The liver is an essential organ, and one key function is treating waste products so that they can be removed from the body. One visible example of the damage is the development of jaundice. Blood lives for 120 days and is replaced. The worn blood is treated by the liver so that it can be excreted into the faeces giving it the orange/brown colour. Failure of successful treatment results in the products remaining in the body giving people the appearanec of jaundice. Cirrhosis is the permanent scarring and damage of the liver. Clearly alcohol also cases damage outside the liver. It can damage the pancreas which is an organ involved with control of blood sugars (naking insulin) and makes enzymes to didest proteins e.g. in meat. Damage to this by alcohol can cause severe pain (pancreatitis) and this can be life threating. It can cause diabetes which requires insulin to treat. It causes damage to the brain and reproductive organs.
It affects people with respect to their relationships, their jobs (especially if driving is involved), makes them more likely to have money issues.
These are just a few exaples of the misery that excess alcohol causes.
- One of my patients admitted that he had been lying to me regarding alcohol.He advised me that he spend all his benefits money on alcohol and was now at risk of homelessness. (Please see links on Citizens Advice and Homelessness).
- Another patient this year had split up with his wife for many years due to his relationship with alcohol. He had taken her for granted and when she decided to leave with his children, was naturally extremely miserable. I am happy to say he has stopped drinking after many years and luckily and happily back with his family, and I am hoping will stay that way.
- One of my young patients died in recent years due to her relationship with alcohol, even after it caused diabetes through destruction of her pancreas, despite being offered help and attending many alcohol rehabilitation courses/ therapies. She said that she would stop when at the treatment place and return to drinking when back home. She also did not like to be away from her family.
Please think twice. There is support out there. As always it does require you to help yourself and be strong.
It also affects those around them, be it the people around them (colleagues, or random people, and family and loved ones). It affects relationships.
It causes stress around them, the essence of some statements by our politicians were :
“I felt sick every morning when my dad was being sick”
“My father chose to stay abroad drinking a bottle of whisky evry day rather than returning to our family”
“I have two adopted children who suffer with foetal alcohol syndrome”,
“A large number of children in foster care or adopted are affected by foetal alcohol syndrome”.
I do not normally have much sympathy for our politicians any more , but did today.
Fetal alcohol syndrome is part of a group of conditions called fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. These are a range of disabilities a child may be born with. They happen when his or her mother has been drinking alcohol while pregnant.
Find out about foetal alcohol syndrome, a range of mental and physical problems that can affect children whose mothers drink alcohol while they’re pregnant.