A healthy liver breaks down alcohol so it can be eliminated from the body. This process generates harmful substances that can damage liver cells and cause liver inflammation. The more alcohol that you drink, the greater potential for liver damage. The risk of developing alcohol-associated liver disease is higher for heavy drinkers who are women and for people who have obesity and other liver diseases.
Because alcohol-associated liver disease typically occurs without symptoms, you can have the disease without knowing it, especially in the early stages. If you abstain from drinking, liver damage may be reversed. However, if the condition progresses, liver inflammation and cirrosis (severe liver scarring) can occur. The final stage of alcoholic steatohepatitis is severe and irreversible liver cirrhosis.