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Side effects of over consumption can be fatal

When it comes to drinking, it seems as though Americans are fond of taking an alcoholic beverage from time to time. In a Gallup Consumption Habits poll, 63 percent of Americans reported that they drink alcohol, while 37 percent reported they abstain.

While alcohol is typically not harmful in moderation, and can actually be beneficial in certain instances, when alcohol consumption becomes excessive it may also turn problematic. According to the Gallup poll, excessive alcohol consumption is a genuine concern for many Americans. Among women, 7 percent of respondents fell into the category of excessive drinking, while 9 percent of men fell into that category. (“Excessive drinking” is classified as having 20 or more drinks in a seven-day span.)

While alcohol education programs exist for younger people such as school-aged children and teenagers, programs are not as readily available, if at all, to adults. Though most adults are keenly aware that excessive alcohol consumption is unhealthy, getting a better grasp of the possible consequences of such consumption could be a means to reduce individual alcohol consumption.

According to the American Liver Foundation, three types of liver disease are commonly related to alcohol consumption.

Alcoholic hepatitis

As much as 35 percent of heavy drinkers will develop alcoholic hepatitis, which is an inflammation of the liver. Mild alcoholic hepatitis can last for years and lead to progressive liver damage, while severe alcoholic hepatitis can occur suddenly, such as after binge drinking, and possibly lead to life-threatening complications.

Fatty liver

Fatty liver occurs when fat cells are built up in the liver, which occurs almost universally among heavy drinkers. Symptoms of fatty liver are typically non-existent, though discomfort in the upper abdomen can be a side effect thanks to the enlargement of the liver. For those who stop drinking, the condition of fatty liver can improve.

Alcoholic cirrhosis

The most serious, and arguably the most widely known, type of alcohol-related liver disease is alcoholic cirrhosis, which occurs when normal liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue. As much as 20 percent of heavy drinkers develop cirrhosis, typically after 10 or more years of consuming alcohol.

source: Extra News

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