How long does it take typically to do significant damage to your liver with alcohol?
I drank everyday for about 1.5 years...sometimes ALOT in a night...sometimes 3-4 beers.... for the last 2.5 years it's been off and on...I'll get drunk sometimes but not like I used to. Not often. I'd say roughly I'll drink once a week at the most, and that doesn't always mean I get drunk.
Just wondering. I've always been slightly paranoid about my health, and was just curious how long it generally takes.
From what I have read, it takes many, many years of very heavy drinking to permanently damage your liver. But, I am no MD.
I guess I'm just paranoid. I've decided to take a lengthy hiatus from any drinking at all, just in case.
Allow any damage, if there is any, to repair itself.
ocassionally, and by that I mean like a total of 3 times in the past 4 years I'll get this sharp pain on my right side....sort of like a muscle tear, and it hurts to breathe in deeply and stretch for about 10 min...then it goes away completely and I'm fine.
Other than fatigue, which I attribute to depression, I show no signs of any liver damage yet...as far as dark urine or odd stools or yellow skin or any of that stuff.
In general, unless one has a genetically inherited liver that is unable to properly break down alcohol, it will take years of alcohol to irrversibly damage the liver.
However, if one has any kind of hepatitis, especially C but also B, most especially if the hep has never been treated, alcohol can ruin the liver rather quickly.
Interestingly, one of the first symptoms of liver disease is fatigue, such as you mention. The sharp pains you describe are probably something else - by the time one starts feeling pains like that one's liver is gone, and I doubt anything like that could have happened in a year and a half.
To feel more at ease, you should get some liver enzyme blood tests, such as ALT and AST. If these are elevated you will know to get further medical treatment.
The liver is an amazingly strong organ capable of fantastic regeneration. So, even if you did damage it a bit now that you have stopped drinking it can come back rapidly.