How Many Years Does It Take To Damage Your Liver?

Liver is a big and a complex organ of a human body. It performs most of the vital functions in our body. However, today, most of the individuals put the good health of liver in huge risk based on excessive intake of alcohol.

How Many Years Does It Take To Damage Your Liver?

Alcohol Intake and Liver

Alcohol undergoes metabolizing procedure within the liver. Hence, it eliminates from our body in a safe way. However, alcoholic-based liver problems often take place because of excessive drinking consistently for many years. This also reduces the quality of life for individuals and for their family members (in some cases).

You will find individual variations associated with the development of various liver diseases, especially among individuals indulge in excessive alcoholic drinking. Hence, it is essential for us to drink in a sensible way and in moderation, as we do not get any sign or symptom until and unless our liver suffers damage.

How Many Years Does It Take To Damage Your Liver?

Period of liver damage depends on liver diseases. Approximate numbers of years, in which liver of a person suffers from severe damage, depends on stages/extent of liver diseases.

Consumption of alcohol in heavy amounts causes three major types of liver diseases-

Fatty Liver or Steatosis

Fatty liver indicates the initial stage associated with the liver problem and it is because of the accumulation of fat within the liver cells. This takes place in people indulge in heavy drinking. Excluding occasional discomfort in the right upper abdominal region because of enlarged liver, the problem does not indicate any major symptom.

Consistent alcoholic drinking results in severe involvement referred as alcoholic hepatitis. However, the positive thing about fatty liver problem is that it does not result in any severe damage to the function of liver, while changes are of reversible in case a person stops alcoholic consumption completely.

Fatty Liver with Inflammation

Fatty liver inflames and causes liver damage in a progressive way, while last for a few years before the problem develops into cirrhosis. In the severe form of this problem, binge drinking results in acute type of alcoholic hepatitis within only a few days with failure of liver functions and various other types of life-threatening conditions. Patients in this condition feel nausea, fever, vomiting, jaundice and pain in the abdominal area. Similar to fatty liver, fatty liver with inflammation stage is reversible one and lets patients to recover them completely if patients stop with the intake of alcohol or drink only limited amounts that too occasionally.

Liver Cirrhosis

Liver Cirrhosis is the most severe type of alcoholic liver disease and it is of irreversible type. During this stage, scar tissues replace healthy liver tissues, because of which your liver fails to perform its regular vital functions. Approximately 10 percent to 20 percent of individuals involved in too much alcohol intake often develop Cirrhosis after about 10 years or more. Progression of Cirrhosis is rapid specifically among individuals suffering from chronic liver problems including Hepatitis C.

Symptoms of the problem may vary depending on severity of your problem and on cirrhosis complications. Besides alcoholic hepatitis symptoms, a person can develop severe complications, like fluid accumulation in one’s abdominal area, stomach veins or esophageal bleeding, liver cancer, kidney failure or significant liver failure. Unfortunately, Liver Cirrhosis is an incurable disease and hence, your liver will never get back its regular function again.


In conclusion, if person stops alcohol consumption in early stages, say fatty liver with or without inflammation, one should expect to recover from the problem effectively.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 8, 2019

Recent Posts

Related Posts