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Got an ache or pain? Have a question about a prescription or over-the-counter drug? Looking for some FREE medical advice?
Question:
What happens to the liver when one stops drinking after several years of lots of beer. How long does it take for the liver to start healing itself? Will it always be fatty after that?
JDM 
Answer:
Dear JMD, Thankyou for your inquiry. This question is difficult to answer with certainty due to the number of individual variables to consider. Some individuals develop permanent non reversible changes in their liver at an earlier stage than other people. This makes it difficult to reply and say to you, eg in one year your liver will be repaired. One very interesting fact about the liver is that it has capacity for some regeneration providedt fibrosis or cirrhotic changes have not set in as these do not reverse. These latter changes will stop progressing provided the iciting factor is removed ie excessive alcohol . Fatty liver changes tend to dimish over time with ceasing of the aggravating factor. liver status can be followed with ultrasounds and liver enzymes. It does takes time for ultrasound images to show any change however. A consultation and checkup with your GP is recommended as this is a good baseline to start from, and then a look again at an ultrasound in approx. 6 months. A low fat well balance diet is also advantageous to improving liver status. Hope this information is of use to you.
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