Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Do I need a hepatology consultation if I dirnk often?"
I am 31 and drinks a lot every night. I like it very much. Do I need to get my liver checked?
Alcohol use, when in excess, is a serious health problem that needs to be addressed. The fact that you are bringing this up suggests that you may be drinking too much. The doctor that you should talk with initially is your primary care doctor.
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They will help make an assessment of your overall health and make recommendations about what you should do next. Excess amounts of alcohol act like a toxin in the body, damaging many organs, including the brain, nerves, and heart. However, the most severe damage is concentrated in the liver. This can lead to chronic liver damage, called cirrhosis, which can be complicated by abdominal swelling, yellow skin, nutritional problems, and life threatening infections and bleeding. It also increases your risk of getting liver cancer. Your primary care doctor will ask some questions about your alcohol consumption. If it seems excessive, they may decide to screen you for liver damage, which could include blood tests to look at your liver function or an ultrasound to directly visualize your liver. They will also be able to make some recommendation on how to quit drink, and they can give you a list of local community resources to help you do so.
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