I’m excited to share news with everyone and anyone who reads.. Iv read All the comments and most of these stories/testimonies are so unique, passionate and relative…
    Im a 28yr Male who has struggled with alcohol addiction my whole life, most people if not everyone in my state drinks! I’m not kidding! I live in New Mexico, Abq my whole life til present, and there straight up isnt anything to do in this state so everyone drinks, theres always an excuse to get Lit here, holidays, lil kid birthdays, regular birthday’s, football, basketball, baseball on tv, Super Bowl, The World series, March Maddness, our NFL teams (Go Broncos), Let’s not forget the “But it’s the weekend” reason Etc. So at a very young age I saw my pop’s drink, my uncles, my aunts, older cousins, grandparents etc. So growing up no one ever had a problem with anyone in our family drinking. Accept my mom who at the time looked down on it but didnt judge or intervene until it became a problem.. I started drinking heavily at a early age of 14. My best friends dad owned 2 restaurants where we live so let’s just say they were never home and there was an abundance of alcohol to always replenish their restuarant’s.. Along with our selves.. I payed sports, football, basketball, baseball so it was inevitable to not be at parties or wherever there was pretty girls and a bottle.. I lost all my scholarship’s my senior year for baseball, I had full rides, and half rides to Amazing colleges, 2 fith’s of Vodka a suite and a tie Ruined my chances of ever playing baseball again.. while everyone was figuring out what to do that following summer I was still drinking hard everyday at least a pint and a few beers everyday. After 2 years of college I gave up worked odd constructive jobs made okay money to get by and afford my ciggerets and alcohol at this point still consuming as much as a pint and a half every day with at least a 6 pack..Then I landed a job working as a professional photographer from age 21 to 23.. I worked all around our state starting my mornings at 3Am and finishing at 10pm this took a tole on me because now I was drinking and driving not getting any sleep couldnt breathe because of the ciggerets and just burning both ends of my candle! Thank the lord withing those 3 years I didnt kill anybody! I made Amazing money but it would all go to Alcohol and cigarettes and once ur drunk u spend ur money on worthless crap.. I had enough of it, enough of the life style, i was about to give up on life! So i was in some shity hotel in some shity city in my state i got Down on my knees wasted and begged God to take away my pains, my addictions, my sorrows and laid it out on the table to give it all to the lord! Now I was always religious and in the back of my head I know I was truly doing wrong and I wasnt living with the spirit inside me! Months went on I quit that job became a backroom manager at target to be closer to my gf who now is my wife, and she straight up told me she was going to leave me because of the drinking, I buckled down went to church and the Spirit came flowing through me.. my first 2 weeks of sobriety was the hardest being so use to having 2 pints and a 18 pack a day along with 2 packs of cig’s I struggled.. But everyday at the beginning is the hardest.. After these initial 2 weeks it gradually became easier with the help of chantex to quit smoking cigarettes which helped my alcoholic cravings slowly decease.. at the End of this January I will be completely 5 years sober off ciggerets and alcohol, With a beautiful wife of 7 years and a beautiful gorgeous baby girl who is 2 and the reason I am still on an amazing path I am today along with her loving mother And our AMAZING LORD. I dont get ciggeret or alcohol cravings anymore and after that initial 1st year of being sober I could feel my body change my kidneys and liver stopped hurting, I had 100% more energy and i just felt like it was Go time! I’m ready to live life free of alcohol addiction! I still until this day dont ever think I will be able to drink an alcoholic beverage again And I can truly say I’m blessed to be extremely okay with that. I got nervous and anxious even trying a non alcoholic beer! I hated the way it made me feel and even having 1 those isnt even worth it to me! Thank u spirit for working through me! I know its him that courses through my vaccines to not need that addiction anymore! I pray for all of you that are struggling and I pray u find your light, And just know theres hope for you! If your willing to accept the facts, and accept that you have a problem and accept that you need help! That’s the first step to recovery and your Actions have to follow! Only you can want it, only YOU can stop it, And with help you can change your life around just like I did. I hope I can reach at least 1 person! That would truly make my sobriety worth even more! I’m praying for all of you! Faith, Hope, And Love!

  40. Sean December 5, 2018 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    Lol last comment I promise.. I just wanted to add that I no longer work as a manager in the backroom of target. Iv spread my wings and being sober brought a new ambitious state of mind. Sense I was 25 until present 12/5/2018 I have a full blown career. I’m a H.H.A coordinator (Scheduler for short) and I supervise 28 CNA’s along with a team of 25 RN’s , a team of 15 social workers and chaplains under my belt! I’m just saying with the lord anything is possible! Always praying, and God bless! Faith, Hope and love!

    • Ashwood Recovery December 7, 2018 at 9:03 pm - Reply

      Congratulations are in order, Sean! Right back at you, best wishes!

  41. Gregory December 6, 2018 at 11:10 am - Reply

    Hey guys I have been dealing with alcoholism for about 10 years now…have a little bit of liver damage and finally have decided to quit all together. It had definitely been a struggle especially since I manage a bar, bit I’m trying to fight. One thing I havent seen on here at all and I dont want to get kicked from the bored and I’m not trying to troll…but I have been doing a lot of research lately in how marijuana can help rebuild the liver. More so the oil form of it, now I know it’s not legal everywhere but I definitely think this is something I am going to give a try to, it might be helpful to some or not helpful at all I just figured I would give my two cents.

    • Ashwood Recovery December 7, 2018 at 9:00 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much for sharing that, Gregory. There is nothing wrong with pointing out research and healing methods you have been looking into.

    • Harry December 9, 2018 at 7:15 am - Reply

      Hey, you can also try Milk Thistle, Dandelion,Taurine, and clean water, no city water cause you don’t know what chemicals are in it. Buy some type of bottled water in a BPA free bottle, Drink 2 quarts a day, none after 6pm. I had a friend who restored his liver readings back to a normal range doing this. Best of luck and Merry Christmas

  42. anissa December 8, 2018 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    I can’t believe I came upon this thread when I did! I am a 41 year female and probably go through a handle of Tito’s vodka straight every 3-4 days. only at night, come home to relax and pass out basically. up every day at 5 am to the gym and successfull all day. but there’s that glass of vodka every single night for years and years. Now I am starting to deal with serious stomach pains. My labs keep coming back normal but just recently my liver was elevated just a little. I know this should be taken as a warning sign to slow the hell down. I just work so hard, I’ve always looked forward to my evening cocktails. Guess I need to wake up and learn it’s not worth it! Thank you all so much for this!

    • Ashwood Recovery December 12, 2018 at 11:58 pm - Reply

      You are most welcome, and thank you for stopping by! So glad this article resonated with you.

    • Mike December 14, 2018 at 3:31 am - Reply

      Anissa, I’m the male version of you I’m 16 days without alcohol. No real withdrawal issues. Just had to make the mental switch. I love my life and have a great family. My life completely blessed, I need to make sure I stay around to make the most of it. Leaving early due to issues with drinking is not how I’m going to go.

  43. Gene December 17, 2018 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    I am so glad I came across this site. It is good to see all these stories. Very inspirational. I have been drinking way too much for a very long time to heal deal with my anxiety which I have had since childhood. I am going to follow these instructions. I have been cold turkey for 4 days. If I cant do it on my own I will make the call.

    • Ashwood Recovery December 19, 2018 at 8:35 am - Reply

      We hear you loud and clear, Gene. We look forward to hearing from you, regardless of how you are doing.

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