Your Liver Can Heal Itself If You Stop Drinking

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And So Can Other Organs

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One of the scariest parts about living with drug addiction or alcoholism is knowing that you may be damaging your own health in permanent ways and feeling like you are powerless to stop it. At the best drug and alcohol treatment centers in Florida, including at our facility in Panama City, we work to show people that feelings of powerlessness do not have to last forever, and people suffering from substance use disorder can get a handle on their disease and their life. When a person enters treatment for addiction or alcoholism, we try to take stock of the physical and emotional damage we have done to ourselves and the people around us. Taking a personal inventory of our own physical health can be scary, especially for people with a drinking problem, as long-term damage to the liver and other organs is common and can be deadly. If you or a loved one is facing a battle with alcoholism, it is important to know that although alcohol is incredibly damaging to the internal organs of the body, the liver and other organs can recover and even heal themselves when a person stops drinking. This should be more good news of what can happen when we begin a program of recovery and stop depending on alcohol and other drugs of abuse. This blog is brought to our readers by Florida Springs Wellness and Recovery Center, the best drug and alcohol rehab in Florida, located in Panama City. 

Natural Recovery by The Liver and Other Organs

According to the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Nebraska and many other medical researchers, a vast body of evidence from human studies and animal research clearly indicates that chronic alcohol consumption causes structural damage and disrupts normal organ function in virtually every tissue of the body. In heavy consumers of alcohol, the liver is especially susceptible to alcohol-induced injury. With that said, these researchers have also found that,

“After drinking stops, damaged organs may regain partial function or even heal completely, depending on the extent of organ damage and whether there is relapse.”

In the field of substance abuse recovery, we often talk about this point that relapse is common but does not happen to everyone and does not necessarily have to be a part of a person’s journey in recovery. Unfortunately for people facing organ damage from years of drinking, relapse can be especially problematic, as it interrupts this process of “natural recovery”. It is important to point out that this “natural recovery” that is discussed by the researchers is just that; it is natural, and we are talking about organs, including the liver, healing themselves without any special medications or surgeries. The body can heal itself, by itself, once a person completely stops drinking alcohol during recovery.

One important example of this healing is inside the liver of heavy drinkers. More than 90% of people who drink heavily consume up to 60 grams or more of ethyl alcohol per day, and most of these individuals develop “fatty liver”, a dangerous buildup of fat tissue inside the liver. Once a person develops this problem, their liver is more prone to damage by inflammatory mediators (tumor necrosis factor, endotoxin), toxic agents, fibrosis, cirrhosis, in some cases, several types of liver cancer. Progression to even deadlier problems can be based on genetics and the length of time spent drinking heavily, but most people with alcoholism do develop these types of liver issues. So how common is “natural healing” in cases like these? Mehta et al. reported that 1 month of abstinence from alcohol by heavy-alcohol consumers can start the process of healing fatty liver in most people. From that point of improvement after 1 month of sobriety, people who do not experience a relapse show large improvements when it comes to avoiding liver disease and cancers that are caused, in part, by alcoholism.

The best drug and alcohol rehabs in the country always attempt to instill a sense of optimism in people who are just beginning their own journey of recovery. This natural healing of internal organs after cessation of drinking should be another major reason for positive feelings during treatment. When a person leaves inpatient rehab after 30-days of care, they are just entering the period when this natural organ healing starts to take hold. Couple that with the positive emotional boost that is often experienced by people coming out of inpatient rehab, and there are many reasons for friends and family of the alcoholic to feel good about the long-term prognosis of treatment. All the best drug and alcohol abuse treatment centers should share this important news, and patients who are participating in relapse prevention work should understand this important physical progress that their body is making while they strive for emotional and spiritual growth. If you or a loved one needs more information about the best drug and alcohol rehabs in Panama City Florida, call us today at the number listed on the top of this website.

By T.A. Cannon



“NATURAL RECOVERY BY THE LIVER AND OTHER ORGANS AFTER CHRONIC ALCOHOL USE.” Thomes et al. University of Nebraska Department of Internal Medicine. 2022.