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Study of Alcohol Cirrhosis Patients Sick, Costly, and Female

Alcohol does serious damage to the liver that by the time patients go to the doctor for help, their cirrhosis has already progressed. More needs to be done to ensure that people stop drinking so they can be in good health. A new study shows that those with cirrhosis are very sick, costly to healthcare, and are often female.

The liver is an important organ in your body as it can filter the blood of toxins, break down proteins, and helps the body absorb fats. Too much alcohol in your system can replace the liver’s healthy tissue with scar tissue which can stop your liver from functioning completely. It can start with fatty liver disease, to alcoholic hepatitis, and then alcoholic cirrhosis. Symptoms can include jaundice, itchy skin, and portal hypertension which increases blood pressure in the brain that travels to the liver.

The University of Michigan did a seven year study of more than 100 million people. In that study 294,215 had cirrhosis and 105,871 people was alcohol-related. Those people were sicker and admitted or readmitted to the hospital more often. This does damage to our healthcare which doubles the costs of $44,835 compared to $23,329. The study also proved that women were diagnosed with alcohol use disorders twice as much as men. A Hepatology journal study said there was a 50% increase in women with alcohol-related cirrhosis within seven years and men showed a 30% increase. Women are more susceptible to liver damage than men with less alcohol in their system and within a shorter time frame. They do not have as many enzymes in their stomachs to break down the alcohol particles. This helps the alcohol reach the liver to make scar tissue.

Many people with alcohol-related cirrhosis are too sick to be employed so they are insured through government-sponsored insurance companies like Medicaid and Medicare. In order to improve your health to get a new liver, it is important to abstain from drinking altogether as it can improve your liver function dramatically. A doctor can recommend a hospital or a treatment facility to help them towards sobriety. By breaking the stigma of the damage that alcohol can do to the liver, there can be an increased funding in early detection alcohol use and treatment programs. Do not wait until you have hit rock bottom to realize that you need alcohol abuse treatment.

Located in Tacoma, Washington, Bayview Center’s mission is to offer clinically-driven programs and services to treat a number of substance abuse disorders along with anxiety and depression using cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma therapy, yoga therapy, and more for a successful recovery. For more information, please call us 888-570-7154 at as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.