Is Lindsay Lohan Already Headed for a Liver Problem?

Actress Lindsay Lohan has made a lot of news lately because of repeated arrests for alleged “driving under the influence.”

Besides the fact that she may face jail time like Paris Hilton and her career is quickly becoming “radioactive,” there may also be a liver problem in her near future–even though she’s only in her early 20’s.

Most people think it takes years for someone to develop cirrhosis and liver disease from abusing alcohol, but doctors say someone in their 20’s–even someone in their teens–can develop liver trouble by drinking too much.

“Whether the reports about Ms. Lohan are true or not, people in their teens and 20’s should be made aware that liver damage, even cirrhosis, can happen to them,” according to Dr.Ratnakar Kini of the Department of Digestive Health and Diseases, Chennai, India.

Early in 2007, there were reports that Lohan may already have liver damage caused by excessive drinking. The ‘National Enquirer’ claimed that the liver problem was diagnosed when Lohan was hospitalized to have her appendix removed.

According to the Enquirer, “Lindsay’s liver panel shows her drinking is taking a terrible toll on her health. Her liver enzymes are extremely elevated, and doctors warned her if she doesn’t quit boozing she could die.”

Dr. Kini adds, “It doesn’t take 20 or 30 years of alcohol abuse to cause liver damage or cirrhosis of the liver. If you drink too much and too often, it might only take a few years before long term liver damage begins to appear. So it can certainly happen to people in their 20’s. Liver problems can even happen to people in their teens if they start drinking young enough.”

Dr. Kini also notes that the liver of a young woman is more at risk than the liver of a young man.

“Alcoholic liver disease develops in women after a shorter duration of drinking than men and with a lower daily alcohol intake. 40-80 g of alcohol daily in men and 20-40 g of alcohol daily in women for 10-12 years can cause significant damage to the liver. But even a shorter duration of alcohol intake can cause at least some damage to the liver. And even teenagers are susceptible to liver damage if they do not abstain from taking alcohol.”