Prof. Dooley, after the new year many people want to abstain from alcohol. Popular, for example, an alcohol-free January. Why?
Alcohol harms the body and the health. Many people are aware of. Such a decision is a sign that you believe to have, in the past, too much alcohol consumed. Otherwise, you would have to do without, of course, not make alcohol. The awareness is there. All the more, of course, because the Christmas and new year’s eve are still very present – day, which are usually a bit deeper into the glass one is looking.
The crucial question is: does the waiver of something – or you can let it stay the same?
Here the answer is quite clear: Each waiver is reasonable and important. Alcohol is a poison and stress the body’s cells, in particular cells of the liver, for the metabolism is responsible. The liver is the Organ that metabolizes alcohol and breaks down. Each alcohol molecule can damage the affected liver cells.
Prof. Dr. Steven Dooley works as a Professor of Molecular Hepatology at the Medical faculty Mannheim (Heidelberg University). Dooley will research the impact of alcohol on the liver.
Each individual molecule?
Yes, exactly. The removal of each alcohol molecule degradation products, the liver cells are under Stress. Too many molecules in a meeting now, at the same time, damage of the liver cell so heavily that it dies. It comes to cell death. A wound that can heal. That is quite a gash in the skin comparable. The Problem is the Chronicity. That is to say: unlike the cut in the skin of the wundverursachende influence, for example, chronic alcohol abuse comes, again and again, and the body healed over time.
What this means to the liver?
The body can rapidly build up to carry out its actual task: the metabolic products that break down and excrete. It forms a cirrhosis, in the worst case, acute liver threatens failure. The liver is damaged, also increases the risk for liver cancer.
This is true but certainly not just for heavy drinkers.
Not exclusively. The liver can also take Hepatitis pathogens, toxins, an unhealthy diet or drugs abuse. Alcoholic cirrhosis is the result of a continuous, progressive damage to and occurs most frequently in the case of regular risky alcohol consumption. But also some occasional drinkers are particularly at risk, even with moderate consumption.
What is the reason?
There are personal risk factors that multiply to the injurious effect of the alcohol. An example of a Hepatitis C virus infection. Such is the risk of developing after consumption of alcohol and liver cancer is increased by several times. To other possible risk factors currently being researched. It is, for example, inflammatory messengers, or a genetic predisposition.
How long should a minimum of be on alcohol dispensed, so that the liver benefits?
The is no single answer. I would advise against it, to consume a half a year for a continuous period of alcohol and then four weeks of break, almost like a kind of cure. Instead, I advise: Set a conscious behaviour on the day, pay attention to your well-being, with the alcohol from time to time for a certain amount of time, and you prove to yourself that you can. Also useful is the default in the case of alcohol consumption is safe to drink at least the same amount of water. Otherwise, the rules apply to the fashion consumer rates: men should drink a day is more than 20 grams of alcohol. This corresponds to about a quarter of a litre of wine or half a Liter of beer. For women, the half is considered to be acceptable. Moreover, in the week at least two to three days alcohol should remain free. But also these policies must be weighed in terms of the above-mentioned risk factors carefully. There are constellations where this is already too much, such as a Hepatitis C preloading.
What is a cirrhosis of the liver?
In the case of a cirrhosis of the liver, the tissue of the liver is destroyed and in the connective tissue turns. With progression of the disease, the liver can no longer detoxify the blood properly. Cirrhosis increases the risk for liver cancer.
What risk factors are known?
Cirrhosis of the liver a chronic liver disease. You can for years, but decades. Viruses, toxins, and metabolic disorders cause damage to the liver, and inflammation to attract cells from the blood. They settle in the body and harm it further. Experts estimate that about 60 percent of the disease caused cases by excessive alcohol consumption.
What are the symptoms?
Often cirrhosis of the liver is diagnosed accidentally by ultrasound or abnormal liver enzymes in a blood test. The reason for this is cirrhosis of the liver only in a very advanced stage, noticeable. Sufferers are often tired, run down and not as powerful as before. Some patients complain of a feeling of pressure in upper abdomen, flatulence and Nausea. Are already destroyed large parts of the liver, patients are looking for a yellow, you are short of breath and water retention in the abdomen and legs.
How often cirrhosis?
Each year, about 250 out of 100,000 people contract cirrhosis of the liver. Men are about twice as often affected as women.
It is curable?
No. However, the doctor may prevent the progression of the disease, when he knows the causes of the underlying disease. In the case of a alcohol-related cirrhosis, it is important that patients avoid alcohol consistently. In severe cases, a liver transplant is the only Chance for a cure.
A waiver is better than a moderate consumption over a longer period of time?
Even if this waiver is only temporary, say for a couple of months?
Then is it not better to abstain than these few months. This is out of the question.
Some people report that they would feel without alcohol is better. This is just a Placebo?
With security not. Those that avoid alcohol, sleeping better and deeper, and feels, therefore, fitter and recovered better. This only applies to people who are not alcohol-dependent. Addicts can even get life-threatening side effects if you stop by today on tomorrow with the Drink. Here a doctor should be consulted.
Alcohol damages the liver, about which we had spoken. Where is alcohol else harm?
There are around 200 diseases that are alcohol-related exist. High alcohol percentage can throat, for example, mechanical damage to the surface of the neck area. Consumed regularly, it increases the risk for cancers in this area. And not to forget the many hospital stays that are indirectly attributable to alcohol: car accidents, falls, fights, of course.
What to remember to be Concerned that you drink too much alcohol?
Physically you will notice it often, only when it is already too late and the liver has taken irreversible damage. It may be helpful to conduct the own consumption of critical questions: How do I see my drinking? Friends and family might be Worried about? I can do without for a long time on alcohol, without that it is difficult for me? In the network there are questionnaires that can facilitate a self-assessment.
Is there such a thing as the healthy glass of wine in the evening?
It is – for one simple reason: alcohol is a poison, and a poison can be naturally healthy. Of course, the Situation is fairly complex. A bit of wine in the evening can also contribute to the quality of life and well-being support. This has nothing to do with an escape from Everyday life, but Enjoy. And this, in turn, can be good for the health. When we speak of the “healthy glass of wine”, there are two different poles: on the one hand, the conscious, soothing, Enjoy, on the other hand, the biochemical load. One takes only the Latter into consideration, we must say quite clearly that alcohol is toxic.
How do you keep it because even with the alcohol?
Once in a while I drink a glass for dinner. Or open on the weekend, a bottle of wine, which I drink together with my wife. Distributed over the weekend. On spirits I renounce to a large extent. For me, the taste, the quality and the enjoyment. Not the level.