Signs of Alcohol-Related Liver Damage and What to Do - Banyan Treatment Center

Signs of Alcohol-Related Liver Damage and What to Do


Excessive alcohol consumption, such as with alcoholism or even binge drinking can increase a person’s risk of developing liver damage.

Alcohol-related liver damage, often abbreviated as ARLD, is liver damage caused by prolonged heavy drinking and alcoholism. This condition can worsen quickly, but treatment may help.

The Types of Alcoholism Liver Damage and Disease

  The liver works hard to process the things we ingest, and prolonged alcoholism or alcohol abuse can increase a person’s risks of developing alcoholism liver damage. This can damage the liver’s ability to function properly, causing additional illnesses and conditions that must be treated.

There are three stages of alcohol-related liver damage:

  1. Fatty liver, where fat builds up around the liver
  2. Alcoholic hepatitis, where cells in the liver become inflamed
  3. Alcoholic cirrhosis, which is irreversible liver scarring that can lead to liver failure

Fatty liver, the first stage of ARLD, is developed by virtually all heavy drinkers. 1 If alcohol-induced fatty liver disease develops and the drinking continues, a person runs the risks of developing alcoholic hepatitis and even cirrhosis and liver failure.

Symptoms of Alcohol-Related Liver Damage

  So, what are the symptoms of alcohol-related liver damage? ARLD symptoms may differ from person to person, but its most common symptoms are:

  • Diminished energy
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Spider-like blood vessels in the skin

More severe symptoms of alcohol-related liver damage include:

  • Yellowing of the skin
  • Fluid buildup in the legs and abdomen
  • Easy to bruise
  • Pale stools
  • Confusion

Many of the signs of alcohol-related liver damage require medical diagnosis and treatment. The safest step is to first stop drinking with the help of a professional alcohol detox program.

Treating Alcohol-Related Liver Damage

  The first step in treating ARLD is to stop drinking. Positive lifestyle changes like quitting drinking and developing a healthy diet can help reverse early stages of ARLD for many patients. 2 More severe liver scarring may not be as easily reversible, but there are medications and treatments your doctor may be able to prescribe to help improve the liver’s performance and recovery.

Issues like alcohol-related liver damage and other illnesses of alcoholism show the importance of finding sobriety. It’s time to get and stay sober. Our Heartland alcoholism treatment program can help.

Call 888-280-4763 to learn more about our treatment options and support for your recovery


  1. American Liver Foundation - Alcohol-Related Liver Disease Facts at a Glance
  2. Mount Sinai - Alcoholic liver disease
Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

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