Your liver performs many important functions within your body, but regular heavy drinking can stop it from doing its vital work.
If you’re regularly drinking to excess you may develop a fatty liver, affecting its ability to function.
The more you drink, the greater your risk of liver damage.
Drinking heavily or excessively can cause Alcoholic Hepatitis (inflamed liver), which may result in liver failure and death. The condition is reversible if you stop drinking, but continued misuse of alcohol can cause permanent damage and scarring (cirrhosis of the liver) – a treatable but permanent condition which can increase your risk of developing liver cancer.
Women are generally more susceptible to liver damage than men. If you have an underlying medical condition (such as Hepatitis B or C, or the genetic disorder hemochromatosis) consuming alcohol can increase your risk of developing cirrhosis of the liver.
If you reduce your drinking, or stop altogether, your liver can recover from the affects of alcohol.
For more information about the effects of alcohol on your body, check out our interactive tool.