Medical Q&As

Alcohol consumption - liver damage?

I have recently stopped drinking after several years of drinking far too much. Iíve read that liver has some powers of regeneration. I am 31. Could I have done permanent damage to my liver? Is there a test I could get done to see if it is damaged?

The liver does have some limited powers of recuperation. However, if the level of alcohol consumption was excessive it is certainly possible that the liver could have been permanently damaged. It is possible to establish if your liver is working normally by testing your blood. You should visit your GP and tell him or her of your concerns and that you would like to have your liver function tested. Your doctor will take a blood sample and send it to the biochemistry lab where they can run a series of tests known as liver function tests. This analysis will measure various chemicals in the blood including specific liver enzymes. If the liver enzyme levels are high this would indicate that some damage may have been done and the extent of that can be evaluated through further testing. If the enzyme levels are normal you can take it that all is well.