Liver disease: confusion is an “early” symptom that can appear in everyday life

“Be aware that excessive alcohol consumption over several years can lead to a buildup of toxins in the liver,” said Monika Wassermann, medical director of Olio Lusso. Worse still, drinking too much alcohol also triggers a condition known as alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD).

As with fatty liver disease, ARLD does not cause many symptoms until it is advanced.

However, some warning signs may appear, with a symptom appearing in your daily life.

According to the British Liver Trust, one of the signs of liver disease is confusion.

The charity wrote that “periods of confusion, forgetting things, mood swings or poor judgment (brain fog)” could be telling.

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Ms Wassermann said: “The liver [damaged by alcohol] cannot properly remove unwanted matter from the blood, leading to toxins accumulating in the brain, resulting in confusion.

“To spot the signs, you might notice your eyes turning white and the skin turning yellow. Your legs and feet may swell.

“Also, your abdomen may feel bigger due to fluid buildup and body temperature will rise despite feeling feverish at times.

“But I advise my clients that if they gradually reduce their drinking and stop drinking later, the symptoms may reverse for the better.”


This is why it is recommended that you tell your GP if you regularly drink excessive amounts of alcohol so that they can check your liver.

How does alcohol-related liver disease occur?

Although the liver has an incredible ability to regenerate, drinking too much can still cause damage.

Every time your liver has to filter out alcohol, some of its cells die. Fortunately, the organ is able to grow new cells.

However, prolonged alcohol abuse for years can reduce this ability, leading to serious and permanent damage.

There are three main stages of ARLD, with cirrhosis representing the most severe stage.

During this stage, your liver becomes significantly scarred.

Worse still, the NHS notes that even this stage might show no signs.

He adds: “It’s usually not reversible, but stopping drinking alcohol immediately can prevent further damage and significantly increase your life expectancy.”

To prevent ARLD, it is crucial to stop drinking alcohol or at least stay within the recommended limits.

Men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units per week. These units should be spread over three or more days.

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