‘A Star is Born’ Renews Focus on Alcoholism and Liver Disease

With the release of the latest version of “A Star is Born” public attention has once again focused on the disease of alcoholism and its life destroying addiction.

The movie follows the downward spiral of country Star Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) as alcohol and drug addiction drives his career to the bottom, while his protégé rises to stardom. As Cooper and Lady Gaga made red carpet appearances for the movie, a new research study also grabbed headlines and shook the current thinking about the health risks of alcohol consumption.

“Even light drinking increases the risk of death,” topped the health news as the latest study of alcohol consumption found that at any age, anyone consuming alcohol daily were more likely to die prematurely than people who drink much less than that.

The study published online Oct. 3, 2018 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research analyzed data from more than 400,000 people ages 18 to 85 and found that consuming one to two drinks a day four or more times per week increase the risk of dying early from all causes by 20 percent.

The study looked at all-cause mortality or all alcohol-related deaths including auto and other types of fatal accidents as well as diseases like heart disease, stroke, cancer and liver disease. It didn’t address the risk of alcohol addiction, which is at the core of the movie’s story, and is one of the most common psychiatric disorders according to American Family Physician.

The organization defines alcohol addiction for women as consuming more than 21 drinks per week and for men 35 drinks per week. Obviously, a person addicted to alcohol is likely to have a much higher risk of dying compared to those drinking only four or more times per week.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, fatty liver disease is universal among heavy drinkers and occurs in up to 40 percent of those with moderate alcohol intake. In addition, heavy drinkers have increased severity of alcoholic hepatitis, or inflammation that destroys liver cells, reducing liver function leading to irreversible scarring, called cirrhosis, and ending with liver failure.

In 2015 nearly 20 percent of liver transplants in the U.S. occurred due to alcoholic liver disease. While some liver damage caused by alcohol can be reversed with abstinence, those who are addicted to alcohol have extreme difficulty in giving up alcohol, and often are undiagnosed in part because they withhold information from their doctors. According to the Centers for Disease Control more than 19,000 people die of alcoholic liver disease each year.

Here are three facts to know about alcoholic liver disease:

  1. Alcoholic liver disease is the third most common cause of liver transplants in the US.
  2. Jaundice and tremors are symptoms of alcoholic liver disease
  3. Early symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite is often dismissed a stomach flu or similar illness.

Leaving these symptoms undiagnosed and untreated, especially while continuing to consume alcohol, can lead to a faster progression of liver disease over time. If you or a loved one suspect alcoholic liver disease there are non-invasive diagnostic tests that your doctor can order to detect liver disease early when treatment can still be effective.

Fibronostics is committed to providing high-quality, life-improving disease education, evaluation and monitoring. For more information contact us via email, or by phone at 1-888-552-1603.

 

 

 

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