A new study has found that quitting alcohol can help lower the complications of liver cirrhosis, even in patients who have advanced cases of the disease. The work also revealed that if can help them live longer.
Cirrhosis is one of the most frequent and severe complications of excessive drinking. It is marked by significant scarring of the organ, which limits its ability to function.
The results of the work showed that patients with alcohol-related liver cirrhosis who maintain sustained abstinence from alcohol not only suffer complications from the condition less frequently, but they also live considerably longer.
Researchers analyzed the progression of 320 patients with alcohol-related liver cirrhosis over about three years. In that time, three-quarters remained abstinent, while one-quarter continued to drink.
They monitored abstinence and blood pressure in the veins that take blood from the gastrointestinal tract to the liver, something called portal hypertension. Alcohol and portal hypertension both play a role in liver disease’s progression.
Portal hypertension can indicate plenty of information about how the disease is progressing and whether or not a patient is abstaining from alcohol.
The findings showed that regardless of a person’s cirrhosis severity, stopping drinking can have an effect on liver health. Therefore it is never too late to strive for abstinence.
Of course quitting drinking does not guarantee an elimination of risk from cirrhosis complications. Keeping up with regular care is needed.
Quitting drinking can be very difficult and seem impossible for many. However a number of resources and supports for people struggling with alcohol do exist.
If you are serious about quitting drinking to potentially reduce your risk of not only acquiring cirrhosis, but preventing it from worsening, talk to your doctor about your options for help.