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    Can drinking beer lead to liver cirrhosis?

Posted on Sat, 29 Jul 2017 in Liver and Gall Bladder
Question: This is related to the question on swollen liver. About six years ago my liver was swollen, apparently for a brief period, and my liver function test were routinely high for 9 months. I was drinking hard liquor heavily for the past 3 years prior. So I stopped drinking the hard liquor entirely and only drank beer, 3-4 a day. My liver function/enzyme tests have since, for over 5 years, been right in the middle of normal. Should I still be concerned about cirrhosis. At my last check up, about 2 months ago my Dr. said he doesn't even worry about it anymore. I also get blood work every three months, but that is mainly to keep track of cholesterol, which has also been normal for some time - I have been have blood work done every three years since my liver enzymes jumped up.
Answered by Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha 4 hours later
Brief Answer:
Beer contains alcohol in small amounts.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for asking on HealthcareMagic.

I have gone carefully through your query and understand your concerns. It feels really good to know that you have quit drinking hard liquor although you still drink alcohol. You need to understand that alcohol (in any amounts) is damaging to the liver. Beer still contains 4% alcohol and regular intake of 3-4 a day still contributes to some alcohol intake, 30ml of alcohol per bottle to be precise. In other words it equates to more than 8 pegs of vodka per day (as vodka contains 40% alcohol).

As of now it is ok since your body is somehow able to handle this amount. Nevertheless, it is still a taxation on the liver and therefore the possibility of of eventual progression to cirrhosis remains.

Let me know if I could help further.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1954

Answered : 4438 Questions


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